In October 2011, global coalition of civil society groups Seattle to Brussels Network held an international week of action against bilateral investment treaties. Their final declaration calls the World Bank-housed International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) part of “an architecture of impunity for transnational corporations (TNCs) [which] undermines the sovereignty and constitutions of both developed and developing countries, democratic governance and peoples’ interests.” It calls for “the withdrawal of states from ICSID and other arbitration processes.” After five years of threats, Venezuela, which has almost 20 suits pending at ICSID, formally withdrew from the institution in January, claiming membership threatened “national sovereignty”.
The Bretton Woods Project has published a new briefing providing a critical analysis of the IMF's latest work on gender equality. The briefing questions the sustainability of the Fund's new approach to gender equality and reveals that the Fund's analysis so far is limited and inconsistent with the full achievement of women's economic empowerment.
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