EU-NATO joint declaration

JOINT DECLARATION BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE EUROPEAN COUNCIL, THE PRESIDENT OF THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION, AND THE SECRETARY GENERAL OF THE NORTH ATLANTIC TREATY ORGANIZATION

We believe that the time has come to give new impetus and new substance to the NATO-EU strategic partnership.

In consultation with the EU Member States and the NATO Allies, working with, and for the benefit of all, this partnership will take place in the spirit of full mutual openness and in compliance with the decision-making autonomy and procedures of our respective organisations and without prejudice to the specific character of the security and defence policy of any of our members.

Today, the Euro-Atlantic community is facing unprecedented challenges emanating from the South and East. Our citizens demand that we use all ways and means available to address these challenges so as to enhance their security.

All Allies and Member States, as well as the EU and NATO per se, are already making significant contributions to Euro-Atlantic security. The substantial cooperation between NATO and the EU, unique and essential partners, established more than 15 years ago, also contributes to this end. In light of the common challenges we are now confronting, we have to step-up our efforts: we need new ways of working together and a new level of ambition; because our security is interconnected; because together we can mobilize a broad range of tools to respond to the challenges we face; and because we have to make the most efficient use of resources. A stronger NATO and a stronger EU are mutually reinforcing. Together they can better provide security in Europe and beyond.

We are convinced that enhancing our neighbours' and partners' stability in accordance with our values, as enshrined in the UN Charter, contributes to our security and to sustainable peace and prosperity. So that our neighbours and partners are better able to address the numerous challenges they currently face, we will continue to support their sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence, as well as their reform efforts.

In fulfilling the objectives above, we believe there is an urgent need to:

• Boost our ability to counter hybrid threats, including by bolstering resilience, working together on analysis, prevention, and early detection, through timely information sharing and, to the extent possible, intelligence sharing between staffs; and cooperating on strategic communication and response. The development of coordinated procedures through our respective playbooks will substantially contribute to implementing our efforts.

• Broaden and adapt our operational cooperation including at sea, and on migration, through increased sharing of maritime situational awareness as well as better coordination and mutual reinforcement of our activities in the Mediterranean and elsewhere.

• Expand our coordination on cyber security and defence including in the context of our missions and operations, exercises and on education and training.

• Develop coherent, complementary and interoperable defence capabilities of EU Member States and NATO Allies, as well as multilateral projects.

• Facilitate a stronger defence industry and greater defence research and industrial cooperation within Europe and across the Atlantic.

• Step up our coordination on exercises, including on hybrid, by developing as the first step parallel and coordinated exercises for 2017 and 2018.

• Build the defence and security capacity and foster the resilience of our partners in the East and South in a complementary way through specific projects in a variety of areas for individual recipient countries, including by strengthening maritime capacity.

Cooperation in these areas is a strategic priority. Speedy implementation is essential. The European External Action Service and the NATO International Staff, together with Commission services as appropriate, will develop concrete options for implementation, including appropriate staff coordination mechanisms, to be presented to us and our respective Councils by December 2016. On the EU side, the High Representative/Vice President of the Commission will steer and coordinate this endeavour.

We will review progress on a regular basis.

We call on both organisations to invest the necessary political capital and resources to make this reinforced partnership a success.

Signed at Warsaw on 8 July 2016 in triplicate.

Donald Tusk President of the European Council
Jean-Claude Juncker President of the European Commission
Jens Stoltenberg Secretary General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization

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CETA: the EU-Canada free trade agreement (Commons Briefing papers CBP-7492)

CETA: the EU-Canada free trade agreement

Published Wednesday, November 9, 2016

This note provides details about CETA, the Comprehensive Trade and Economic Partnership. This is a free trade agreement between the EU and Canada.

The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) is a free trade agreement between the EU and Canada. CETA is probably less well known than TTIP – the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership – a controversial trade deal currently being negotiated between the EU and the US. CETA is, however, potentially closer to implementation. The CETA talks were completed in 2014 and the agreement was signed on 30 October 2016. Signing of the agreement was delayed by a few days due to objections from the Walloon Parliament. Signature of the agreement does not mean it comes into force immediately. The next step is consideration of the agreement by the European Parliament. Provided the European Parliament gives its consent, much (but not all) of CETA may come into force provisionally. CETA could come into force provisionally in Spring 2017.

CETA removes all tariffs on industrial products traded between the EU and Canada. Most will be removed when the agreement comes into force. All will be removed within seven years. There is substantial liberalisation of trade in agricultural products. EU businesses will be allowed to bid for public procurement contracts in Canada.

The European Commission has put CETA forward as a “mixed agreement” while maintaining its strict legal view that CETA is an “EU-only” agreement. As a mixed agreement, CETA must be ratified by each EU Member State and must receive the European Parliament’s consent. In the UK, the agreement must be laid before Parliament for a period of 21 sitting days. The agreement can only be ratified if the 21 day period has passed without either House having resolved that it should not be ratified. In the event of such a resolution by the Commons, a further period of 21 days is triggered during which the Commons can again raise objections. The European Scrutiny Committee has recommended that there be a debate on CETA on the Floor of the House of Commons.

The agreement may be provisionally implemented after consent from the European Parliament but before ratification by Member States. The Commission favours this approach. Only those areas of the agreement falling within EU competence may be provisionally applied. Critics argue that this could cover most of CETA. The Commission has said that the controversial Investment Court System provisions will not be provisionally applied. They will not, therefore, come into force unless the CETA is ratified by Member States.

Those in favour of CETA argue that it will boost trade between the EU and Canada. CETA has been described by the European Commission as “a milestone in European trade policy” and “the most ambitious trade agreement that the EU has ever concluded.” The European Commission argues that criticisms of the investment provisions are unfounded, claiming that CETA protects governments’ right to regulate and that the proposed Investment Court System is a fairer and more transparent replacement for the widely criticised Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) provisions.

Critics argue that the agreement is unduly favourable to business and may lead to a lowering of regulatory standards. Opponents of CETA remain unconvinced by the reforms to the investment provisions, arguing that these give foreign investors special privileges and may deter governments from legislating in the public interest for fear of litigation. CETA is also seen by some as a way of bringing in elements of TTIP through the back door. There have also been criticisms of the process of ratifying trade deals – in particular that CETA may be subject to “provisional application” – ie before parliaments in EU Member States have had a chance to ratify it.

While the UK remains in the EU, it will be subject to CETA’s provisions once it comes into force. The precise date of Brexit is not yet known but given the time needed to ratify CETA in all EU Member States (assuming it is ratified), there is a possibility that the UK will have left the EU by the time CETA comes fully into force. While the situation is not entirely clear, the general view is that the UK would need to renegotiate its trade agreements with non-EU countries after Brexit. It has been suggested that if Brexit occurred after full ratification of CETA, the UK could be bound by its investment provisions for 20 years.

 

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CETA: the EU-Canada free trade agreement (House of Commons Library, BRIEFING PAPER Number 7492, 9 November 2016)

House of Commons Library

BRIEFING PAPER Number 7492, 9 November 2016

CETA: the EU-Canada free trade agreement

By Dominic Webb

Contents

Summary    
1.    Background    
2.    Details of the agreement
3.    Controversial aspects
3.1    Investor protection
3.2    Trade in services
4.    Ratification of CETA in European and UK Parliament
4.1    CETA as a “mixed” agreement
4.2    Ratification in the EU    
4.3    Provisional application
4.4    Ratification by UK Parliament
5.    Impact of Brexit
6.    Links to further information

Summary

The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) is a free trade agreement between the EU and Canada. CETA is probably less well known than TTIP – the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership – a controversial trade deal currently being negotiated between the EU and the US. CETA is, however, potentially closer to implementation. The CETA talks were completed in 2014 and the agreement was signed on 30 October 2016. Signing of the agreement was delayed by a few days due to objections from the Walloon Parliament. Signature of the agreement does not mean it comes into force immediately. The next step is consideration of the agreement by the European Parliament. Provided the European Parliament gives its consent, much (but not all) of CETA may come into force provisionally.  CETA could come into force provisionally in Spring 2017.

CETA removes all tariffs on industrial products traded between the EU and Canada. Most will be removed when the agreement comes into force. All will be removed within seven years. There is substantial liberalisation of trade in agricultural products. EU businesses will be allowed to bid for public procurement contracts in Canada.

The European Commission has put CETA forward as a “mixed agreement” while maintaining its strict legal view that CETA is an “EU-only” agreement. As a mixed agreement, CETA must be ratified by each EU Member State and must receive the European Parliament’s consent. In the UK, the agreement must be laid before Parliament for a period of 21 sitting days. The agreement can only be ratified if the 21 day period has passed without either House having resolved that it should not be ratified. In the event of such a resolution by the Commons, a further period of 21 days is triggered during which the Commons can again raise objections. The European Scrutiny Committee has recommended that there be a debate on CETA on the Floor of the House of Commons.

The agreement may be provisionally implemented after consent from the European Parliament but before ratification by Member States. The Commission favours this approach. Only those areas of the agreement falling within EU competence may be provisionally applied. Critics argue that this could cover most of CETA. The Commission has said that the controversial Investment Court System provisions will not be provisionally applied. They will not, therefore, come into force unless the CETA is ratified by Member States.

Those in favour of CETA argue that it will boost trade between the EU and Canada. CETA has been described by the European Commission as “a milestone in European trade policy” and “the most ambitious trade agreement that the EU has ever concluded.” The European Commission argues that criticisms of the investment provisions are unfounded, claiming that CETA protects governments’ right to regulate and that the proposed Investment Court System is a fairer and more transparent replacement for the widely criticised Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) provisions.

Critics argue that the agreement is unduly favourable to business and may lead to a lowering of regulatory standards. Opponents of CETA remain unconvinced by the reforms to the investment provisions, arguing that these give foreign investors special privileges and may deter governments from legislating in the public interest for fear of litigation.

CETA is also seen by some as a way of bringing in elements of TTIP through the back door. There have also been criticisms of the process of ratifying trade deals – in particular that CETA may be subject to “provisional application” – ie before parliaments in EU Member States have had a chance to ratify it.

While the UK remains in the EU, it will be subject to CETA’s provisions once it comes into force. The precise date of Brexit is not yet known but given the time needed to ratify   CETA in all EU Member States (assuming it is ratified), there is a possibility that the UK will have left the EU by the time CETA comes fully into force. While the situation is not entirely clear, the general view is that the UK would need to renegotiate its trade agreements with non-EU countries after Brexit. It has been suggested that if Brexit occurred after full ratification of CETA, the UK could be bound by its investment provisions for 20 years.

 

1.                 Background

The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) is a trade deal between the EU and Canada. The European Commission has described CETA as “a milestone in European trade policy” and “the most ambitious trade agreement that the EU has ever concluded.”1

UK exports to Canada were worth £7.3 billion in 2015 while imports amounted to £7.4 billion. Canada accounted for 1.4% of UK exports of goods and services and also 1.4% of imports. Services accounted for around 45% of UK exports to Canada while UK imports were predominantly goods. The UK had an overall trade deficit with Canada of £0.1 billion in 2015. A surplus of £1.9 billion on trade in services was offset by a deficit of £2.0 billion on trade in goods.

