The emerging Brics economies – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – struck an agreement this month to establish a development bank with an initial capital of $100bn. The Brics want the bank to mobilise resources for infrastructure and sustainable development projects. From the outset, it should adopt open and transparent processes, and environmental and social rules, that are the best in the business. It should help communities become involved in the development of projects, invest in schemes that communities actually want, and ensure that its investments benefit the most marginalised people.
We write on the occasion of the forthcoming Australia-Vietnam human rights dialogue, scheduled to be held in Hanoi on July 28, 2014. As the first such dialogue under the Abbott government, this represents a crucial opportunity to not only raise pressing human rights issues in an unambiguous manner, but also to improve the efficacy of the dialogue by setting clear benchmarks for improvements and making the outcome of the discussions public.