First, we want to thank everybody for an amazing year, IGO Watch has grown by leaps and bounds in 2018.  We are excited about what is to come in 2019. We have extensive plans to expand IGO Watch’s worldwide reach in 2019 and updates to our website.  Be sure to see IGO watch featured prominently in Australia for the 17th World Taxpayers Association Biannual Conference, which is being hosted by our Partners the Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance in May.

Holiday season is here! While we celebrate, let’s also take a look at the most important activities by IGO’s around the world this month!

This is just crazy: European Union regulators are trying to force a ban on products containing silicone, using selective and biased research, the IGO Watch’s Australian Partner, the Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance reports. As silicone in used in a number of important, everyday products like medical products and automobile air bags, consumers will potentially be punished with goods which are more expensive, less durable, less safe, and less efficient.

Did you know that the British taxpayers provide a staggering 72% of the cost of the World Health Organization’s global strategy to eliminate safer alternatives to help smokers quit like e-cigarettes. The result of this campaign is an increase in smoking in countries which have banned e-cigarettes and an increase in tobacco share prices. Is it a surprise that people’s trust in the WHO’s ability to objectively address global health matters is possibly at the lowest point since its inception? To keep track of this issue and others in the United Kingdom please follow IGO watch partner TaxPayers’ Alliance.

Disagreement erupts between EU member countries about the proposed EU Digital Tax, forcing France and Germany to agree on a “watered down” solution which will impose a 3% tax on revenues from online ad sales only, catching far fewer companies in what their proposal called its “minimum common scope”. While still an improvement over what was originally proposed, this tax will still hurt businesses and drive up costs for consumers, damaging the European economy.

Global leaders gathered in Katowice at the #COP24 U.N. global climate summit, which cost the global taxpayers an estimated $130 million. Apart from the cost, additional controversy arose as the Summit featured a menu packed with meat, one of the United Nations’ main suspects for global warming trends. Another thing rising steadily is the cost of these U.N. events, with an estimated 20 billion of taxpayer dollars spent since 1995. While on the subject of climate change, the World Bank Group unanimously decided to create a $200 billion fund (paid for by our taxes) to fight climate change.

Michel Sidibe, head of UNAIDS is stepping down in June, six months before his term ends, after a panel report stressed the need for an urgent change of organizational culture, identifying issues such as abuse of power, sexual harassment, and bullying.

Monthly Update – Now in a New Format

We have prepared something exciting for you! You can now view the monthly updates in video format. Check out our first video and expect more to come in the year ahead!

See Something? Say Something!

Our wish for 2019 is to further develop our network of regional coordinators from countries around the world to help us distribute information on social media, write blog posts and op-eds, and provide us with on-the-ground information from their region. If you have any tips about stories, or would like to become a regional coordinator, please send us an email at this address!

Happy holidays and best wishes for 2019,

IGO Watch Team