Negotiations for this treaty began in May 2009 and were completed in August 2014. In July 2016, the European Commission proposed that the agreement be concluded and signed.2  CETA was signed on 30    October 2016. Its signature was delayed by a few days by objections from the Walloon Parliament. The EU and Canada have also signed a “Joint Interpretative Instrument” on CETA. This document, which will have legal force, clarifies what has been agreed by Canada and the EU in a number of controversial areas such as the Investment Court System, governments’ right to regulate, and labour and environmental standards.3 Signature of the agreement does not mean that CETA comes into force immediately.4

It has been reported that the European Commission and Canada want the agreement to come into force in 2017 (see section 4 on ratification process and “provisional application”).5

The agreement will remove the vast majority of customs duties as well as removing other barriers to trade. It aims to boost trade, strengthen economic relations and create jobs. The UK Government considers that as a result of CETA, UK exports to Canada will increase by 29% and Canadian exports to the UK will increase by 15%, and in the long run, the benefit to the UK economy will be of the order of £1.3 billion per annum. 6 The European Commission claim that it will lead to a yearly

€12 billion increase in EU GDP. 7 These estimates have been disputed. 8

 

 

In a speech at the European Parliament in December 2015, Cecilia Malmström, the EU Trade Commissioner, set out some of the advantages of CETA as follows:

  • CETA is an agreement with a major economic In economic terms Canada is as big as Russia. It's bigger than Spain. It's bigger than Sweden, Belgium, Austria and the Czech Republic combined. It's therefore a vital part of the platform of agreements we are building to make sure the EU is properly connected to the global economy.
  • It's also a highly ambitious In many areas it does more to remove barriers to economic opportunity for European workers, consumers and entrepreneurs than any other EU free trade agreement so far. Not only on tariff removal but also on public procurement, services or geographical indications.
  • And CETA is a significant step forward in our efforts to shape the future of the global economy, inspired by European values. It's therefore consistent with the approach we have adopted in our new strategy in

[…]

  • Overall we estimate tariff savings for EU exporters of around 470 million euro a year for industrial And that's particularly important since our competitors in the US don't have to pay those duties, as they already have an agreement with Canada. So CETA is about levelling the playing field for the EU. 9

CETA has generally received much less interest than the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) – a free trade agreement currently being negotiated between the EU and US. 10 However, critics  of these trade agreements have pointed to parallels between them and argue that CETA could set a dangerous precedent for TTIP.11 The Financial Times reported in May 2016 that public support for CETA (and TTIP) was “flagging” both in the EU and the US and that opponents of CETA in Germany were planning legal action against the agreement.12

 

 

2.                 Details of the agreement

CETA removes customs duties on trade in industrial products between the EU and Canada. Most will be removed as soon as the agreement comes into force. Others will be removed gradually (within 3, 5 or 7 years). There is substantial elimination of customs duties on agricultural products. There are some exceptions: trade in poultry and eggs is not being liberalised on either side and restrictions remain on trade in some other agricultural products.13

EU companies will be permitted to bid for public procurement contracts in Canada, including those let by provincial governments. According to the European Commission “European businesses will be the first foreign companies to get that level of access to Canadian public procurement markets.”14

CETA provides for a Regulatory Co-operation Forum which will allow the exchange of relevant information between EU and Canadian regulators and help identify areas where they could co-operate.

CETA contains provisions relating to investment. These are one of the most controversial aspects of the agreement (see section 3.1 below). According to the European  Commission website:

CETA removes and alleviates barriers for investors to enter the Canadian market. Moreover, the agreement ensures that all European investors in Canada are treated equally and fairly. To improve the investment climate and offer more certainty to all investors, the EU and Canada have committed to key principles, such as non-discrimination between domestic and foreign investors. Canada and EU also commit that they will not impose any new restrictions on foreign shareholding. 15

Another area covered by the agreement is trade in services. The European Commission estimates that approximately 50% of the gains on the EU side from CETA come from the removal of barriers to trade in services. According to the Commission, the agreement improves access to a number of service sector markets in Canada including financial services, telecoms, energy and maritime transport. The agreement also covers future work between Canada and the EU on mutual recognition of qualifications in regulated professions. The liberalisation of services is another of the most controversial areas of the agreement and is discussed more in section 3.2 below.

According to the Commission, CETA will protect “geographical indications” ie European foods which are associated with a specific area or region. The Commission website says:

CETA recognises the special status and offers protection on the Canadian market to numerous European agricultural products from a specific geographical origin. The use of geographical

 

 

indications (GIs) such as Grana Padano, Roquefort, Elia Kalamatas Olives or Aceto balsamico di Modena will be reserved in Canada to products imported from European regions where they traditionally come from. 16

Annex 20-A of CETA contains a list of these products. There are no UK products on the list.17

Full details of the measures contained in CETA can be found on the European Commission’s website.

 

3.                 Controversial aspects

3.1               Investor protection

CETA contains controversial measures relating to investment. These were originally known as ISDS (Investor State Dispute Settlement) provisions. In response to concerns about ISDS, the European Commission and the Canadian Government announced, in February 2016, that they had agreed a new approach to investment protection and dispute settlement in CETA. This new approach, known as ICS (Investment Court System) is based on the EU’s proposals in this area, made in the TTIP negotiations in November 2015.

The Commission has stressed its view that these arrangements guarantee governments’ right to regulate in the public interest. The Commission has said that the new system ensures “a high level of protection for investors while fully preserving the right of governments to regulate and pursue legitimate public policy objectives such as the protection of health, safety or the environment.”18 The reforms also introduce an independent investment court system and include measures to introduce more transparency into dispute proceedings, and prevent conflicts of interest on the part of Tribunal members.

In a joint statement, Cecilia Malmström and Chrystia Freeland (Canadian Minister of International Trade) said:

As part of the legal review, modifications were made to the Investment Chapter, further to discussions between EU and Canadian officials. With these modifications, Canada and the EU will strengthen the provisions on governments’ right to regulate; move to a permanent, transparent, and institutionalised dispute settlement tribunal; revise the process for the selection of tribunal members, who will adjudicate investor claims; set out more detailed commitments on ethics for all tribunal members; and agree to an appeal system.

We have responded to Canadians, EU citizens, and businesses with a fairer, more transparent, system.

These modifications reflect our desire to reform investment protection and dispute resolution provisions and to continue working together to improve the process, including working with other trading partners to pursue the establishment of a multilateral investment tribunal, a project to which the EU and Canada are firmly committed. 19

Critics of the investment provisions say that they are still unduly favourable to multinational companies and argue that the change from ISDS to ICS does little to address the problem of foreign companies having recourse to special tribunals, outside the domestic legal system. For example, Natacha Cingotti, trade campaigner for Friends of the Earth Europe, said:

Today’s proposals for CETA offer no significant improvement to the dangerous agreement and should fool no-one. The Investment Court System is nothing but private arbitration under another name, keeping VIP rights for foreign investors fully alive and allowing them to sideline the legal system in Europe."

We urge governments to listen to the millions of people across Europe who are calling for a full rejection of TTIP and CETA. In its current form, CETA should not be signed. 20

The main concern raised is that the investment provisions would allow foreign companies to sue governments in special tribunals outside the domestic legal system, if they have been adversely affected by changes in public policy. Critics argue that this constrains government action in the public interest in areas such as public health or environmental  policy. There are also concerns that as only investors can bring claims, the system is biased in their favour: it is argued that those involved have an incentive to find in favour of the investor as this generates more work for the judges and lawyers involved.

Similar provisions in TTIP are highly controversial and opponents of these trade deals see CETA as setting a dangerous precedent for TTIP. They also argue that CETA is a “Trojan horse” whereby US companies could make claims against EU policies using Canadian subsidiaries.21

A paper by Corporate Europe Observatory (and others) summed up the objections to ICS as follows:

it would empower thousands of companies to circumvent national legal systems and sue governments in parallel tribunals if laws and regulations undercut their ability to make money. It would pave the way for billions in taxpayer money being paid out to big business. It could curtail desirable policymaking to protect people and the planet. And it threatens to lock EU member states forever into the injustices of the ISDS regime.22

Over 100 legal academics published a statement setting out their objections to the investment provisions of CETA and TTIP.23

Concerns have been raised that the UK could be tied into CETA’s investment provisions for up to 20 years:

Campaign group Global Justice Now have also released an expert opinion on CETA and Brexit which argues that if the UK doesn’t formally leave the EU before CETA is ratified, then it would be tied into the trade deal for a period of twenty years after announcing any intention to leave the deal.24

Article 30.9 paragraph 2 allows for the investment provisions to be effective for 20 years after the termination of the agreement:

Notwithstanding paragraph 1, in the event that this Agreement is terminated, the provisions of Chapter Eight (Investment) shall continue to be effective for a period of 20 years after the date of termination of this Agreement in respect of investments made before that date. This paragraph shall not apply in the case of provisional application of this Agreement.25

 

3.2               Trade in services

CETA is the first trade agreement where the EU has agreed to open up its services markets using the “negative list” approach. This means that all service markets are liberalised except those explicitly excluded. Some service sectors were excluded from the outset by the EU in the negotiating mandate given to the Commission.26 These included

“audio-visual and other cultural services” as well as “services supplied in the exercise of governmental authority”.27 According to a note prepared for the European Parliament, public services excluded from CETA  include health, education and other social services.28

A briefing by the trade union Unison explains its concerns in this area as follows:

Whilst the EU has opened up services in other trade agreements in the past, it always explicitly excluded public services from the beginning by using what is known as the ‘positive list’. However, negotiators have decided to use the so-called ‘negative list’ approach for TTIP, CETA and TiSA. This means that all services are open to market liberalisation unless a specific reservation is entered which has to be done on a service-by-service basis, and in some cases, on a country-by-country basis. Experience from other trade agreements shows that the negative list approach leads to the creeping liberalisation of public services as negotiators have failed to include sufficiently watertight exclusions.

Using a negative list also means a ‘ratchet-clause’ can be included in relation to market liberalisation. This means that even if a reservation is included in a treaty for a particular service, if a country then decides to liberalise the market for this service they are then obliged to maintain that level of market liberalisation and cannot reverse it. A ‘ratchet-clause’ locks in liberalisation and privatisation and would prevent bringing services back in-house.

The EU-Canada agreement (CETA) is now public and we know the European Union has negotiated exclusions for public services, including health, education and social services, from market liberalisation. However, CETA does include a ratchet clause and importantly there is no exclusion for public services from the controversial investment chapter. 29

There are criticisms of CETA in other areas. For example, Nick Dearden of Global Justice Now, argued in an article in the Guardian that trade deals such as CETA and TTIP were a means for big business to increase their power over society. He said:

The whole purpose of Ceta is to reduce regulation on business, the idea being that it will make it easier to export. But it will do far more than that. Through the pleasant-sounding “regulatory cooperation”, standards would be reduced across the board on the basis that they are “obstacles to trade”. That could include food safety, workers’ rights and environmental regulation.30

 

4.   Ratification of CETA in European and UK Parliament

4.1   CETA as a “mixed” agreement

The ratification process depends on whether the agreement is a  “mixed” agreement. This type of agreement includes areas where Member States as well as the EU exercise competence. If this is the case, it must be ratified by all Member States as well as the European Union (i.e. the Council, acting by qualified majority and in some cases by unanimity – see Article 218 Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union), with the consent of the European Parliament in most cases. By contrast, an “EU only” agreement only requires ratification by the European Union (the Council).

The Commission said in July 2016 that CETA was being put forward as a mixed agreement. Press reports indicated, however, that the Commission had been hoping to classify the agreement as EU-only but backed down in the face of opposition from some Member States.31  The trade commissioner, Cecilia Malmström, said that from a strict legal point of view, the Commission thought that CETA was an EU-only deal but acknowledged political problems with this and said that CETA was being put forward as a mixed agreement to allow for speedy signature:

From a strict legal standpoint, the Commission considers this agreement to fall under exclusive EU competence. However, the political situation in the Council is clear, and we understand the need for proposing it as a 'mixed' agreement, in order to allow for a speedy signature32

It is worth noting that the European Commission has asked the European Court of Justice for a ruling on whether the EU-Singapore free trade agreement is a mixed agreement or an EU only agreement. In its proposal for a Council decision on the signature of CETA, the Commission notes that CETA and the Singapore agreement have “essentially the same contents” and states the Commission’s view that the Singapore agreement is EU only. It notes that many Member States disagree with this view. The Commission says that once the Court issues its opinion, “it will be necessary to draw the appropriate conclusions.”33

The need for ratification of CETA by national parliaments is likely to  slow down ratification of the agreement and it has been suggested that it could “even scupper the agreement.”34

 

 

4.2      Ratification in the EU

On 5 July 2016, the Commission proposed to the Council that CETA be signed and concluded (ie ratified).35 The Commission also proposed provisional application of the agreement (see section 4.3 below). CETA was signed on 30 October 2016. After signature, the agreement goes to the European Parliament for approval. The European Parliament’s consent will be needed before CETA can come into force (but see comments on provisional application below).36

 

4.3      Provisional application

As a mixed agreement, CETA will need to be approved by EU Member States in accordance with their own national procedures before it can fully come into effect. It has been suggested that this could mean approval by as many as 38 parliamentary chambers, including regional ones.37

However, trade agreements may be applied provisionally before the ratification process in the members states is complete, provided the European Parliament gives its consent and with the agreement of the Council.38 Assuming these conditions are met, the vast majority of CETA’s provisions will be provisionally applied (98% according to an article in the Financial Times).39 Provisional application is expected to take place in spring 2017.40 The controversial Investment Court System will not be included in provisional application.41 The UK Government supports provisional application.42

The Stop-TTIP campaign has said that most of the agreement could be provisionally  implemented:

the most likely scenario is the one that will see CETA proceeding for ratification in the EU Parliament late this year and then, with the Council’s blessing, more than 90% of CETA will enter into force. The remaining bits of it will require ratification by national parliaments. In other words, this procedure bypasses national parliaments and de facto undermines the Commission’s proposal on shared competences.43

An Early Day Motion opposing provisional application of CETA had been signed by 80 MPs as of October 2016.44  Groups campaigning against CETA are also opposed to its provisional application on the grounds that it is undemocratic.45

 

4.4               Ratification by UK Parliament

Parliament cannot amend the CETA agreement: it can only accept it or object to it. The procedure by which Parliament ratifies treaties is set out in the Constitutional Reform and Governance Act 2010 (sections 20 to 25).46

Mixed agreements requiring ratification must be laid before Parliament along with an Explanatory Memorandum. Both the agreement and the memorandum are laid before Parliament for 21 sitting days (defined as days when both the Commons and Lords are sitting). The agreement can be ratified if the 21 day period has passed without either House having resolved that the agreement should not be ratified.

