There has been a lot to keep track of with lots of activities by IGO’s around the world this month!
Unfortunately, the European Union (EU) is getting closer to a final agreement on the proposed Digital Tax that would force large tech companies to pay more taxes in Europe. After months of lobbying, Germany is reportedly backing the French model of higher taxes, with a binding deal expected to be made during the meeting of EU finance ministers in December. Although directed at large tech companies, this EU regulation will have significant unintended consequences hurting content creators, consumers, and taxpayers. Apps like Google News even announced the possibility of shutting down if the Digital Tax proposal passes, With more companies, organizations, and content creators awaiting to see the final version of the proposed Tax, the battle for the future of the internet intensifies in Brussels.
In what can only be described as an absolute farce, Saudi Arabia, a fundamentalist totalitarian regime, received widespread praise for its human rights efforts during the United Nations’ Human Rights Council mandatory review at the beginning of November. With a staggering number of 75 delegations out of 96 who spoke during the review praising the Saudi efforts in advancing human rights, no official condemnations was produced – not even for the scandalous killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
The United Nations’ narrative that eliminating meat consumption could cut greenhouse-gas emissions by 50% or more and significantly help reduce global warming is massively misleading, and shows the potential to create dangerous consequences by fiddling numbers to fit your viewpoint. We all knew that. The good news is more and more voices trying to demystify it are being heard, and you should definitely try to read this great article by Bjorn Lomborg debunking the lie that it would do anything for the environment!
It’s not all bad news. In a positive development, the Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Erik Solheim resigned in disgrace after a recent internal audit showed extensive airline travel patterns amounting to more than $488,000 over two years. Solheim, described as having “no regard for abiding by the set regulations and rules” traveled for 529 out of 668 days audited, including a weekend trip from the U.S. to Paris and back. The mere fact that these kinds of irresponsible actions were allowed to happen and even went on for two years shows inherent problems in the United Nations, And, there has been a complete lack of any appropriate internal system of checks and balances which means that we will continue to fight for reforms to bring in transparency and accountability so that this sort of thing never happens again.
Ross Marchand, Policy Director at the Taxpayers Protection Alliance, wrote a great article about the World Health Organization’s stance on alcohol consumption, proposed solutions and the unintended consequences they bring. The WHO’s priority switch from traditional disease-fighting to a crusade against non-communicable diseases “reflects a deep misunderstanding of the industries and processes under scrutiny”, while the proposed solution of strictly regulating or hiking the price of an in-demand product such as alcohol leads to illicit behavior.
It is always a pleasure to hear good words about us from our friends!
Daniel Raisbeck, the head of the free market think tank at the Universidad La Gran Colombia, wrote a great article in Spanish, originally published in Âmbito Jurídico, about the IGO Watch mission to monitor the waste of resources by large international bureaucracies.
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Until Next Month,
IGO Watch Team