Free Trade threatens custom land in the Pacific | Pacific Network on Globalisation

“Custom land is so central to life in the Pacific Islands that its importance cannot be overstated. Yet through the eyes of free trade agreements it is seen as a barrier to investment, something that needs to be challenged,” commented PANG Campaigner Adam Wolfenden.

The briefing paper outlines many of the common questions about free trade and what it means for custom land in the Pacific Islands.

“Previous attempts to privatise land in the Pacific have been meet with a strong refusal by Islanders. What we’re seeing now is free trade advocates using these agreements to secure control over the usage of the land, which can in effect mean that custom decisions about land use are undermined” added Mr Wolfenden.

“We’re seeing this in Vanuatu where its Trade in Services commitments at the World Trade Organization (WTO) mean the government’s ability to specifically support and nurture land use for Indigenous enterprise, such as local burree owners or other tourist accommodation, can only happen if it gives the same support to foreign investors” continued Mr Wolfenden.

via Free Trade threatens custom land in the Pacific | Pacific Network on Globalisation.

‘Deglobalization’ Is the Way to Reduce Inequality | Pablo Solon

The race of globalization is leaving the majority of the world’s population far behind. According to Unicef, the richest 20 percent of the population gets 83 percent of global income, while the poorest quintile has just 1 percent. This trend is getting worse. A new UNDP report called “Humanity Divided” estimates that 75 percent of the population lives in societies where income distribution is less equal now than it was in the 1990s, although global GDP ballooned from $22 trillion to $72 trillion.

For developing economies in Asia, the Gini coefficient — which measures income inequality on a scale from zero to one where one is worst — rose from 0.33 in 1990 to 0.46 in 2010.

Inequality corresponds with greater economic uncertainty, lower investment and high social tensions and political instability — with the potential for violence and conflicts between groups. It demolishes human rights for the vast majority, especially for vulnerable groups like women, children and the elderly…..

via ‘Deglobalization’ Is the Way to Reduce Inequality | Pablo Solon.