If either House passes a resolution objecting to ratification, the Government must then give reasons why it still wants to ratify the agreement. If the Commons objects to ratification, it has another 21 days to consider the Government’s reasons for ratification and can object again. The agreement may only be ratified if this further period of 21 days has passed without the Commons having resolved that the treaty not be ratified.

This process can continue indefinitely giving the House of Commons the power to block ratification. The House of Lords has only one opportunity to object so can only delay ratification briefly. This process was set out in the following PQ answer:

Caroline Lucas:

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what plans the Government has for parliamentary scrutiny of the EU-Canada trade agreement; and whether the Government will bring that agreement to the House for a vote.

Anna Soubry:

We expect that the EU–Canada Comprehensive and Economic Trade Agreement (CETA) will be a “mixed” agreement, covering areas of both EU and Member State competence. In that case, it will be subject to agreement by each EU Member State, the EU Council and the European Parliament. As part of this process the agreement will be subject to Parliamentary scrutiny before it is ratified by the UK. The complete draft text of the agreement would be laid before Parliament for at least 21 sitting days during which time MPs and Lords may debate the treaty in either or both Houses and vote against the proposed ratification. For the parts of the agreement within UK competence, the proposals for a Council decision on signature and, subsequently, conclusion will be subject to scrutiny in both Houses of the UK Parliament. In  practice EU trade agreements which contain a mixture of EU and Member State competence are agreed by consensus, this means the UK must agree before the treaty can fully come into force.47

 

 

Consideration by European Scrutiny Committee

In addition to the process for ratification of the agreement, the Government has also committed to a debate on CETA on the Floor of the House before provisional application of the agreement.

In September 2016, the House of Commons European Scrutiny Committee recommended that there be an early debate on CETA on the Floor of the House for the following three reasons:

  • It raises complex legal and policy issues for the  UK,  both while it is a Member of the EU and after its withdrawal from the EU, which the Government has as yet failed to adequately address (including on issues of competence, provisional application and the implications of Brexit);
  • The trade deal continues to generate significant public interest (for example, various stakeholders across the EU have raised strong opposition to its investment provisions); there is a general need for more transparency in trade negotiations and their conclusion to ensure their democratic legitimacy; and
  • Although there is parliamentary control over ratification of treaties, such a debate would provide the only opportunity for the House of Commons as a whole to scrutinise and have a say on the Government’s position on CETA before it is signed and then 48

 

In October, the Committee granted a conditional scrutiny waiver for signature of the agreement, recognising the time constraints involved in arranging a debate before CETA was signed. This was granted on condition that the debate on the Floor of the House be scheduled urgently to allow consideration of CETA before its provisional application in 2017.49

The Committee held an oral evidence session on CETA on 26 October 2016 at which the Chair, Sir William Cash, said that the Government’s decision to agree to CETA’s provisional application and to its conclusion

 

“constitutes an override of our scrutiny reserve resolution”.50 Appearing before the Committee, Dr Liam Fox, Secretary of State for International Trade, said:

I am sorry that the timescales meant that it was not possible to have a debate before decisions needed to be made on CETA in the Council. This was down to the parliamentary calendar and the timescale set for us. However, I therefore reinforce my commitment to the Committee today to hold such a debate. I am very happy to have that debate on the Floor of the House. Our officials are already working with business managers to identify a date, most likely, we understand, in November, but the  Committee will understand that that is for the business managers.51

 

 

 

5.        Impact of Brexit

The precise date of Brexit is not yet known and neither is the timing of CETA coming into force, or even whether it will be approved. If CETA is provisionally implemented while the UK is still in the EU, then the UK will be subject to all rights and obligations arising from the agreement while it remains a Member State, as explained in the PQ below.

Ms Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh: [41487]

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what assessment he has made of the implications of the EU referendum result for his plans to implement the EU Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement.

Anna Soubry:

[Holding answer 4 July 2016]: While the UK is still a member of the EU, all rights and obligations will apply. We continue to support the EU’s trade agenda and the UK will participate constructively in EU decision making on trade issues including proceeding with implementation of the agreed EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA).52

It is much less certain whether the UK will still be in the EU by the time CETA has been ratified by all Member States, as this may take a number of years. While the position is not entirely clear, it is doubtful whether CETA would continue to apply to the UK once it had left the EU. The European Scrutiny Committee report said:

The Government’s analysis is that on leaving the EU, the UK will lose access to the trade preferences set out in CETA “unless arrangements to do are put in place as part of [its] negotiations with the EU”. The Minister states that his Department is “examining options for the UK to enjoy continued access to its current trade preferences to provide continuity for UK businesses” and will update the Committee in due course as it develops its analysis.53

The Treasury Committee considered whether the UK would still be covered by EU trade agreements with other countries after Brexit. It said:

Were the UK to leave the EU, it is very uncertain whether it would be able to continue to participate in these agreements. The extent to which the UK would have to enter into negotiations to ensure its continued participation would probably depend on the attitude of the contracting parties, about which little is known.54

As noted in section 3.1 above, concerns have been raised that the UK could be tied into CETA’s investment provisions for up to 20 years if Brexit has not happened by the time CETA is fully ratified.55

 

6.                 Links to further information

Text of CETA: http://www.international.gc.ca/trade-commerce/trade-  agreements-accords-commerciaux/agr-acc/ceta-aecg/text-texte/toc-  tdm.aspx?lang=eng

European Commission

Commission CETA website

CETA – Summary of the final negotiating results, February 2016

 

House of Commons European Scrutiny Committee

Rt Hon Dr Liam Fox MP, Oral evidence on Parliamentary scrutiny of EU  Trade Deal: EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), 26 October 2016

House of Commons European Scrutiny Committee, Thirteenth Report of  Session 2016-17, 18 October 2016, HC 71-xi pp3-4 and 8-19

 

Canadian Government

Canada – European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade  Agreement (contains overview of agreement and chapter-by-chapter summaries)

 

European Parliament Research Service briefings

Is CETA a mixed agreement?, 1 July 2016

Agriculture in the EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade  Agreement (CETA), July 2016

EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, January 2016

Negotiations on the EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade  Agreement (CETA) concluded, October 2014

Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) with Canada, October 2016

A guide to EU procedures for the conclusion of international trade  agreements, October 2016

Criticisms of CETA

Global Justice Now, CETA  Stop TTIP

Corporate Europe Observatory (and others), The zombie ISDS, by Pia Eberhardt, March 2016

 

_____________________________________

1) European Commission Press Release, European Commission proposes signature and  conclusion of EU-Canada trade deal, 5 July 2016

2) European Commission Press Release, European Commission proposes signature and  conclusion of EU-Canada trade deal, 5 July 2016

3) The Joint Interpretative Instrument

4) “Signature signals the intention to conclude, it does not conclude the agreement as such”, European Parliament Research Service Briefing, A guide to EU procedures for  the conclusion of international trade agreements, October 2016, p6

5) European Parliament Research Service, Is CETA a mixed agreement? 1 July 2016

6) PQ 20279 7 January 2016. It is not clear what “the long run” refers to, but £1.3 billion is around 0.07% of 2015 GDP or around £20 per head.

7) European Commission, CETA

8) See Global Justice Now, CETA: TTIP’s little brother, September 2015

9) Cecilia Malmström CETA Europe’s Next Step, Speech at European Parliament, 9 December 2015

10) There is more information on TTIP in a Library note.

11) Pia Eberhardt, The zombie ISDS, March 2016, p17

12) “German activists plan legal action in bid to halt trade deal”, Financial Times, 30 May 2016

13) For more detail on the provisions relating to agriculture, see European Parliament Research Service, Agriculture in the EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade  Agreement (CETA), July 2016

14)  European Commission website, CETA

15)  European Commission website, CETA

16)  European Commission website, CETA

17) CETA Annex 20-A

18) European Commission, Investment provisions in the EU-Canada free trade  agreement (CETA), February 2016

19)Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), Joint statement  by Cecilia Malmström and Chrystia Freeland, 29 February 2016. The Commission has published a factsheet on ISDS and CETA.

20) Friends of the Earth Europe, Dangerous CETA deal must be rejected, 29 February 2016

21) Pia Eberhardt, The zombie ISDS, March 2016, p29

22) Pia Eberhardt, The zombie ISDS, March 2016, p5

23) Stop TTIP, Legal Statement on Investment Protection in TTIP and CETA, 17 October 2016

24) Global Justice Now, EU accused of trying to push through ‘toxic’ trade deal ahead of  Brexit, 4 July 2016

25) CETA text

26)  CETA negotiating mandate, 2009

27)   As defined by Article I-3 of GATS. For more on this, see  https://www.wto.org/english/tratop_e/serv_e/gatsqa_e.htm

28) European Parliament, Negotiations on the EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and  Trade Agreement (CETA) concluded, October 2014

29) Unison, TTIP, CETA and TISA – what you need to know about EU trade agreements, March 2015, p3

30) Nick Dearden, Think TTIP is a threat to democracy? There’s another trade deal that’s   already signed, Guardian, 30 May 2016

31)  “Juncker to give way on EU-Canada trade plan”, Financial Times, 4 July 2016

32) European Commission Press Release, European Commission proposes signature and  conclusion of EU-Canada trade deal, 5 July 2016

33)  European Commission, COM(2106) 444 final, 5 July 2016, p2

34) Parliament plot, The Economist [Charlemagne column] 23 July 2016

35) European Commission Press Release, European Commission proposes signature and  conclusion of EU-Canada trade deal, 5 July 2016

36) See EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, Briefing by European Parliamentary Research Service, January 2016, p2 and European Commission (DG Trade), Trade negotiations step by step, September 2013, pp6-7

37) “National ratification issue could derail EU-Canada trade deal”, Financial Times, 3 July 2016

38) European Commission, CETA – a trade deal that sets a new standard for global  trade – fact sheet, 29 October 2016

39) EU and Canada sign deal amid fears about future of trade policy, Financial Times, 30 October 2016

40) House of Commons European Scrutiny Committee, Thirteenth Report of Session  2016-17, 18 October 2016, HC 71-xi para 1.2

41) European Commission press release, EU-Canada summit: newly signed trade  agreement sets high standard for global trade, 30 October 2016

42) European Scrutiny Committee, Oral evidence on Parliamentary scrutiny of EU Trade  Deal: EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), 26 October 2016, HC792,  Q1

43)  Stop-TTIP, The Commission of Illusionists, blog post, 29 July 2016. The UK Government’s Explanatory Memorandum on the EU-Republic of Korea Trade Agreement said that the EU and Korea would provisionally apply all the commitments over which they hold competence “which is the vast majority”.

