In October 2011, global coalition of civil society groups Seattle to Brussels Network held an international week of action against bilateral investment treaties. Their final declaration calls the World Bank-housed International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) part of “an architecture of impunity for transnational corporations (TNCs) [which] undermines the sovereignty and constitutions of both developed and developing countries, democratic governance and peoples’ interests.” It calls for “the withdrawal of states from ICSID and other arbitration processes.” After five years of threats, Venezuela, which has almost 20 suits pending at ICSID, formally withdrew from the institution in January, claiming membership threatened “national sovereignty”.
New BWP briefing offers critical gender analysis of World Bank lending instrument to borrowing countries.
At 75, the World Bank and IMF face a crisis of multilateralism in no small part of their own making as failed economic policies have resulted in skepticism of the international order they helped to create.
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