Tribute to the victims of
terrorist attacks worldwide
Comments: 7385
Mariela Baeva
Mariela Baeva
Member of the European Parliament for Bulgaria
2007 - 2009
(first direct EP elections in Bulgaria);

LEED to OECD partner (Nanotech)

News of the Day

Barcelona attack: 13 confirmed dead after van hits Las Ramblas crowds – latest updates

credit: The Guardian

Alarm: “By 2030, there will be 800 million children – half the children in the world – who will not finish school with any qualifications whatsoever. That is indeed a crisis that has got to be dealt with.” – Gordon Brown, former UK PM

Alert: In Turkey, Syrian child “has to work to survive.” Thousands of youths toil in factories, not in school, to provide for families – International New York Times. Positive: On 19.01.17, big headline comes from TurkeyMore than half of Syrian refugee children now in schools in Turkey 


Charter 4 Mobile

Charter 4 mobile

Anyone interested in fundamental rights in the European Union (EU) can now have easy access to the text of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights in all official languages on their mobile device: http://fra.europa.eu/en/charter4mobile



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Building the Future: Children and Sustainable Development Goals in Rich Countries – Innocenti Report*

Building the Future: Children and Sustainable Development Goals in Rich Countries is the latest in the Innocenti Report Card series, which analyses inequality in 41 high-income countries. It looks at how far children are falling behind in the dimensions of income, education, health and life satisfaction. Continue reading

For globalisation to work for all, you have to level the playing field first*

Today the debate rages about whether the decline in living standards is due to the effects of globalisation or to poor domestic policies. Both have surely played a role. But the problems often associated with globalisation (inequality, the hollowing out of the middle class, employment of less-skilled workers in advanced countries, etc.) do not originate from “openness” as such. The problem is that not all countries are open to the same degree and the playing field in the cross-border activities of businesses is not level. Continue reading

Timor-Leste: Life beyond oil*

The end of the oil era may be coming, but the lights will stay on in Timor Leste. Almost two-thirds of the population are younger than 24, and they are keen for a chance at a better life. With the right mix of inclusive planning, grassroots development and support for a vital private sector, the transition to a non-oil economy may signal bright days ahead for this young nation.

Timor Leste has achieved remarkable progress since restoration of independence in 2002. Continue reading

Excerpts from PEN International Women Writers Committee Statement on Turkey

February, 2017

Since July 15, 2016, when there was an attempted coup d’état in Turkey, many aspects of freedom of expression have been limited, cut off or abolished.

News agencies, TV stations, radio stations, newspapers, magazines and publishers have been shut down. 4,464 academics have lost their jobs.

Many women journalists and academics are among those who have lost their jobs, been detained, called to court, sentenced, or fined. This includes some very high-profile women writers such as Asli Erdogan Displaying asli erdogan.jpg(no relation to the president), who spent 132 days in jail in Istanbul for being listed as a consultant to a pro-Kurdish newspaper.

Most of the journalists, academics and writers targeted have nothing to do with the coup attempt. The government doesn’t even allege that they do. They wrote something pro-Kurdish, criticized the government or just signed a declaration stating that they want peace.

Another woman writer, the sociologist Pinar Selek Displaying pinar selek.jpg, who has been acquitted by the courts many times, recently has had the government’s case against her renewed. The government continues to ask for a life sentence, claiming that she set a bomb in a market, though all expert sources say the explosion was caused by a gas leak. However, Pinar Selek is a supporter of Kurdish people.

Kurdish writers and those who work in media in the Kurdish area are in even worse shape. All schools teaching the Kurdish language have been closed. Christian churches, including Surp Giragos, the newly-restored Armenian church in Diyarbakir, have been confiscated by the government in the wave of growing Islamism. Government forces raided the offices of Kurdish PEN, destroying their equipment and files.

Many Kurdish writers have been detained. Mujgan Ekîn Displaying mujgan ekin.jpg, a journalist, editor and presenter for GUN TV in Diyarbakir, was taken away in October 2016. Though witnesses saw her abducted by the police, the government consistently denied all knowledge of her whereabouts. She was found two months later . She had been tortured and taken to Jerablus, an area of Syria under Turkish control.

PEN International, PEN Turkey and Kurdish PEN have all been working constantly to try to preserve or restore freedom of expression. This month a large international mission of PEN delegates went to Turkey to try to help. However the situation continues to worsen.

The PEN International Women Writers Committee realizes that there are freedom of expression and human rights crises going on in many other places, such as the alarming situations presently unfolding in the United States and in the Philippines. They deserve attention too. At this moment our interest is to support our Kurdish and Turkish colleagues, women writers who are trying to do their work in a dangerous and extremely challenging situation. We want to make sure that PIWWC members and supporters know about them.