44) EDM 165

45 See, for example, Stop-TTIP, The Commission of Illusionists, blog post, 29 July 2016 and Global Justice Now, EU ambassador to Canada says EU-Canada free trade deal  may become UK law without UK parliamentary debate, 23 January 2016

46) This section is based on, and there is more information in, Commons Library Briefing  Paper 7192, EU External Agreements: EU and UK procedures, 28 March 2016

47) PQ 37197 26 May 2016

48) House of Commons European Scrutiny Committee, Tenth Report of Session 2016-  17, HC 71-viii, 13 September 2016, p3

49) House of Commons European Scrutiny Committee, Thirteenth Report of Session  2016-17, 18 October 2016, HC 71-xi p4

50) European Scrutiny Committee, Oral evidence on Parliamentary scrutiny of EU Trade  Deal: EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), 26 October 2016, HC792,  Q1

51) European Scrutiny Committee, Oral evidence on Parliamentary scrutiny of EU Trade  Deal: EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), 26 October 2016, HC792,  Q1

52) PQ 41487 6 July 2016

53) House of Commons European Scrutiny Committee, Thirteenth Report of Session  2016-17, 18 October 2016, HC 71-xi para 1.11

54) Treasury Committee, The economic and financial costs and benefits of the UK’s EU  membership, HC 122, 27 May 2016, para 226

55) Global Justice Now, EU accused of trying to push through ‘toxic’ trade deal ahead of  Brexit, 4 July 2016

 

 

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EU-NATO joint declaration

JOINT DECLARATION BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE EUROPEAN COUNCIL, THE PRESIDENT OF THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION, AND THE SECRETARY GENERAL OF THE NORTH ATLANTIC TREATY ORGANIZATION

We believe that the time has come to give new impetus and new substance to the NATO-EU strategic partnership.
In consultation with the EU Member States and the NATO Allies, working with, and for the benefit of all, this partnership will take place in the spirit of full mutual openness and in compliance with the decision-making autonomy and procedures of our respective organisations and without prejudice to the specific character of the security and defence policy of any of our members.
Today, the Euro-Atlantic community is facing unprecedented challenges emanating from the South and East. Our citizens demand that we use all ways and means available to address these challenges so as to enhance their security.
All Allies and Member States, as well as the EU and NATO per se, are already making significant contributions to Euro-Atlantic security. The substantial cooperation between NATO and the EU, unique and essential partners, established more than 15 years ago, also contributes to this end.
In light of the common challenges we are now confronting, we have to step-up our efforts: we need new ways of working together and a new level of ambition; because our security is interconnected; because together we can mobilize a broad range of tools to respond to the challenges we face; and because we have to make the most efficient use of resources. A stronger NATO and a stronger EU are mutually reinforcing. Together they can better provide security in Europe and beyond.
We are convinced that enhancing our neighbours' and partners' stability in accordance with our values, as enshrined in the UN Charter, contributes to our security and to sustainable peace and prosperity. So that our neighbours and partners are better able to address the numerous challenges they currently face, we will continue to support their sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence, as well as their reform efforts.
In fulfilling the objectives above, we believe there is an urgent need to:
• Boost our ability to counter hybrid threats, including by bolstering resilience, working together on analysis, prevention, and early detection, through timely information sharing and, to the extent possible, intelligence sharing between staffs; and cooperating on strategic communication and response. The development of coordinated procedures through our respective playbooks will substantially contribute to implementing our efforts.
• Broaden and adapt our operational cooperation including at sea, and on migration, through increased sharing of maritime situational awareness as well as better coordination and mutual reinforcement of our activities in the Mediterranean and elsewhere.
• Expand our coordination on cyber security and defence including in the context of our missions and operations, exercises and on education and training.
• Develop coherent, complementary and interoperable defence capabilities of EU Member States and NATO Allies, as well as multilateral projects.
• Facilitate a stronger defence industry and greater defence research and industrial cooperation within Europe and across the Atlantic.
• Step up our coordination on exercises, including on hybrid, by developing as the first step parallel and coordinated exercises for 2017 and 2018.
• Build the defence and security capacity and foster the resilience of our partners in the East and South in a complementary way through specific projects in a variety of areas for individual recipient countries, including by strengthening maritime capacity.

Cooperation in these areas is a strategic priority. Speedy implementation is essential. The European External Action Service and the NATO International Staff, together with Commission services as appropriate, will develop concrete options for implementation, including appropriate staff coordination mechanisms, to be presented to us and our respective Councils by December 2016. On the EU side, the High Representative/Vice President of the Commission will steer and coordinate this endeavour.
We will review progress on a regular basis.
We call on both organisations to invest the necessary political capital and resources to make this reinforced partnership a success.

Donald Tusk
President of the European Council

Jean-Claude Juncker
President of the European Commission

Jens Stoltenberg
Secretary General of the
North Atlantic Treaty Organization


Signed at Warsaw on 8 July 2016 in triplicate.

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English will not be an official EU language after Brexit, says senior MEP

English will not be an official EU language after Brexit, says senior MEP

No other EU country has English as their official language and so it could lose its status.

By HORTENSE GOULARD | 6/27/2016 | www.politico.eu

Danuta Hübner, the head of the European Parliament’s Constitutional Affairs Committee (AFCO), warned Monday that English will not be one of the European Union’s official languages after Britain leaves the EU.

English is one of the EU’s 24 official languages because the U.K. identified it as its own official language, Hübner said. But as soon as Britain completes the process to leave the EU, English could lose its status.

 “We have a regulation … where every EU country has the right to notify one official language,” Hübner said. “The Irish have notified Gaelic, and the Maltese have notified Maltese, so you have only the U.K. notifying English.”

“If we don’t have the U.K., we don’t have English,” Hübner said.

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Maori language 'in danger of dying out'

Maori language 'in danger of dying out'

The Maori language is in danger of dying out because of neglect by successive New Zealand governments, a new report has claimed.

By Paul Chapman in Wellington | The Telegraph | 20 Oct 2010

Justice Joe Williams, chairing an inquiry by the Waitangi Tribunal – the statutory body that investigates traditional grievances – says the language is in "crisis" and only urgent action will halt its decline.

As older speakers of Maori die out they are not being replaced by enough younger people and the language now needs "life support", the report says.
Less than a quarter of New Zealand's 530,000 Maori say they are fluent enough to hold a conversation in Te Reo Maori (the Maori language), and the number is declining every year.
At the last census in 2006 there were 8,000 fewer Maori speakers than government projections had forecast.
The study says that since 1993 the proportion of Maori children in Maori-language schools has fallen from half to a quarter.

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Ghana to eliminate English as medium of instruction in schools

Ghana is following suit with several other African nations that are doing away with the foreign languages imposed on them by imperialistic powers centuries ago and are reverting to their native tongues. Ghana recently announced its new plan to eliminate English as the primary language of instruction in its schools.
Professor Jane Naana Opoku Agyemang, the country’s minister of education, said the problem Ghana’s educated working class faces is mostly because of their inability to have the nation adapt to the language used in teaching them in schools, reports say.
Speaking at the Shared Prosperity on Forum recently, Agyemang said she was adamant about pushing through the language policy at the highest level so that students can be taught in their native tongues, which would also provide therapeutic, healing results.
She expressed confidence that replacing English as the primary language of instruction would “change this country.”
As the minister announced the news, loud cheers came from the audience, reports said. Although the change in language policy has been discussed for quite some time, it has not been aggressively pursued until now, causing many to become optimistic that their colonizers’ shackles are slowly, yet surely, being shaken off.
Agyemang relayed the example of how a country such as Korea has accelerated its development because of its children being taught in their own indigenous language.
Earlier last year, Gambia and Tanzania announced their plans to terminate their European colonizers’ foreign languages as the medium of instruction in their school systems.

 3/10/2016, Amsterdam News

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A life of dignity for all. Report of the Secretary-General

United Nations A/68/202

General Assembly Distr.: General

26 July 2013 - Original: English

Sixty-eighth session

Item 118 of the provisional agenda*

Follow-up to the outcome of the Millennium Summit

A life of dignity for all: accelerating progress towards the Millennium Development Goals and advancing the United Nations development agenda beyond 2015

Report of the Secretary-General

Summary

The present report is submitted pursuant to General Assembly resolution 65/1, in which the Assembly requested the Secretary-General to report annually on progress in the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals until 2015 and to make recommendations for further steps to advance the United Nations development agenda beyond 2015.Renewed efforts are essential for achieving the Millennium Development Goals by the end of 2015. While providing an assessment of progress to date, the report also identifies policies and programmes that have driven success in the achievement of the Goals and can contribute to accelerating it. These include emphasizing inclusive growth, decent employment and social protection; allocating more resources for essential services and ensuring access for all; strengthening political will and improving the international policy environment; and harnessing the power of multi-stakeholder partnerships.A new post-2015 era demands a new vision and a responsive framework. Sustainable development — enabled by the integration of economic growth, social justice and environmental stewardship — must become our global guiding principle and operational standard. This is a universal agenda that requires profound economic transformations and a new global partnership. It also requires that the international community, including the United Nations, embrace a more coherent and effective response to support the agenda. As we make the transition to this new era, we need to continue the work begun with the Millennium Development Goals and ensure that extreme poverty is ended within a generation. In keeping with United Nations principles, this post-2015 framework can bring together the full range of human aspirations and needs to ensure a life of dignity for all.

----------------------------------------------------

* A/68/150.

I. Introduction

1. The world’s quest for dignity, peace, prosperity, justice, sustainability and an end to poverty has reached an unprecedented moment of urgency.

2. In 2000, the States Members of the United Nations agreed on a bold vision for the future that reaffirmed the fundamental values of freedom, equality, solidarity, tolerance, respect for the planet and shared responsibility.

3. That vision, enshrined in the Millennium Declaration (General Assembly resolution 55/2) and rooted in the Charter of the United Nations, recognized the need to pool efforts as never before and to advance on three fronts simultaneously: development, peace and security, and human rights. Global challenges, local solutions; shared burden, shared gain: this remains the credo of international action for our collective well-being.

4. Among the promises made in the Millennium Declaration was a compelling pledge to spare no effort to free all women, men, girls and boys from the abject and dehumanizing conditions of poverty. The call itself was not new; the commitment to better standards of living is part of the purposes and principles of the United Nations. But what was new was the sense of possibility — the conviction that through a combination of targets, tangible investments, genuine action and political will, countries and people working together could end poverty in all its

5. The Millennium Development Goals gave expression to this resolve. Since their adoption, Governments, partners and an inspiring constellation of groups and individuals around the world have mobilized to tackle the many dimensions of poverty. Those efforts have generated unprecedented advances in human developm

6. There has been substantial progress in achieving the Millennium Development Goals and several successes in reaching specific targets globally and in individual countries. However, the prospects for achieving all of the Goals differ sharply across and within countries and regions. More than a billion people still live in extreme poverty. Far too many people face serious deprivation in health and education, with progress hampered by significant inequality related to income, gender, ethnicity, disability, age and location. The prolonged global economic downturn and violent conflicts in recent years have exacerbated poverty, inequality and exclusion. Biodiversity loss, the degradation of water, drylands and forests and the intensifying risks of climate change threaten to reverse our achievements to date and undermine any future ga

7. We must do everything we can to achieve the Millennium Development Goals by the end of 2015. That work is unfinished and must continue in order to secure the well-being, dignity and rights of those still on the margins today, as well as of future generations. By meeting our existing commitments, we will be in the best possible position from which to agree upon and implement a universal agenda for sustainable development after 201

8. At the same time, the world has changed radically since the turn of the millennium. New economic powers have emerged, new technologies are reshaping our societies and new patterns of human settlement and activity are heightening the pressures on our planet. Inequality is rising in rich and poor countries alik

9. A new era demands a new vision and a responsive framework. Sustainable development, enabled by the integration of economic growth, social justice and environmental stewardship, must become our global guiding principle and operational standard. This framework can bring together the full range of human aspirations and needs. It offers a template for mutually reinforcing approaches to global challenges. Sustainable development is, in short, the pathway to the

10. So the challenge remains, even as it has taken on new complexity and increased in scale: we must fulfil our promises and meet the aspirations of the world’s peoples, and we must summon the unity to realize the dream of the Charter and the Millennium Declaration. Ours is the first generation with the resources and know-how to end extreme poverty and put our planet on a sustainable course before it is too la

11. The transition to sustainable development must not mean any diminishment whatsoever in the commitment to ending poverty. As underscored in the outcome document of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 2012 (General Assembly resolution 66/288), poverty eradication is an indispensable requirement for sustainable development. This is a matter of basic justice and human rights. It is also a historic opportunity. If ours is the generation that can end poverty, there should be no deferring this essential mission, no shrinking away from the task. In a world of great wealth and technological advances, no person anywhere should be left behind. No person should go hungry, lack shelter or clean water and sanitation, face social and economic exclusion or live without access to basic health services and educatio These are human rights, and form the foundations for a decent life.

