By Sergio Ferrari
This award, agreed on the afternoon of Friday, January 23, in the Swiss Alpine city, is the one for the farewell to the "Public Eye", after three decades of existence. The citizen gaze, critical of the world economic and political power, considers that this Forum no longer represents the most appropriate place, nor does the award represent the most effective method of reporting.
Starting next May, the organizations that promoted the "Public Eye" so far, will launch with another 50 development, ecological, environmental, human rights and union associations, to a political campaign in favor of the Popular Initiative "By multinationals responsible".
It will try with the popular support of tens of thousands of signatures, the approval of a law that obliges Swiss multinationals to respect abroad - especially in the South and in the East - the human rights and environmental standards that they must comply with. in Switzerland itself.
The organization Amazon Watch nominated the Chevron company, based in San Antonio, United States of America, for the continuous and systematic violations of human and environmental rights in the northern Amazon of Ecuador.
According to the NGO, from the beginning of its exploration activities in the area (1964), to date, Chevron has the record of more than 50 years of an immoral and unethical practice that has directly affected the populations settled in the provinces of Orellana and Sucumbíos, in the Ecuadorian jungle. Amazon Watch recalls that Chevron Corp., was already sentenced by the Ecuadorian courts to pay 9,500 million dollars due to the environmental damage caused by its bad operation, with dire impacts on the health and well-being of the people who live in the affected areas , in addition to the direct implications for global warming and the destruction of the Amazon.
“Despite this, he has used all the economic and political power to flee from world justice and set in motion the entire system of impunity in the face of abuse by transnational corporations, which has led Ecuadorian indigenous and peasant fighters to resort to the Courts of Argentina, Canada, Brazil, and even the International Criminal Court in The Hague ”, recalls the accusing organization. Davos: between power and citizen denunciation Many countries allocate less public resources to educate children from the poorest segments of the population than to minors belonging to the highest classes, reveals a study by the United Nations Fund for Childhood.
In some cases, the allocation of educational funds to the richest 20% is up to 18 times higher than those allocated to the poorest 20%, details the recently prepared study that was presented in the framework of the World Economic Forum in Davos takes place in Switzerland between January 21 and 24. This Forum brings together every year the great bosses of the world economy as well as representatives of governments and international financial institutions. The UNICEF report calls for more equitable spending on education, calling on governments to prioritize the needs of the most marginalized children. UNICEF Deputy Executive Director Yoka Brandt noted that there are currently 1 billion children of primary or secondary age in the world and that many of them do not receive a quality education due to poverty, conflict and discrimination based on gender, disability or ethnicity. "To change this situation we need to thoroughly review our practices, granting more resources and distributing them equally," he said. UNICEF indicates that there would be a lack of 26,000 million dollars for the provision of universal basic education in 46 low-income countries and warned that since 2009 official assistance to education has decreased by 10%. In this regard, he urged governments, donors and the private sector to increase spending on education and to ensure that funds are used wisely and equitably.
The brutal concentration of wealth The critical UNICEF document joins other voices denouncing the poor distribution of natural resources and wealth in the world. Just hours before the start of the 45th edition of the World Economic Forum, OXFAM International had presented the intention of the personalities present in Davos, a study that indicates that in 2016, 1% of the world population will accumulate more wealth than the other 99% . The Report “Insatiable wealth: always more for those who already have everything” shows that the world heritage owned by the richest 1% of the planet went from 44% in 2009 to 48% in 2014 and will exceed 50% in 2016. In the In 2014 each adult member of this international elite owned an average of $ 2.7 million. This small group will have more than half of the planet's money as of 2016, in a worrying international framework in which one in nine people today lacks sufficient food and more than 1 billion people live with less than 1.25 dollars a day.
Last year, an OXFAM report had created a stupor in Davos. It revealed that the 85 richest people had similar wealth to the poorest half of the world's population. In 2015, there are 80 billionaires who have the same wealth as 3.5 billion people. It is significant to remember that in 2010 there were 388 billionaires. In nominal terms, the wealth of the 80 richest people in the world doubled between 2009 and 2014, OXFAM stresses. The international NGO calls on states to adopt a 7-point plan to combat growing inequalities. Among the proposals: end the tax evasion of large companies and fortunes; invest in favor of free and universal public services such as health and education; distribute the tax burden fairly; establish a minimum wage and work towards a decent wage; establish legislation in favor of equal pay; promote a social protection policy that favors the poorest and internationalize and generalize the fight against inequality.