 

OECD countries need to address the migration backlash*

The public is losing faith in the capacity of governments to manage migration. Opinion polls in a wide range of countries suggest that the share of the public holding extreme anti-immigration views has grown in recent years and that these extreme views are more frequently heard in public debates. In part, this is due to the perception that no end is in sight for large migration inflows and that countries have lost control over them. People are concerned about the short-term impact of large inflows of migrants, and refugees in particular, and many feel that migration is threatening their economic, social as well as personal security. Common concerns are that migration is unmanaged and borders are not secured; immigrants stretch local services, such as social housing, health and education, to the detriment of local populations; immigration benefits the rich, with the poor finding themselves competing with immigrants for jobs, and wages for low-skilled work depressed; and many migrants do not want to integrate and may even oppose the values of host societies. Continue reading

OECD warns weak trade and financial distortions damage global growth prospects

21/09/2016 – Weak trade growth and financial distortions are exacerbating slow global economic growth, according to the OECD’s latest Interim Economic Outlook. The global economy is projected to grow at a slower pace this year than in 2015, with only a modest uptick expected in 2017. The Outlook warns that a low-growth trap has taken root, as poor growth expectations further depress trade, investment, productivity and wages.

Global Competency for an Inclusive World *

Globalisation brings innovation, new experiences and higher living standards; but it equally contributes to economic inequality and social division.

Follow the link: https://www.oecd.org/pisa/aboutpisa/Global-competency-for-an-inclusive-world.pdf?utm_source=Adestra&utm_medium=email&utm_content=Global%20Competency%20for%20an%20Inclusive%20World&utm_campaign=OECD%20Civil%20Society%20Newsletter&utm_term=demo

*OECD Civil Society Newsletter – September 2016

 

Brexit Shock*

If a British referendum on European Union membership scheduled for 23 June led the UK to leave the EU, there would be a severe negative shock to the economy, causing growth to weaken for many years,  an OECD study argues.

OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría put it bluntly in a speech to the London School of Economics on Wednesday 27 April:  quitting the EU would be a pure dead-weight loss, with no economic benefit, but rather imposing a Brexit tax on generations to come. You can hear the podcast here. Indeed, while EU membership has contributed to British prosperity, current uncertainty about the outcome of the referendum has already started to undermine UK growth, writes Rafal Kierzenkowski, on the OECD Economics Department’s blog.

*OECD Observer

Update of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

The human rights instrument of international dimension is the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). Human dignity lies in the fundament. The massive abuses of human rights during World War II provoked the drafting of the Declaration in 1948.

Several decades after, in October 2013, a Global Citizenship Commission (GCC) was convened to assess the document and provide revisions and recommendations to governments and the international community.

As a former member of the European Parliament, I could take part in an event shedding light on the general idea of the Commission at Bonn University in May 2014. After the meeting, I submitted proposals related to different aspects of the Declaration, among others: the right against poverty, and the grave violations of children’s rights affected by armed conflict; children facing disability in that respect; schools at risk of armed conflict when used as military facilities, or when being attacked. All those issues are not explicitly stipulated in the document. Remark: within some days, it will be a second year of the mass abduction of the Chibok schoolgirls and the #BringBackOurGirls campaign, and – yet – a replacement school has not been built. Education in emergencies is demanding of embracing around 80 million affected children. The big news is that the EU will provide aid to help educate more than 2.3 million children in 42 countries living in emergencies.

On April 18, 2016, the GCC report will be presented in New York, focusing on the update of the Declaration as a living document in a changing world. Continue reading

From Analysis to Action – Multidimensional Country Reviews by Mario Pezzini, Director of the OECD Development Centre*

Multidimensional Country Reviews (MDCRs) support developing countries in designing development strategies that aim for high impact. These strategies address the binding constraints to development, defined as sustainable and equitable growth and well-being. A growing number of developing countries worldwide are implementing MDCRs. Many see the MDCR as a tool to implement the Sustainable Development Goals.

The OECD’s 2012 Strategy on Development put forward the MDCR as a response to a twofold challenge. First, all countries face challenges that are specific to their individual circumstances and their level of social, institutional, and economic development. Only mutual learning and the adaptation of expertise and policy advice to the inner workings and outer circumstances of a country can achieve better policies for better lives. Second, policy makers, especially from developing countries, shared feedback that while the OECD’s sector-specific policy expertise was excellent, little is offered to inform a comprehensive strategy and manage the trade-offs. Yet, key policymakers, especially at the centre of government, were seeking precisely this overarching analysis and where to prioritise efforts and in what sequence.

Shortly before the 2012 Strategy on Development, the Arab Spring shook up a number of beliefs about development. Take Tunisia for example. It had very high marks on all indicators according to the Millennium Development Goals and standard macroeconomic guidance: 3% fiscal deficit, 5% average growth since 1990, 100% primary enrolment rate since 2008, 80% healthcare coverage for its population, and a good reformer in doing business. Although of little surprise in hindsight, the uprisings revealed the need for a broader understanding of what progress means for a country. Observers had completely overlooked the importance of social cohesion, the highly unequal regional distribution of opportunities, and the inability of the institutional and productive systems to adapt to changing circumstances. Continue reading

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