12. Nor can progress be achieved or sustained amid armed conflict, violence, insecurity and injustice. These ills often have roots in social and economic deprivation and inequality. In the same vein, poverty can be a precursor and breeding ground of instability. We know that upholding human rights and freeing people from fear and want are inseparable; it is imperative that we do more to act on this basic trut

13. The present report is intended to galvanize greater efforts to end poverty and achieve sustainable and inclusive growth. We will need enlightened and courageous leadership in the halls of government and the engagement of responsible businesses and civil society the world over. I have drawn considerable inspiration from a dynamic United Nations-led process — a global conversation launched in 2012 on the priorities of a new development agenda that would build on the Millennium Development Goals. In a series of global, regional and national consultations in nearly 100 countries and through a social media platform, more than a million people have shared their views on “the world they want”. I am profoundly grateful to all who expressed their hopes and expectations and offered ideas and constructive criticism. The United Nations is strongly committed not just to listening to those voices, but also to amplifying and acting on what we have heard and learned.

14. In defining a new agenda, Member States can also benefit from the insights of a set of illuminating reports. My High-level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda, co-chaired by Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, President of Indonesia, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, President of Liberia, and David Cameron, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, called for major transformative economic and institutional shifts: a new global partnership and a data revolution for monitoring progress and strengthening accountability.

15. Reports by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network, the Global Compact Office, the United Nations System Task Team on the Post-2015 United Nations Development Agenda, the regional commissions and our partners in civil society and academia have also provided important inputs and recommendations for the formulation and content of the processes ahead.

16. The common ground in these contributions far outweighs any diff Indeed, it is possible to see the emerging outlines of a new sustainable development agenda: universal in nature yet responsive to the complexities, needs and capacities of individual countries and regions; bold in ambition but simple in design; combining the economic, social and environmental dimensions while putting the highest priority on ending poverty and reducing inequality; protective of the planet, its biodiversity, water and land; rights-based, with particular emphasis on women, young people and marginalized groups; eager for new and innovative partnerships; and supported by pioneering approaches to data and rigorous accountability mechanisms. Guided by this far-reaching vision, a limited set of goals with sustainable development at the core, as called for at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, could be constructed to encapsulate current challenges and the priorities of the new agenda and to guide the transformation we need.

17. In the present report we take stock of where we are and where we need to go — first, in the time that remains until the end of 2015, and second, in the period beyond that. As a contribution to the discussions and negotiations of Member States, I offer my sense of the lessons we have derived from the Millennium Development Goals and set out a number of possible elements for consideration in charting a way forward. I look forward to a rich process of consultation and debate as the crucial year of 2015 draws near.

18. We are all aware of the vulnerabilities and perils that define daily life across the world. But there is also simultaneously a sense of wondrous potential made possible in part by science and technology but even more by our own hard work and devotion to common progress. Based on everything I have seen and heard during my six and a half years as Secretary-General, I am convinced that, collectively, we have the leadership, conviction and courage to address short-term uncertainties while seizing the opportunity for long-term change. In that spirit of hope and resolve, I offer the present report to the membership of the United Nations.

 Achieving the Millennium Development Goals and accelerating progress

19. The Millennium Development Goals are our promise to the world’s poorest and most vulnerable. They have succeeded in placing people at the centre of the development agenda.

20. We have made remarkable progress. Many countries — including some of the poorest — have aligned their policies and resources with the Goals to make unparalleled gains. Several critical targets have already been met or will be met by the end of 2015, both at the aggregate level and in individual countries. Sizable gains have occurred in even the poorest countri

21. However, progress has been insufficient and highly uneven. Rural areas and marginalized groups continue to lag behind on virtually all goals and targ Countries in or emerging from conflict, disaster or instability face significant challenges. In addition, the economic and financial crisis has complicated efforts, including by putting pressure on official development assistance.

22. Yet progress continues. In the Millennium Development Goals Report 2013, it is stressed that despite challenges and gaps, the agenda embodied by the Goals retains great power in engendering collective action for faster results.

 A. Where do we stand on the Goals?

23. At the global level, poverty and hunger have been reduced significantly. In developing regions, the proportion of people living on less than $1.25 a day fell by more than half, from 47 per cent in 1990 to 22 per cent in 2010, with the majority living in rural areas. Much of this progress, however, has been made in a few large countries, primarily China and India. Moreover, even if the poverty target has been met, 2 billion people are still living in extreme poverty. For example, despite recent strong economic growth and declining poverty rates in sub-Saharan Africa, the number of people living in poverty is rising, and the region is still vulnerable to shocks that can rapidly erode gains.

24. The target of halving the percentage of people suffering from hunger by 2015 is within reach. The proportion of undernourished people in developing regions fell from 23.2 per cent in the period from 1990 to 1992 to 9 per cent in 2010-2012. However, one in eight people remain chronically undernourished, and one in four children suffers from stunted growth because of malnutrition.

25. We risk failing to keep our promise to enable all children to go to school. The number of children out of primary school declined from 102 million to 57 million between 2000 and 2011. But progress has slowed significantly over the past five years. Without renewed efforts, the target of universal primary education by 2015 seems beyond reach, particularly in conflict-affected countries. Half the world’s out-of-school children live in sub-Saharan Africa, with the gap largest for children and adolescents from the poorest households. Much stronger efforts are needed to improve the quality of education and provide lifelong learning opportunities, especially for girls and women, those belonging to ethnic minorities, persons with disabilities and children living in conflict-affected areas, rural areas or urban

26. Women and girls are major drivers of development. Yet challenges to achieving gender equality and women’s rights remain significant. In many developing countries, girls are denied their right to primary education. Women have been gaining employment in non-agricultural sectors, but often in less secure jobs with fewer social benefits than those held by men. In both the public and private spheres, women continue to be denied opportunities to influence decisions that affect their lives. Gender-based violence contravenes women’s and girls’ rights, undermines development and is an affront to our common humanity.

27. Despite significant progress globally and in many countries, a renewed commitment is needed to improve the health and life prospects of mothers and children. The mortality rate for children under 5 dropped by 41 per cent between 1990 and 2011 — a significant achievement, yet far short of the target of a two-thirds reduction. The maternal mortality rate fell by 47 per cent over the past two decades — again, important progress, but still far from the target of 75 per Intensified efforts are needed to reach the most vulnerable women and children and ensure their sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights, including full access to basic health services and sexual and reproductive education.

28. New HIV infections declined by 21 per cent globally over the past decade, and close to 10 million people living with HIV are receiving lifesaving antiretroviral treatment. Expanded treatment and prevention yielded a 25 per cent reduction in AIDS-related deaths between 2005 and 2011. Yet 2.5 million new infections still occur each year and in many parts of the globe, millions lack access to The last decade saw a 25 per cent fall in mortality rates from malaria globally, sparing the lives of an estimated 1.1 million people. Between 1995 and 2011, 51 million tuberculosis patients were treated successfully, saving 20 million lives.

29. Some of the targets for ensuring environmental sustainability have been achieved: the target for improved water sources was met ahead of schedule, and over the past decade over 200 million slum dwellers — double the target — benefited from improved water and sanitation facilities, durable housing or sufficient living space. Furthermore, from 1990 to 2011, 9 billion people gained access to a latrine, flush toilet or other improved sanitation facility. With rapid urbanization and population growth, however, the number of slum dwellers is on the rise. Two and a half billion people lack access to improved sanitation, while a billion practise open defecation, a continued source of illness.

30. In all countries, the achievement of Goal 7, on ensuring environmental sustainability, remains at significant risk because of the profound and urgent challenges posed by climate change. Carbon dioxide emissions are more than

46 per cent higher than in 1990. The atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide has exceeded 400 parts per million, a level not seen in millions of years and threatening the existence of the planet.

31. Biodiversity loss continues at a rapid pace. Freshwater resources are being depleted and fish stocks are overexploited. Land degradation and desertification, ocean acidification and the loss of species and forests continue at an alarming

32. As shown in the forthcoming MDG Gap Task Force Report 2013, progress towards a global partnership for development has fallen short of expectatio Following an encouraging rise in official development assistance since 2000, over the past two years aid flows have declined. Despite significant debt relief for many countries, the debt-servicing burden of some low-income countries remains intolerably high. Progress in improving market access for many developing countries has been slow, and “aid for trade” has not escaped the impact of reduced official development assistance. Despite welcome gains in connectivity, a substantial digital divide remains between developed and developing regions.

B. Which policies and programmes have best driven progress?

33. It is crucial to know what works and what does not. More than a decade of experience has painted a revealing picture. Strong national ownership and well-managed policies, supported coherently by partners at all levels, has underpinned progress in achieving the Millennium Development Goals. Policies that foster robust and inclusive economic growth, accompanied by measures to improve the access of poor and excluded people to quality basic services, have produced gains in many countries. Much has been learned by formulating and implementing those policies. Applying these lessons will be important for making more rapid progress in the time that

 Emphasizing inclusive growth, decent employment and social protection

34. Inclusive economic growth with decent employment and decent wages has proven to be a prerequisite for achieving the Millennium Development Goals, particularly Goal 1, on eradicating extreme poverty and hunger. Progress in East Asia has been strong, and several countries in Latin America and Africa have successfully combined economic growth and redistributive polic

35. Targeted investments in public health systems, fighting disease, education, infrastructure and agricultural productivity have all played important roles in achieving the Goals and promoting economic growth. These interventions work in a synergistic way and are therefore highly effective in integrated development programmes. Cash transfers targeting poor and marginalized families have also bolstered pro

36. In East Asia, reforms in the agricultural sector have lifted hundreds of millions of people out of extreme poverty. Many Governments in the region have also adopted policies that increase social spending, expand social protection and raise the minimum

37. Policies promoting rural employment have proved to have positive results in terms of poverty reduction, food consumption, household spending on education and health, debt reduction and asset creatio

38. In addition, programmes in Latin America and South-East Asia that have combined increased food production and distribution with skills training, microfinance, land distribution and nutrition education programmes have had positive impacts on child mortality and maternal health.

 

Allocating more resources for essential services and ensuring access for all

39. To accelerate progress on education, some countries have eliminated school fees and reduced the indirect costs of schooling. In Africa and the Middle East, policies have targeted orphans and other vulnerable children with vouchers for uniforms and books. In Asia, countries have scaled up stipend programmes and introduced financial support mechanisms for ethnic minority stud

40. In West Africa, complementing investments in infrastructure with female literacy campaigns to overcome resistance to girls’ education in rural areas led to a significant increase in the rate of enrolment of girls in primary scho

41. Some countries have expanded access to primary education while tackling gender disparities at the same time. Achieving the parity target by 2015 is within reach if entrenched gender disadvantages can be overcome, particularly in countries where early marriage remains pervasive.

42. Countries in Sub-Saharan Africa have launched nationwide midwifery schemes to train and deploy tens of thousands of front-line health workers to accelerate progress in preventing maternal and child mortality.

