Welcome to the IGO Watch Monthly Update for March!
Before we get into the highlights of IGO activities around the world and ridiculous examples for this month, we want to share some great news. David Wiliams, president of Taxpayers Protection Alliance, attended the XVI European Resource Bank (ERB) Meeting in Chişinau, Moldova, where he presented the IGO Watch project – our current activities and our mission to demand accountability and transparency from International Governmental Organizations (IGOs) which waste our tax dollars and promote higher taxes and more regulations. We are delighted by the enthusiasm for IGO Watch and all the support we have received.
The Digital Police
This month kicked off with positive news!The European Union governments scrapped the controversial plan to introduce an EU-wide digital tax, being unable to reach an agreement after months of talks. Unfortunately, it is unlikely that the EU will give up on the efforts for more oversight and regulation, as the European Union ’s competition commissioner, Margrethe Vestager, described digital tax reforms as “absolutely necessary”. The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is also currently working on a global reform of digital taxation, and the EU will reopen its debate on possible tax measures if the OECD’s planned reform is delayed. The EU is also continuing its efforts to rein in the world’s biggest technology companies by enforcing tough new privacy rules with Google fined $1.7 billion by the European bureaucracy.
As we have reported last month, the consequences of the illegal EU taxpayer-funded subsidies through state aid to Airbus will be immense. The decision by Airbus to scrap its A380 jet will cost the German taxpayers as much as 750 million euros ($848 million), showed in an economy ministry report.
Mixed signals are being sent by the EU regarding their stance on fighting climate change. The EU leaders pushed back on the decision of long-term efforts to fight climate change, just a month after the president of the EU Commission announced spending a staggering quarter of EU’s budget on climate mitigation actions from 2021 – 2027.
Champions of Human Rights
According to a recent Gallup poll, 66% of Americans say the U.N. plays a necessary role in the world, with 42% saying that the U.N. does a good job in trying to solve problems globally. Although the general support is slightly declining, these numbers are staggering if you take into account the numerous scandals that have severely damaged the organization’s credibility in the past few years. Let’s go through some of the issues that have emerged in the past month:
The Islamic Republic of Iran, one of the worst human rights abusers in the world and top state sponsor of international terrorism, has been appointed a seat on the United Nations’ Women’s Rights Committee, dedicated to promoting “gender equality and the advancement of women.”
The U.N. published a report showing an increase in allegations of sexual abuse and exploitation by staff working in U.N. agencies and their partner organizations. In all, there were 94 allegations against U.N. personnel in 2018 and 109 targeting staff of local organizations that work with the United Nations worldwide, illustrating the deeply rooted predatory culture and lack of accountability within the organization. Just a week before, a United Nations worker was arrested in New York for sexually abusing a teenager, after allegedly entering the boy’s hotel room under the guise of needing to charge his phone.
Another report published this month reaffirms the United Nations stance on heavily taxing red meat as a way to counter the effects of global warming and save the planet. The U.N. claims taxes could encourage people towards a plant-based diet, reducing emissions of greenhouse gases and combating wildlife habitat loss.
Cosmetics without fundamental reforms
The World Health Organization announced a long-awaited restructuring, intended to solve some of the organization’s inherent problems – its regional officers are independently elected and have large staffs and budgets they are reluctant to cut. Some even resist cooperating with headquarters in Geneva. But it was unclear how the plan, as announced, would increase efficiency. As TPA Policy director Ross Marchand highlighted in his analysis of the proposed restructuring, “until the WHO’s misguided priorities shift, no amount of rotating employees or streamlined hiring will make them into an effective force for good”.
Monthly Update Recap
Prefer video over reading? You can see the most important highlights in our video update. Check it out on this link!
See Something? Say Something!
We’re always looking for 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!
Until next month,
IGO Watch Team