On September 28 Freedom House released its 2006 Freedom in the World Survey. For the first time ever, it published the scores of the seven subcategories that are behind the aggregate scores of the Political Rights and Civil Liberties indexes which are used by the MCC as two of its Ruling Justly indicators.
CGD Policy Blogs
Everyone from the UK Parliament to the President of the World Bank to Warren Buffett knows that spending money wisely is harder than raising it. So in all the excitement about the new monies for much-needed drugs that will be raised through UNITAID, the new French-led funding source fed largely by airline taxes, who is worrying about how the resources will be spent? An obvious way to use the funds would be to ship them off to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria, but, as Amb.
Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz urged at a CGD event that U.S. trade partners ask the WTO for authority to impose countervailing duties on exports of U.S. steel and other energy-intensive products that benefit unfairly from Washington’s refusal to join the Kyoto Protocol limiting carbon and other greenhouse gasses.
There is a precedent for such duties, Stiglitz said, because Washington previously obtained a World Trade Organization ruling in support of a U.S. ban on the import of shrimp caught in Thailand using nets that killed endangered species of turtles.
I arrived in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire in February, 1994 to begin what was to be an almost 5 year tenure in the Office of the U.S. Executive Director to the African Development Bank. It was a tenure that would see the Bank, under President Babacar Ndiaye, driven to the brink of collapse and a Bank, under President Omar Kabbaj, reestablish its financial standing and regain some (though not much) program and institutional credibility.
There have been many many bad ideas over the years about how to help Africa, but here’s my vote for the worst one in a long while: UNCTAD’s proposal to create a new UN agency to manage a doubling of aid flows to the continent.
Before we get to the proposed solution, the analysis of the problem is deeply flawed. According to the press release:
President Chirac's proposal for a global air travel ticket tax to fund development appeared to be gaining momentum last week, with an announcement at the Clinton Global Initiative meeting in New York that four countries had joined the French-led initiative. One important question--how the money will be used--has been answered. Ninety percent will go to buy AIDS drugs. But plans for administering the funds are unlikely to persuade American taxpayers--or the U.S. government--to support the plan.
Another day, another dollar for global health. Or another $300 million, as the case may be. With much fanfare at the Clinton Global Initiative, five countries (France, Brazil, Britain, Norway and Chile) committed to either levy taxes on airline tickets or find other sources to create UNITAID (formerly referred to as the International Drug Purchase Facility), which will be used to purchase generic AIDS drugs, as well as products to treat malaria and TB.
President Chirac's proposal for a global air travel ticket tax to fund development seemed unlikely to fly less than a year ago, especially in America (where any new "tax" is taboo). (See the Jan. 2005 CGD event Innovative Development Finance Mechanisms: The Pros and Cons of the International Tax Plan for slides and the original proposal).