43. Improved national strategies supported by additional financial resources have contributed to faster progress on the Millennium Development Goals in the area of health in many countries. The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, the GAVI Alliance and the United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief have played a major role, complementing national ef

44. Investments in human and physical infrastructure for the public health-care sector are paying off in South Asia, where services have been provided free of charge in facilities close to

45. Policies supporting free universal access to quality primary health care for women and children have reduced child mortality in some countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, especially when special attention is given to reducing deaths from malaria, pneumonia, diarrhoea and measles and to rapidly scaling up the provision of insecticide-treated bednets, measles vaccine and vitamin A

46. National initiatives have proven to be effective in achieving water and sanitation targets. In South-East Asia, partnerships between local governments, builders and community leaders have been launched to meet the need for drinking water and sanitation. Access to latrines has increased significantly, driven by community empowerment activities, strengthened institutions and a community hygiene camp

 

Strengthening political will and improving the international policy environment

47. The global nature of many current challenges requires coordinated global action. I am very concerned by any developments or trends that threaten the global partnership for development, a core part of the Millennium Development Goal framework. There is an urgent need to stop and reverse the two-year contraction of official development assistance and aid for trade, especially for the least developed countries. Stakeholders should strengthen coordination and follow through on commitments to and for effective aid delivery, as well as cracking down on illicit capital flows, returning stolen assets and stemming tax avoidance and evas

48. I urge the members of the World Trade Organization to redouble their efforts to reach a development-oriented conclusion of the Doha Round of trade negotiations and improve duty-free, quota-free market access for products of least developed countries. Further efforts are needed to ensure timely debt relief for critically indebted developing countries, thus improving their chances of achieving the Millennium Development

49. A stronger partnership is also needed among governments, pharmaceutical companies, research facilities and philanthropic organizations to make essential medicines more affordable and available in public health facilities, including using the provisions available to developing countries in the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights.

50. Limiting and reversing the increase in the average global temperature to 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels in line with international agreements demands bold, coordinated national and international action. The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change contains commitments and guidance, most notably the agreement of Governments to negotiate an ambitious, legally binding global agreement by 2015 that will cover all countries of the world in a fair way. The situation calls for full and urgent adherence to what was ag

51. Bolder measures are equally urgent on other environmental sustainability targets, including those related to biodiversity, water, land use and forests. Where commitments already exist, we need faster implementation of the corresponding multilateral environmental agreement

52. With support from the international community, developing countries should accelerate efforts to improve the transfer of and access to information and communications technology, as well as to lower its cost, especially in key service-delivery areas. In order for technology transfers to countries embracing deep structural economic transformations to be successful, the institutional and human capacity gaps will need to be addressed at the local le

53. The multi-stakeholder partnership model has emerged as a promising way to share burdens, catalyse action and bring all relevant actors to bear in addressing specific problems. We need to mobilize more action to deliver on commitments and exploit the full potential of the partnership approa

 

C. Accelerating progress towards the Goals to 2015

54. Fulfilling our existing commitments and promises on the Millennium Development Goals must remain our foremost priority. Member States, with the continued support of development agencies, civil society and the private sector, should and can take bolder action to accelerate progres

55. Together, we need to focus on those Goals that are most off-track and on countries that face particular development challenges, including the least developed countries, landlocked developing countries, small island developing States and countries affected by or recovering from conflicts or disasters. In so doing, we must pay particular attention to the needs and rights of the most vulnerable and excluded, such as women, children, the elderly, indigenous people, refugees and displaced families, as well as people with disabilities and those living in poor rural areas and urban

56. The preceding section highlighted some successful strategies for achieving the Millennium Development Goals. They show that accelerating progress requires national ownership and international commitment, with the right policies backed by reliable, timely financial resources and people-centred multi-stakeholder partnerships. Countries should make every effort to mobilize domestic resources. At the same time, these resources should be supplemented by external support where necessary.

57. In April I launched the campaign “MDG Momentum — 1,000 Days of Action” as a spur to achieve the gains we need by 2015. My appeal seeks to give additional impetus to several key initiatives that were already under way in response to the call for acceleration made at the 2010 high-level plenary meeting of the General Assembly on the Millennium Development

58. The Millennium Development Goals Acceleration Framework, a coordinated effort by the United Nations Development Group, is firmly rooted in national ownership and supports the systematic identification of bottlenecks and local solutions. Acceleration plans are being implemented in more than 46 countries across all regions, covering a range of goals and targets and bringing together a full spectrum of actors. Those efforts are assessed by the United Nations system in collaboration with the World Bank under the umbrella of the United Nations System Chief Executives Board for Coordination.

59. In one sub-Saharan African country, an acceleration plan on maternal health is being implemented through the revised national reproductive health policy and protocol. This is backed by a multi-pronged strategy that includes the use of mobile telephones for diagnosis and referrals and partnerships with local road transport associations to facilitate the travel of women in labour.

60. When implemented at the subnational level, the Acceleration Framework can also help to address disparity and inequality, as well as underlying causes such as discrimination and sociocultural exclusion. In one South American country, provinces and municipalities are implementing acceleration plans to address local priorities, such as poverty reduction and the economic empowerment of women, where progress lags behind the national l

61. The €1 billion Millennium Development Goals initiative of the European Union has been supporting countries in the African, Caribbean and Pacific regions to accelerate progress on the Goals that are the most off-track: eradicating hunger, improving maternal health, curbing child mortality and improving access to water and sanitation. Nearly 50 have been supported to date.

62. Regional initiatives are an increasingly important part of the picture. In 2012, the African Union Commission adopted a road map on shared responsibility and global solidarity to accelerate progress in the response to HIV, tuberculosis and malaria. The actions in the road map are organized around three strategic pillars: diversified financing, access to medicines and enhanced health governan Similarly, in 2012, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations adopted a road map for the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals focusing on five key areas: advocacy and linkages, knowledge, resources, expertise, and regional cooperation and public goods.

63. Every Woman Every Child, a multi-stakeholder partnership launched in 2010, seeks to save the lives of 16 million women and children by 2015. The United Nations secured commitments of $20 billion from more than 250 partners, including governments, multilateral organizations, the private sector and civil society. A new partnership between governments and United Nations agencies, “Committing to child survival: a promise renewed”, was launched to reduce the under-5 mortality rate to fewer than 20 deaths per 1,000 live births in all countries by 2

64. The Sustainable Energy for All initiative, launched in 2011, aims to provide universal access to modern energy, double the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency and double the share of renewables in the global energy mix, all by 20 Over $50 billion has been committed from all sectors to make this a reality, and more than 70 countries have signed up.

65. The Global Agriculture and Food Security Programme mobilizes resources to scale up agricultural assistance to low-income countries. The Zero Hunger Challenge, launched at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, calls for universal access to adequate food year-round, steps to prevent childhood stunting, a sustainable transformation of food systems, a doubling of productivity and incomes among smallholder farmers and drastic reductions in food losses and waste. Through the “Scaling Up Nutrition” movement, a partnership effort involving governments, civil society, the United Nations system, business and researchers, more than 100 partners are supporting 40 countries in their efforts to reduce malnutrition and child stunt

66. The Global Education First Initiative, launched in September 2012, aims to raise the political profile of education and seeks to ensure access, improve the quality of learning and foster global citi

67. The Call to Action on Sanitation, initiated in March, has provided new momentum on an area that has received inadequate attention. The campaign for universal access to bednets by the end of 2010 made important inroads in tackling malaria. The One Million Community Health Workers campaign in Sub-Saharan Africa is expected to be critical in generating gains across the health-related Millennium Development

68. The replenishment of the Global Fund in the third quarter of 2013 will be of decisive significance for continued progress against AIDS, tuberculosis and malari I call upon all donors, public and private, to do their part to support the Fund at this moment of utmost urgency as well as opportunity.

69. Multi-stakeholder arrangements have proven successful because they expand on traditional partnerships by significantly increasing available resources, improving the effectiveness of their use and increasing policy and operational coherence. To build on those advantages, I have put forward a proposal to Member States for a new United Nations Partnership Facility, which would aim to enhance the Organization’s ability to facilitate delivery at scale at both the global and country levels.

 

D. Making the transition to a new sustainable development agenda that builds on the Goals

70. The adoption of the Millennium Development Goals represented a major shift in galvanizing global political will for poverty eradication. The Goals focused the world’s attention on halving extreme poverty and promoting human development by setting priorities, goals and targets. Yet the Goals represent only the halfway mark towards the aim of tackling poverty in all its forms. United Nations projections for

2015 indicate that almost 1.3 billion people will still live in extreme poverty, mothers will continue to die needlessly in childbirth and children will suffer and die from hunger, malnutrition, preventable diseases and a lack of clean water and sanitation.

71. The job we started with the Millennium Development Goals therefore needs to be finished. Careful attention will be needed as we make the transition to an agenda that embraces the three dimensions of sustainable development yet ensures that poverty eradication is its highest priority and that extreme poverty is ended within a generation.

72. Since the Millennium Development Goals were devised, major new challenges have emerged, while existing ones have been exacerbated. Inequality has deepen Environmental degradation has increased, threatening our common future. People across the world are demanding more responsive governments and better governance and rights at all levels. Migration challenges have grown, and young people in many countries face poor prospects for decent jobs or livelihoods. Conflicts and instability have halted or reversed progress in many countries, affecting primarily women and children. Organized crime, including trafficking in people and drugs, violates human rights and undermines development. The deepening ways in which the lives of people and countries are linked demand a universal agenda addressing the world’s most pressing challenges and seizing the opportunities of a new era.

 

III. Advancing the United Nations development agenda beyond 2015

A. Vision and transformative actions of the agenda

73. The articulation of a post-2015 development agenda provides an opportunity to place sustainable development where it should be: at the core of humankind’s pursuit of shared progress. With a new sustainable development agenda, the world can make many historic achievements: eradicating extreme poverty by 2030, protecting the environment and promoting social inclusion and economic opportunities for all. Ultimately, the aspiration of the development agenda beyond 2015 is to create a just and prosperous world where all people realize their rights and live with dignity and h

74. As agreed at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, the framework for sustainable development reflects our commitment to three interconnected objectives: economic development, social inclusion and environmental sustainability. Each of these dimensions contributes to the others and all are necessary for the well-being of individuals and societies. Together, they are meant to enable people to fulfil their potential within the finite resources of our

75. For such a sustainable development agenda to take root, four building blocks need to be agreed upon: (a) a far-reaching vision of the future firmly anchored in human rights and universally accepted values and principles, including those encapsulated in the Charter, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Millennium Declaration; (b) a set of concise goals and targets aimed at realizing the priorities of the agenda; (c) a global partnership for development to mobilize means of implementation; and (d) a participatory monitoring framework for tracking progress and mutual accountability mechanisms for all

76. Decisions on the shape of the next agenda rest with Member States. To support their deliberations, I put in motion an inclusive and transparent process to hear from all stakeholders. Through the efforts of the United Nations Development Group and others, I sought the views of people around the world through consultations in nearly 100 countries, global thematic consultations on 11 issue areas and a global online conversation and “My World” survey. These efforts have reached more than a million people. A large number of civil society organizations and academic institutions worldwide have also actively participated in the discussi

77. In addition, my High-level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015

Development Agenda provided critical proposals (see A/67/890, annex). I have made the report available to all Member States and recommend it as an important contribution to this process.

78. I also benefited from the expertise of the science and technology community through the Sustainable Development Solutions Network. The contributions of the private sector around the world were conveyed through the Global Compact. The United Nations System Task Team, comprising more than 60 agencies and international organizations, conveyed the knowledge and experience of the Organization, while regional perspectives were provided by the regional commissions.

79. Reflecting on many of these inputs, the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals is conducting a series of discussions aimed at formulating goals for sustainable development to be proposed to the General Assembly at its sixty- eighth session.

80. The common ground in the findings of these processes is Discussions point to the importance of arriving at a single and coherent development agenda centred on sustainable development, applicable to all countries while taking into account regional, national and local circumstances and priorities.

81. The key elements of the emerging vision for the development agenda beyond 2015 include: (a) universality, to mobilize all developed and developing countries and leave no one behind; (b) sustainable development, to tackle the interlinked challenges facing the world, including a clear focus on ending extreme poverty in all its forms; (c) inclusive economic transformations ensuring decent jobs, backed by sustainable technologies, to shift to sustainable patterns of consumption and production; (d) peace and governance, as key outcomes and enablers of development; (e) a new global partnership, recognizing shared interests, different needs and mutual responsibilities, to ensure commitment to and means of implementing the new vision; and (f) being “fit for purpose”, to ensure that the international community is equipped with the right institutions and tools for addressing the challenges of implementing the sustainable development agenda at the national l

82. Bringing this vision to life will require a number of transformative and mutually reinforcing actions that apply to all countrie

83. Eradicate poverty in all its forms. Poverty has many manifestations and is aggravated by discrimination, insecurity, inequality and environmental and disaster risks. Therefore, the eradication of poverty calls for a multifaceted approach, encapsulated in the concept of sustainable development, focusing on both immediate and underlying caus

84. Tackle exclusion and inequality. In order to leave no one behind and bring everyone forward, actions are needed to promote equality of opportunity. This implies inclusive economies in which men and women have access to decent employment, legal identification, financial services, infrastructure and social protection, as well as societies where all people can contribute and participate in national and local governan

85. Empower women and girls. The new agenda must ensure the equal rights of women and girls, their full participation in the political, economic and public spheres and zero tolerance for violence against or exploitation of women and girl The practice of child marriage must be ended everywhere. Women and girls must have equal access to financial services, infrastructure, the full range of health services, including in the area of sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights, and water and sanitation; the right to own land and other assets; a safe environment in which to learn and apply their knowledge and skills; and an end to discrimination so they can receive equal pay for equal work and have an equal voice in decision-making.

