NGOs and CSOs have progressively enjoyed easy access to, and better possibilities to affect decision-making processes taking place within the Inter-American Development Bank (‘the Bank’ or the ‘IDB’), including also the most recent decisions of the IDB affecting the relationship between Spain and the Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) countries. Indeed, in particular the increasing intensity of NGO and CSO activities and their involvement in the performances and activities of the Bank and of its governing bodies at different levels and stages show that NGOs and CSOs over the last decade have become essential, though often under-recognized components of the operational structures of the internal governance of the IDB. CSOs may be, and often are, eligible to directly receive financings from the Bank. Starting from a brief introduction of the Bank followed by a set of normative arguments on the key accountability challenges facing the IDB Group, the paper will deal with the issue of NGO and CSO participation in relation to the decision-making process on the IDB Group’s financed operations, investment and programmatic lending operations. It will also consider the social and environmental accountability initiatives that derive from the Bank’s core aims of achieving poverty eradication and effective and sustainable development. In doing so, approaching the topic from an international legal perspective, the paper will first explore the broad and inclusive definition of what constitutes a ‘civil society organization’ for the IDB and its affiliated organizations. Secondly, and in more detail, it will consider the “Strategy for Promoting Citizen Participation in Bank Activities” as approved by the IDB Board of Directors in 2004 in order to expand, strengthen and systematize citizen and civil society participation in the Bank’s activities. Thirdly, the paper will focus on the Guidelines for the functioning of the Civil Society Advisory Councils (the ‘Guidelines’). Fourthly, it will describe how NGO and CSO participation is taken into account by the internal instruments of the Bank envisaging citizen and civil society participation in the IDB’s financial activities (including the most recent activities to enhance the trade and investment relationship between Spain and LAC countries). Therefore, the key features and characteristics of the Guidelines that are of special significance to NGO and CSO participation in the decision-making process on the IDB’s financed operations and in furthering the accountability of the Bank to its constituents – such as the criteria for the establishment and participation of CSOs and NGOs, the notification procedure, the meaning of ‘Civil Society Consulting Groups’, the methods for consultations at operational level, the possibilities for civil society groups and movements, including Spanish civil society groups and movements, to increase human rights and democratic accountability – will all be, in turn, the subject of specific analyses. Finally, the paper will conclude with some observations on the social and democratic accountability of the IDB to civil society and non-state actors, referring in particular to the experience of the internal accountability mechanism established by the IDB’s Board of Governors (the Bank’s highest authority) in 1994 – the Independent Investigation Mechanism of the Inter-American Development Bank (the ‘Independent Mechanism’) – that was established with the aim of “increasing the transparency, accountability, and effectiveness” of the
Enhancing Democratic Accountability? 45 Bank and recently replaced by the created Independent Consultation and Investigation
Mechanism (ICIM) effective on June 30, 2010.
The Andean Tribunal of Justice (ATJ) can be contested for a number of reasons, including but not limited to the low status and importance given to public international law in Andean community law. Judicial decisions such as Proceso 28-AI-2001, Proceso 117-AI-2003 and Proceso 118-AI-2003 have induced legal observers to maintain that the ATJ is developing a less inclusive approach toward international legal rules and instruments. This raises some interesting and timely questions, such as: has a “revirement de jurisprudence” occurred? And if there is a “revirement” or reversal, is this “revirement” attributable to an alternative approach of the ATJ towards public international law? What issues might have determined the recent rulings of the ATJ? This paper aims to address these queries. It examines the ATJ’s recent judicial decisions dealing with public international law, contrasts them with earlier rulings and collocates them in the wider framework of the Tribunal’s overall understanding of the Andean community legal system.
Prior to the establishment of the Monitoring and Reporting Mechanism (‘mrm’) in 2005, conflict related violence against children was a largely unknown phenomenon in its real numbers and forms. This situation was rightly perceived as being unacceptable by several reports, including UN documents. Nevertheless, the establishment of mrm leaded to the introduction of a number of criteria and rules for the gathering and reporting of information and data on conflict related violence against children to the UN Security Council. It was generally believed that these innovations would enhance the fight against these acts of violence at UN level. This paper critically examines the various criteria and rules through which the mrm has contributed to the fight against violence towards children in armed conflict scenarios. It asserts that due the continued growth of episodes of violence against children, the benefits anticipated to reduce these odious forms of violence under mrm have remained elusive throughout the fifteen years since the mrm was established. The work advances a suggestion for the improvement of the operation and functioning of the mrm through the attribution of adjudication powers to this body.
