Middle income countries (MICs) face an intractable identity problem: what exactly is a “middle income country”? This categorization focuses on income per capita as the main factor for defining groups of countries and for allocating the financial resources for development cooperation. Classifying countries this way ties in with the development narrative that countries take responsibility for their own development once they “graduate” from low income status. The problem is that the income boundaries between groups of countries are defined inconsistently across development institutions and are unidimensional, failing to account for multidimensional poverty, complex economic and social inequalities, and for the fact that many countries graduate to “middle income” status only to slip back into a “lower income” group once official development assistance (ODA) is taken away. This last phenomenon reveals that “graduation” may reflect only marginal changes in economic conditions and not genuine economic transformation.
To address this growing concern, FES organized a workshop on May 9, 2017 to help MICs prepare for the 2017 Financing for Development Forum.
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Wednesday, May 24, 8:30 am – 9:45 am
United Nations HQ – New York
Delegates Dining Room
While loan and bond financing are actively promoted by the G20 and the World Bank, the IMF is warning of the risk of a new sovereign debt crisis resulting from a combination of low global interest rates, low commodity prices, and a new wave of infrastructure financing in the Global South. Civil Society groups in both North and South echo these concerns and – as part of the 2030 Agenda, Addis Ababa Agenda and Paris Agreement – underscore the fact that targeted debt workout mechanisms need to be in place before more and more countries are faced with either default on their debt or austerity policies of the sort that have caused great social unrest in the 1980s, 1990s and following the most recent financial crisis.
This breakfast roundtable looked at one innovative proposal based on lessons from the HIPC/MDRI initiatives of the 1990s and 2000s: overcoming political deadlocks by designing debt relief exclusively for a limited group of countries. The keynote address launched a new publication by Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung and Erlassjahr outlining how a limited debt relief scheme could facilitate procedural innovations to remedy existing weaknesses in the HIPC/MDRI schemes and in debt restructuring mechanisms at large, by making them more comprehensive and impartial. Following the keynote, Member States and experts from the multilateral system and civil society engaged in a moderated roundtable discussion.
Monday, May 22, 1:15 pm – 2:45 pm
United Nations HQ – New York
Delegates Dining Room
On the occasion of the second Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Forum on Financing for Development follow-up, the seventy-second President of ECOSOC, H.E. Mr. Frederick Musiiwa Makamure Shava, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Zimbabwe to the United Nations, and Ms. Bettina Luise Rürup, Executive Director of the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung New York Office, hosted the annual luncheon for the Special high-level meeting of the Council with the Bretton Woods institutions, the World Trade Organization and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).
Mr. Michael Shank, Director of Communications for the Sustainable Development Solutions Network, served as moderator, and Banque de France economist Mr. Patrick A. Pintus provided keynote remarks. Mr. Pintus’s co-author Professor Sanjay Peters joined for the question and answer session.
Friday, April 21
International Monetary Fund HQ2
(3rd Fl) 03B-838B, Washington DC
The recent backlash against globalization in advanced economies was in part driven by the increasing wealth and income gaps between those who benefit and those who do not.
The consequences include political shifts in countries that have been the leading proponents of globalization. These shifts have put in question the future role of the multilateral institutions. This high-level panel co-organized by FES New York, New Rules, Development Finance International and Oxfam International aimed to promote a multi-stakeholder debate on the key measures global institutions and governments need to pursue in order to more effectively tackle economic inequality.
The panel covered issues which are crucial to reinforcing the roles of the IMF and World Bank in combating inequality and ensuring shared prosperity and discussed main roadblocks to progress, including inadequate data and political capture, which were main findings of a 2016 workshop on Assessing Inequality (read that report here).
Tuesday, April 11, 2017, New York
FES New York co-hosted a panel discussion and an expert-level workshop on the final report of the “The New Geopolitics of Peace Operations II” initiative, which was conducted by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) in partnership with FES and the Foreign Ministries of Finland and the Netherlands. Findings of the initiative, and particularly the pathways to improve future collaboration between African and external actors, especially the UN, were discussed with representatives from UN Member States and the New York peace operations experts community.
Thursday, March 16, 2017
UNHQ, New York
As recent geopolitical shifts continue to stress-test the existing regional and global nuclear orders, more than 100 UN Member States will gather in March 2017 to begin negotiating a nuclear weapons ban treaty.
In the run-up to these negotiations, FES New York and partners have brought timely insights and analyses from expert speakers about global nuclear policy challenges as well as an update on US policy debates from Washington to the UN. It has been an exchange of ideas among those who embrace the upcoming negotiations as a global effort to delegitimize nuclear weapons and others who see such talks as a distraction from the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.
Past Event: International Reception during CSW61: “Women’s Economic Empowerment: Strategizing and Networking across Boards and Borders”intern1 : March 12, 2017 1:49 pm : Events, Events 2017, Global Economic Governance, Highlights from New York, Uncategorized
Tuesday, March 14, 2017
Roger Smith Hotel, New York
The sixty-first session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW61) took place at the United Nations Headquarters in New York from 13 to 24 March 2017.
In line with this year’s priority theme (“Women’s economic empowerment in the changing world of work”), FES New York, together with Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung – New York Office, Global Policy Forum, and Public Services International, co-hosted an international reception on “Women’s Economic Empowerment: Strategizing and Networking across Boards and Borders.”
Bringing together government representatives, experts, academics, and activists from around the globe, this reception aimed to strengthen existing networks, create new ones, and promote women’s economic empowerment in the changing world of work.
Brief remarks were delivered by members of the sponsoring organizations and our distinguished guests, Ms. Elke Ferner (SPD), (Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Ministry for Family, Seniors, Women, and Youth) and Ms. Cornelia Möhring (Deputy President of Parliamentary Group, Die Linke).