86. Provide quality education and lifelong learning. Young people should be able to receive high-quality education and learning, from early childhood development to post-primary schooling, including not only formal schooling but also life skills and vocational education and trai

87. Improve health. Address universal health-care coverage, access and affordability; end preventable maternal and child deaths; realize women’s reproductive health and rights; increase immunization coverage; eradicate malaria and realize the vision of a future free of AIDS and tuberculosis; reduce the burden of non-communicable diseases, including mental illness, and road accidents; and promote healthy behaviours, including those related to water, sanitation and

88. Address climate change. The international community must reconcile the challenges of mitigating and adapting to climate change while supporting the growth of developing countries. While the worst effects of climate change can still be averted by building the resilience of and investing in those communities and nations most vulnerable to disasters risk, those efforts will require a greatly stepped-up response, in keeping with the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities. A successful outcome to the intergovernmental climate change negotiations is critical. Every effort must be made to arrive at a legally binding agreement by the end of 2015, as decided in Durban, South Africa, in 201

89. Address environmental challenges. Environmental change has compounded problems worldwide, especially in vulnerable countries, reducing their capacity to cope and limiting their options for addressing development challenges. Managing the natural resources base — fisheries, forests, freshwater resources, oceans, soil — is essential for sustainable development. So too is building the resilience of and investing in those communities and nations most vulnerable to disasters, especially in the least developed countries and small island developing St

90. Promote inclusive and sustainable growth and decent employment. This can be achieved by economic diversification, financial inclusion, efficient infrastructure, productivity gains, trade, sustainable energy, relevant education and skills training. Labour market policies should focus in particular on young people, women and people with

91. End hunger and malnutrition. Addressing hunger, malnutrition, stunting and food insecurity in a world experiencing rapid population growth will require a combination of stable and adequate incomes for all, improvements in agricultural productivity and sustainability, child and maternal care and strengthened social protection for vulnerable p

92. Address demographic challenges. While the population of developed countries is projected to remain unchanged at around 3 billion, the population of developing countries is projected to increase from 5.9 billion in 2013 to 8.2 billion in 2050. Countries with a high rate of population growth are generally on a path of falling fertility, especially as education for girls and sexual and reproductive health services become more widely available. Progress in these areas would enable many households to slow fertility rates, with consequent benefits for health, education, sustainability and the demographic dividend for economic growth. Countries with a high proportion of young people need to offer education and opportunities for decent work. Countries with an ageing population need policy responses to support the elderly so as to remove barriers to their full participation in society while protecting their rights and dignity.

93. Enhance the positive contribution of migrants. More than a billion people rely on international and domestic migration to improve the income, health and education of their families, escape poverty and conflict and adapt to environmental and economic shocks. Countries receiving migrants can also benefit significantly. Yet many barriers limit the positive effects of migration, including possible large economic and social gains. Discrimination is widespread and the human rights of migrants are often denied at different points in the migration process. The scourge of human trafficking, an unacceptable dimension of migration, must be ended.

94. Meet the challenges of urbanization. Some 70 per cent of the world’s population will live in cities by 2050. Urbanization poses the challenge of providing city dwellers with employment, food, income, housing, transportation, clean water and sanitation, social services and cultural amenities. At the same time, living in cities creates opportunities for the more efficient delivery and use of physical facilities and amenities. Rural prosperity, land management and secure ecosystem services should form an integral part of sustainable urbanization and economic transformati

95. Build peace and effective governance based on the rule of law and sound institutions. Peace and stability, human rights and effective governance based on the rule of law and transparent institutions are outcomes and enablers of development. There can be no peace without development and no development without peace. Lasting peace and sustainable development cannot be fully realized without respect for human rights and the rule of law. Transparency and accountability are powerful tools for ensuring citizens’ involvement in policymaking and their oversight of the use of public resources, including to prevent waste and corruption. Legal empowerment, access to justice and an independent judiciary and universal legal identification can also be critical for gaining access to public servi

96. Foster a renewed global partnership. The Millennium Development Goals, in particular Goal 8, on the global partnership for development, speak to the importance of our common humanity and the values of equity, solidarity and human rights. The post-2015 development agenda will need to be supported by a renewed global partnership grounded on such values. As noted in the report of my High-level Panel, “the partnership should capture, and will depend on, a spirit of mutual respect and mutual benefit”.

97. The global partnership should finish the job started with Goal 8, including meeting the assistance objective of 7 per cent of gross national income, as well as other existing and future intergovernmental agreements, such as the Millennium Declaration, the Monterrey Consensus of the International Conference on Financing for Development, the Principles set out in the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation and the Istanbul Programme of Action, as well as the outcome of the Ad Hoc Working Group of the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action. All partners should deliver on past commitments, particularly those on official development assistance, climate finance and domestic resource mobilization.

98. The transformative actions of the post-2015 development agenda should be supported by multi-stakeholder partnerships that respond to the sustainable development agenda. These should include not only governments but also businesses, private philanthropic foundations, international organizations, civil society, volunteer groups, local authorities, parliaments, trade unions, research institutes and academia. Such partnerships can channel commitments and actions from a wider set of actors, and their success depends on assigning roles, responsibilities and clear accountability.

99. Official development assistance will remain crucial, including for leveraging other finance, particularly for the least developed countries, landlocked developing countries and small island developing States, many countries in Africa and countries emerging from conflict and disasters. In addition to delivering on past commitments, it will be critical for donors to establish a timetable for meeting official development assistance targets and enhancing development effectiveness, including through the principles and actions set out in the Busan Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation. The impact of official development assistance can be magnified by other sources of finance, including innovative s

100. A universal development agenda beyond 2015 will require a robust framework for sustainable development finance including both private and public fundi International efforts are needed to create an environment conducive to business and thus channel capital flows and portfolio investments to the sustainable development agenda, to eliminate illicit financial flows, to enhance the regulation of secrecy jurisdictions and to promote asset recovery. Multilateral development banks have an important role to play in identifying novel sources of sustainable development financing.

101. At the same time, the financing framework for the post-2015 period will require the mobilization of domestic resources, including by broadening the tax base and improving tax administration, including in developing countries, and improving corporate and public governance of extractive industries in resource-rich countri In addition, the financing framework will require commitment by the public and private scientific and research communities to develop new and transformative technologies. Harnessing science, technology and innovative methods will be central in areas ranging from information and communications technology to transportation, the environment and life-saving medicines.

102. South-South and triangular cooperation will also play a key role. This has increased significantly in recent years and has taken various forms, including infrastructure investment, technical cooperation, joint research and investment and information-sharing.

103. I welcome the Intergovernmental Committee of Experts on Sustainable Development Financing, which will propose options on a strategy to facilitate the mobilization of resources and their effective use. The biennial high-level Development Cooperation Forum and the follow-up to the International Conference on Financing for Development also provide important opportunities for charting a way forward.

104. Strengthen the international development cooperation framework. In order to respond to the challenges of funding and implementing a sustainable development agenda, both national and international institutions need to be strengthened to overcome the institutional and operational separation between economic, social and environmental responsibilities. I particularly welcome, in that regard, General Assembly resolution 67/290, in which the mandate, organizational structure and the working methods of the high-level political forum on sustainable development were defined. There is broad agreement that the forum should bring political support at the highest level to the coordination, coherence, implementation and monitoring of the commitments in a universal sustainable development agenda.

 B. Comprehensive monitoring framework and robust accountability mechanisms

105. Strong monitoring and accountability will be crucial for the implementation of the post-2015 development agenda. Governments, especially parliaments, will play a central role. The monitoring and accountability framework can be strengthened through the direct engagement of citizens and responsible businesses making use of new technologies to expand coverage, to disaggregate data and to reduce

106. The availability of information has improved during the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals. Still, there is an urgent need to further improve data collection, dissemination and analysis. Better baseline data and statistics are needed, especially because the post-2015 development agenda will involve measuring a broader range of indicators, requiring new and disaggregated data to capture gaps within and between population groups. Assessing the quality of outcomes should also feature more prominently in a results-based framework. As suggested by my High-level Panel, targets will be considered to have been achieved only if they are met for all relevant income and social gr

107. In this context, the advances in information technology over the past decade provide an opportunity for a “data revolution”, which should enable countries to strengthen existing data sources and develop new and participatory sources of information. Many developing countries will require technical and financial support to build solid statistical systems and capacity so as to take advantage of these new opportuniti

 

C. Setting goals for the agenda

108. Experience with the Millennium Development Goals shows us that goals can be a powerful way of mobilizing common action. To be effective, they need to be limited in number, measurable, easy to communicate and adaptable to both global and local setti

109. At the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, Member States agreed that the sustainable development goals “should be coherent with and integrated into the United Nations development agenda beyond 2015”. The many consultations and reports suggest that a single, balanced and comprehensive set of goals, universal to all nations, which aims to eradicate all forms of poverty and integrate sustainable development in all its dimensions, should form the core of the agenda.

110. The framing of the set of goals for sustainable development will inevitably need to be broader than that of the Millennium Development Goals in order to reflect new challenges. Illustrative goals and targets have been proposed in a range of reports, including those of the High-level Panel, the Sustainable Development Solutions Network and the Global Compact, and in several initiatives from the research community.

111. Goals and targets should take into account cross-cutting issues such as gender, disability, age and other factors leading to inequality, human rights, demographics, migration and partnerships. The new goals should embrace the emphasis on human well-being and include the use of metrics that go beyond standard income measures, such as surveys of subjective well-being and happiness, as introduced by many countries and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Devel

 

D. Towards the formulation and launch of the agenda

112. The special event of the President of the General Assembly to be convened on

25 September will review current efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals and provide a timely opportunity for rallying political support for their acceleration. The event will also serve as an occasion to reflect on the broad contours of the development agenda beyond 2015.

113. Member States should therefore use the special event to generate clarity and a solid momentum for the important discussions and decisions that will follow. In the outcome of the event they could issue a call for convening a United Nations summit in 2015 to adopt the new development agenda. To that end, the Assembly could request its President to hold consultations on a procedural resolution for initiating preparations for the summit, in which it could request the Secretary-General to prepare a report on modalities, format and organization for submission to the Assembly by March 2014. That report could serve as the basis for the Assembly’s consultations on a comprehensive resolution on the timing, scope, format, participation and expected outcome of a summit in 20

114. The General Assembly could launch the final phase of the intergovernmental consultations on a post-2015 development agenda at its sixty-ninth session. Those consultations could draw on the outcomes of several intergovernmental events, including the high-level meeting on disability and development, to be held in September, the high-level dialogue on international migration and development, to be held in October, the third International Conference on Small Island Developing States, the climate change summit in 2014 as well as the next conference on financing for development. Our goal must be to make 2015 a defining moment for people and the planet and to show what the United Nations and Member States, working together, can achi

 

IV. Recommendations

115. I call upon all Member States and the entire international community to take every step possible to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. This will require political courage and enlightened leadership on the part of all countries, regardless of their level of development. But we must, as stated in the Millennium Declaration, spare no effort to deliver on our policy and financial commitmen This is our duty — our responsibility to humanity today and in the future. With political will and adequate resources, much can be accomplished before the 2015 deadline. Even then, some goals may not be met. Others, even if met, were designed to address only part of the challenge. The post-2015 development agenda will therefore need to complete the Millennium Development Goals, scale up their success, expand their scope and address new challenges.

