Welcome to the IGO Watch Monthly Newsletter for July
With so many activities by international government organizations (IGOs) around the world, it can be hard to keep track of their many problems! From scandals and corruption charges to squandering taxpayer dollars and proposing new, onerous systems of taxation, here is a brief overview of the most important IGO events from July.
After months of controversy regarding their multiple failures in handling the coronavirus pandemic and their links to the Chinese Communist Party, the U.S. administration began the process to officially withdraw from the World Health Organization (WHO). This move comes amid growing pressure on the WHO from governments around the world and calls for an official investigation into allegations that the WHO enabled the Chinese government’s sweeping cover-up of the coronavirus pandemic’s origins.
Unfortunately, there is mounting evidence that the WHO will not be reformed from within. The global bureaucracy has appointed former New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark as the head of a review into the organization’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. Clark, who is described as too close to China and WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus to carry out the role effectively, has so far been an apologist for WHO wrongdoing.
Fortunately, governments who were traditionally supportive of the WHO’s practices have increasingly voiced criticism of the dysfunctional organization. Germany, which has thus far shielded the WHO from the most intense criticism, has recently taken a more assertive approach. The German health minister urged the WHO to speed up its review of how it handled the pandemic, signaling a new, tougher line on the United Nations (UN) body.
Spare Some Change?
After five days of intense negotiations, European Union (EU) leaders struck a deal on a bank-breaking post-coronavirus recovery package, which involves a staggering €750bn in grants and loans to counter the impact of the pandemic across the continent. The deal was reached alongside an agreement on the bloc’s next seven-year budget, a quarter of which (as previously announced) will be dedicated to fighting climate change. But, according to a recent report by the European Court of Auditors, the EU is grossly overestimating the emissions-cutting potential of climate action schemes outlined in its next budget.
On a more positive note, the EU’s general court annulled an order forcing Apple to pay around $15 billion in taxes. This gargantuan levy was assessed after the European Commission concluded in August 2016 that the Irish government granted illegal benefits to Apple. But recently, the EU’s general court ruled that the commission failed to prove that the Irish government had given the U.S. tech giant an unfair tax advantage, as was initially claimed. This decision marks a small victory against the EU’s tendencies to heavily regulate, police, and tax the digital realm with a special focus on large U.S. tech companies.
It looks like the UN has found a way to save millions of taxpayer dollars and (hopefully) stop complaining about a lack of operating funds. This year’s UN General Assembly will be the first virtual assembly since the IGO’s inception 75 years ago. We sincerely hope that UN management will realize the benefits of not wasting tens of millions of dollars every fall on an event that accomplishes nothing other than to waste tax dollars. The UN building in New York will be open to no more than two delegates per participating country, and world leaders will submit pre-recorded speeches to the event. We can only hope that the whole event can be done online next year. After all, UN officials already use every opportunity to promote “a great reset of the global capitalist economy,” so why not lead by example?
Partner Spotlight: CENDEIT
CENDEIT (Center for Integral Educational Development) aims to improve the quality of life of people through sustainable development projects and programs throughout Peru, putting a special emphasis on the education and training of children, youth, and adults.
CENDEIT aims to be an agent of cohesion between communities so that all actors look to the future with a perspective of shared value, trust and transparency. CENDEIT operates in Peru and has a network of diverse allies in the US and Latin America.
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 regions. If you have any tips about stories, or would like to become a regional coordinator, please send us an email!
Until next month,
IGO Watch Team