Over the last few decades, the World Bank (‘WB’) has gained wide experience in post-conflict peacebuilding by experimenting new approaches to peace-and state-building in a wide range of difficult, fragile and conflict-affected countries such as Burundi, Liberia, and Nepal, all of which were undergoing significant political processes in the area of post-conflict reconstruction and democratic consolidation. The WB is the principal organization of the UN system providing low-interest loans for improvements in countries in difficulties. This paper explores the extent to which the WB can assert a role in the operational management of post-conflict reconstruction and argues that the WB’s increasing engagement with post-reconstruction issues is proper and permissible according both to its Establishing Agreement and its Relationship Agreement with the UN. But this is only provided it is balanced against a recognition of its intrinsic and operational limitations: namely and in particular the limitations that arise, respectively, from the UN Security Council’s competing competence in the same sector and the enduring existence of political prohibition clauses in the WB’s and IDA’s Establishing Agreements. If the WB’s post-conflict activities continue, it will turn out to be a player of great significance and actuality in developing and applying international post-conflict reconstruction norms and principles. Ultimately, given the inextricable link between development and conflict, the WB’s competence over post-conflict reconstruction issues is functional to its legitimacy. Support for the WB’s evolving role in post-conflict reconstruction scenarios will be highest if the WB enacts measures to promote its substantive and procedural legitimacy among member countries. This paper therefore collocates its analysis within the framework of democratic decision-making and argues for a clearer definition of responsibilities among the WB financial institutions and other organizations and organs belonging to the same UN family, such the UN Security Council, ECOSOC and the UN Peacebuilding Commission.
Pandemic financing has in the current climate of disruption and turmoil of an ongoing global pandemic become the most highly debated and controversial issue within the field of international public health law and policy. From the perspective of international public health law and policy, a precondition for success is that financial resources and funds are employed in an effective manner. Whether the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (‘World Bank’ or ‘WB’) and the Pandemic Emergency Financing Facility (‘PEF’) – a financing mechanism housed at the WB – may be perceived as effective public health players shall be established by referring to their mandates, their inherent capacity for enhancing accepted global legal standards and rules on public health and their funding methods and practices. After the affirmation and consolidation of its role in the public health sector in the early 1990s, the WB has rapidly accredited itself as the most active intergovernmental institution dealing with pandemic and epidemic financing. Its direct involvement in public health trust funds, such as the Avian Flu Trust Fund Facility and the Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Multi-Donor Fund (the HEPRF), and its lending practices and internal policies and procedures were of crucial significance in this respect. Considering that acceptance of international institutions, including international financial institutions, has always been conditioned by their acknowledgment as legally legitimate, legitimacy is regarded as closely connected to effectiveness. The criteria for establishing legitimacy in relation to international financial institutions are increasingly, amongst others, the respect and promotion of rule of law standards in the recipient states. From this perspective, the WB’s functional and management structures, but not the PEF’s structures and management, have made noteworthy progress, and notwithstanding some deficiencies and peculiarities they present several elements of legitimate decision-making.
This article considers the Inter American Court of Human Rights (IACtHR)’s and Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (iachr)’s approach to interpreting and applying the American Convention on Human Rights (achr) provisions through the prism of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (crc) and ascertains the features of each convention that supports this approach. It concentrates on the IACtHR’s and iachr’s development and implementation of the principle of the best interest of the child, and on two specific areas of the IACtHR’s and iachr’s jurisprudence on children’s rights – children’s migration and trafficking of children – and concludes with some suggestions as to how this approach might be improved further in a manner that gives wider scope for the promotion of children’s rights and freedoms in the achr contracting states.
This article argues that it is not possible to interpret or apply the International Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights and Dignity of Persons with Disabilities (Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities or CRPD) and its related Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities without drawing on the texts of other human rights treaties and the related jurisprudence of their judicial or quasi-judicial supervisory bodies. Conversely, it is not possible to supervise the implementation of other human rights treaties, where persons with disabilities are concerned, without drawing on the text of the CRPD and related interpretative conclusions of the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD Committee).