116. I call upon Member States to adopt a universal post-2015 development agenda, with sustainable development at its core. Poverty eradication, inclusive growth targeting inequality, protecting and managing the natural resource base of our planet within a rights-based framework and cognizant of the nexus between peace and development — these are the overarching objectives of sustainable development. To realize this agenda, all countries need to recognize the profound transformations required to address the emerging challenges of sustainable development. These include economic shifts to sustainable patterns of production and consumption, effective governance and a renewed global partnership and means of implementa

117. I call upon the international system, including the United Nations, to embrace a more coherent and effective response to support this agenda. I welcome the leadership of Member States as they establish the high-level political forum, tasked with providing coordination and coherence at the highest political level to foster sustainable development in every country. The United Nations system will continue to reform and make itself “fit for purpose” so as to respond to the challenges of this new path to sustainable devel

118. I encourage Member States to provide clarity on the road map to 2015. As Member States consider the processes leading up to 2015, they could be supported by a report of the Secretary-General during the main part of the sixty-ninth session of the General Assembly. This would draw upon the outcomes of the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals, the Intergovernmental Committee of Experts on Sustainable Development Financing and other bodies. The intergovernmental process could lead to an agreement on the vision, principles, goals and targets of the post-2015 development agenda, as well as on the renewed global partnership for devel

V. Conclusion

119. Acting upon our common challenges demands a renewed commitment to international cooperation. Multilateralism is being tested. The United Nations, as a global beacon of solidarity, must do its part to strengthen collaboration and show that it can be effective in building the just, prosperous and sustainable world that people want and have a right to expect. Defining the post-2015 development agenda is thus a daunting yet inspiring and historic task for the United Nations and its Member States.

120. In so doing we must continue to listen to and involve the peoples of the We have heard their calls for peace and justice, eradicating poverty, realizing rights, eliminating inequality, enhancing accountability and preserving our planet. The world’s nations must unite behind a common programme to act on those aspirations. No one must be left behind. We must continue to build a future of justice and hope, a life of dignity for all.

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The US vs the EU on net neutrality

The US vs the EU on net neutrality
Alexandros Koronakis | 16.03.2015 | http://www.neurope.eu/
Professor Christopher Yoo (R) being interviewed by Alexandros Koronakis (L) at New Europe Studios on 5th March, 2015.

The issues of net neutrality and regulatory effects on the global market and innovation are looming, with the European policy makers examining ways to oversee the ever changing digital organism.
New Europe's Director, Alexandros Koronakis sat down with Professor Christopher Yoo to discuss the most burning issues. Yoo is a professor of law & communication and computer information science at the University of Pennsylvania as well as the founding director of the University’s Center for Technology, Innovation and Competition. He is also the person to bring the term net neutrality to the masses.
Christopher Yoo: The first person to publish the words net neutrality was a gentleman by the name of Tim Woo in 2003. I was asked to write a reply to his article, and he then wrote a reply to mine. I suppose everything else flowed from there.
Alexandros Koronakis: Could you tell us a little bit about the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) net neutrality order?

CY: The FCC did something sort of surprising. The U.S. is one of the few countries in the world that did not apply old telephone rules to the Internet. I actually think that was a fundamentally good decision. On the 26th of February, the FCC decided to go in a very different direction. They decided to extend the old rules and pull back on certain provisions and not apply them.
They basically established three main principles; no blocking, no throttling, and no paid prioritization.
That became the default set of rules. The thing floating around that though is that it's subject to exceptions for reasonable network management, for specialized services and interconnection—which means not just how a network treats traffic within its network but how networks connect together.

AK: So what do these specialized services entail and how does this affect the market?

CY: One of the interesting things about a lot of different services is that they require higher throughput rates—a good example are phones with LTE. If you use the voice function over LTE, which is a new service they are offering, they have to use it on dedicated bandwidth. Anyone who has made a Skype call and had really bad service knows it's quite unpredictable. In reserving bandwidth you're guaranteed to have a certain quality of calls and the LTE has standards and the only way you can meet that is by setting aside that bandwidth for one application; that is voice.
That is a good example of specialized service, but this is also used for video, extremely sensitive technology like financial transactions where a millisecond makes a difference.

AK: Could you tell us how FCC order may affect innovation?

CY: It is hard to tell because there is an exception for specialized services and that is a welcomed exception. But we don’t really understand what it means. It is undefined. There’s an exception for reasonable network management practices, but again, nobody knows what that really means. We are left to this period of uncertainty, and if you look at the last couple of times the FCC tried to regulate this its taken 3-4 years for the courts to sort out the challenges. So, we are not likely to know anytime soon. So, what is the problem?
Well, in the face of uncertainty everyone has to hire a bunch of lawyers and get legal advice on whether a new practice is likely to be legal or not. You have to seek that advice whether or not you think it may be legal.
An example is HBO GO, which allows people to watch HBO shows over the internet and on their phones. In the Netherlands, they had a special arrangement where watching HBO did not count against your data account, that was later struck down by the Dutch regulatory authorities as a violation of network neutrality. Similarly, this happened with a music streaming service that was struck down by the Slovenian authorities. All of the sudden we are starting to see that everyone who has a new business model will have to think ‘is the same thing going to happen to me?’

AK: That sounds like a bit of a paradox. Aren’t we supposed to protecting the providers?

CY: The problem with these FCC measures is that they have certain visions over how innovation is supposed to look and it's very good at preserving innovation that is consistent with the same old things we have always seen. We have a hard time predicting what will happen on innovative new practices that really deviate from the way that the internet functioned in the past—and if those new business will get restrictions because of that.

AK: How does net neutrality affect Europe?

CY: One of the strangest things to me is that five or six years ago Europeans would always say network neutrality is an American issue - it is not going to affect us here. That is interesting though because Europe has a regime called unbundling, which means that if one content provider cannot get access, and then another ISP can show up almost instantly. Simply by leasing facilities by the original Telco, and it was always perceived in the past that to be sufficient for protecting innovative service providers who could not get the services they want.
You do not see a lot of demonstrated cases of these problems, in fact, you see providers prioritizing service—like gaming services above everything else. Even if it's a small company, they have a high value of customers wanting a particular thing out of the network and so in that sense—in Europe you already see a proliferation of some of these business models and that would be shut off.
Europe is in a place where the EP has issued a decision and the council is reviewing it with a counter proposal—it’s an interesting question of whether the U.S. will influence their decision and deliberations. I think it sounded like the European government was proceeding in a healthy direction trying to find a compromise, a solution to continue to make certain specialized services possible. I only hope the U.S.’s decision does not interfere.

AK: What three recommendations would you have for EU regulators?

CY: The first is to try to preserve room for experimentation.
I mean the most important thing is that innovation needs breathing room and you need to create rules where you do not ask permission of the regulator before you do it.
You should not imagine all the things that could go wrong and prevent them from happening. I think the better way to style regulation is to allow people to try anything they want. So, the default rule is yes, not no, and then if problems show up step in after the fact.
The second piece of advice is do not assume that past performance predicts future results. In a way, we are captive of the old mindset from behind. People are talking about how important it is to preserve voice telephone calls… my children do not even use voice calls. If you look at the way young people use their phones it is completely different, they text everything. They do not use voicemail either. We have to understand this is going to constantly be updated, we did not have tablets five years ago and now everyone has one.
We do not know what the next big thing will be, so my reaction is to be humble about what you can do and predict. And design into the regulation the ability to back off as new things develop and make sure things are still possible.
The third thing I would say is more than anything else Europe would benefit from unleashing an entrepreneurial culture.There have been surveys of American youth that say 2/3 of them expect to start their own business sometime in their life.
For European youth, it is about half that. Not only are they reluctant to start new businesses, but if they fail at one they say ‘I am never going to do that again’.
In the U.S., if you are not failing, you are not trying. In fact, financial backers are more likely to support those who tried once and failed because they figured they learned something and took a chance, which is critical for the truth.

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Globalization and the Myth of Killer Languages: What’s Really Going on?

Salikoko S. Mufwene

Globalization and the Myth of Killer Languages: What’s Really Going on?

 

Introduction

Globalization and colonization

Precursors of modern colonization and globalization

Will there be an English-only Europe?

The economics of language maintenance vs. shift

Conclusions

NOTE

Bibliography

 

Introduction

This paper is about some misgivings I harbor over some recent linguistics publications on language endangerment, i.e., the process whereby a language loses grounds to another either because it is spoken by fewer and fewer speakers and/or because it is heavily influenced by the competitor, which its speakers seem to command or like better. The targets of my criticisms include Crystal (2000, 2004), Dalby (2002), Nettle/Romaine (2000), Maffi (2001), Phillipson (2003), and Skutnabb-Kangas (2000), to whom I will often refer collectively, as they basically share the same positions, though there are minor differences in the specific ways they state them. Oversimplifying reality, they have generally reduced globalization to a process that makes the world more and more uniform by the world-wide diffusion of intellectual, linguistic, military, technological, and other cultural products associated with hegemonic regimes such as the USA, the United Kingdom, and Australia. In other words, they equate globalization with what would be the westernization of the world and talk about indigenous languages as if indigenity were no longer a relative notion and such languages were to be found only in the Americas, Asia, and Australia (Mufwene 2002). Capitalizing on the increasing attestations of Hollywood movies and McDonald restaurants around the world, they speak of McDonaldization and Americanization as if these phenomena either instantiated or produced globalization, whereas they should instead be treated as its (by-)products.

To be sure, these authors are rightly concerned with growing political and economic power inequities (Stiglitz 2002, Steger 2003) that have been in favor of especially North America, Australia, Japan, and of Western Europe and have led to the endangerment or loss of several vernaculars not associated with their dominant, global economic systems. However, their generalizations, which have projected the same situation all over the world, have not been equally sensitive to the fact that, like the European colonization of the rest of the world over the past half-millennium, economic and cultural globalization has not proceeded uniformly. Ironically, Nettle & Romaine (2000), for instance, make this world heterogeneity obvious in showing the differential impact of Western European languages on the indigenous ones in the Americas and Australia. The rate of language loss is much higher in North America than in Central and South America, while, I can add, the process is already complete on the Caribbean islands. I discuss the reasons for this differential evolution below. Overall, the critical connection between globalization and colonization has not been fully explored, a shortcoming that has led to the confusion of the economic process of globalization itself with the unprecedented insidious and pervasive way in which it has proceeded since the collapse of the Berlin Wall, or the disintegration of the Soviet bloc, in the late 1980s (Steger 2003). Rare are scholars of language endangerment who have provided a historical perspective (e.g., Hagège 2000, Dalby 2002) that should help us make better sense of what has been witnessed over the past few decades.

A special metalanguage has also emerged, in which languages are treated as agents and speakers of the endangered or dead languages only as victims. Not only has it been acceptable to speak of “language wars” (Calvet 1998) but also English has been portrayed as the “killer language” (Price 1984; Nettle & Romaine 2000) par excellence which by its own actions putatively has driven, and is still driving, many languages to extinction. False concerns have likewise arisen about English endangering continental European languages, because it is now the dominant lingua franca of the European Union (Phillipson 2003), the one that most bureaucrats and delegates are likely to speak in settings that do not require ideology-based use of language, for instance, in offices and in the corridor, outside parliamentary sessions and ministerial meetings (Swaan 2001). The distinction between the vernacular and lingua franca functions of languages has completely been overlooked in such cases of language competition, critical though it is to determining whether or not a language is endangered.

In the same vein, the rhetoric has been less about the rights of speakers than about the rights of languages to survive (Skutnabb-Kangas 2000) and, in much of the linguistics literature, about the benefits of linguistic diversity to the linguistics enterprise (especially the extent to which research on language universals and typology is negatively affected by the lost languages). The literature has generally underscored the cultural impoverishment of the affected population – not withstanding issues arising from such a static notion of “culture” – but little has been said about whether it has all been losses and no gains among the relevant populations who have somehow adapted to their changing socio-economic ecologies.

In this essay, I elaborate positions articulated in Mufwene(2001, 2002, 2003a, 2004) to show that the competition and selection following from the contact of languages made possible by colonization are a much more complex process, which proceeds differentially, consistent with the ecology-based approach to language evolution outlined in Mufwene (2001). I submit that globalization itself is an aspect, if not a product, of colonization, which can be traced back to the beginnings of agriculture and its impact on human societies (see also Cowen 2001). It is a non-uniform and non-unilinear process which has affected the linguistic landscape of the world differentially and calls for an account that should avoid oversimplification and unidimensionality.

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