[mgj-discuss] RE: mgj-discuss Digest, Vol 42, Issue 22
sarah at jubileeusa.org
Fri Jun 16 12:24:19 PDT 2006
MGJ is already signed on to this! I saw the name listed on the most recent
list of signatories sent out by Lidy.
Communications and Advocacy Fellow
Jubilee USA Network
222 East Capitol Street NE
Washington, DC 20003 USA
(202) 543-0692 (tel)
(202) 422-2687 (cell)
(202) 546-4468 (fax)
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1. Call for for action during WB/IMF meetings in fall and sign
on statement (Morrigan Phillips)
Date: Fri, 16 Jun 2006 15:20:49 -0400
From: Morrigan Phillips <phipco at riseup.net>
Subject: [mgj-discuss] Call for for action during WB/IMF meetings in
fall and sign on statement
To: mgj-discuss at lists.mutualaid.org
Message-ID: <20060616152049.wt84sqm9nhlw40oc at mail.riseup.net>
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Below is a sign on statement and a call to action from Jubilee South.
It calls for actions against the WB and IMF in Sept. during their
annual meetings. perhaps MGJ can sign on...though maybe not until the
discussion on what MGJ is doing in the fall happens.
WE ENCOURAGE YOUR ORGANIZATION TO SIGN ON TO THE STATEMENT, CIRCULATE IT
TO ALL NETWORKS AND GROUPS THAT YOU CAN REACH, AND PARTICIPATE ACTIVELY
IN IMPLEMENTING THE CALL.
IF YOU AGREE TO SIGN ON, PLEASE CONTACT: SECRETARIAT at JUBILEESOUTH.ORG
Please note that Spanish and French language versions of the statement
and endorsements are also available if you contact Jubilee South.
The Jubilee USA staff team
TEXT OF STATEMENT:
CALL FOR GLOBAL ACTIONS AGAINST
INTERNATIONAL FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS
SEPTEMBER 14-20, 2006
For more than sixty years, the International Monetary Fund and the World
Bank together with their partner regional development banks and export
credit agencies, have used international finance capital to exercise
control and restructure the societies of the South to serve the
interests of global private corporations and the economic and
geo-political agenda of the few powerful nations that control these
The resulting effects on peoples lives, on communities, on the
environment, and on the economic as well as political structures in the
South have been profound and over the years have generated numerous
resistance struggles against these institutions.
Despite well-documented evidence and countless testimonies to the
destruction, displacement and dispossession their policies and
operations have caused, these institutions persist in legitimizing their
role. In recent years they have declared themselves to be champions of
poverty reduction and good governance.
This year, 2006, we pledge to intensify our struggles against these
institutions and raise the level of international coordination and
concerted action. In particular, we commit to organizing different forms
of mobilization and direct action in many countries across the globe
during the week of the IMF and WB Annual Meetings, September 14-20,
2006. This will include various activities and actions in the vicinity
of their meetings in Singapore.
WE CALL on all peoples organizations, social movements, labor movements,
womens movements, farmers groups, first peoples, religious and cultural
groups, community organizations, NGOs, political forces, and all
concerned citizens around the world to join us in mounting vigorous
actions that will focus the worlds attention on the destruction and
human rights violations caused by the IMF and World Bank, the regional
development banks, export credit agencies, and the neoliberal global
system they enforce.
Our actions will identify issues and articulate demands that reflect
the particular impacts of these institutions on each of our countries
but will also be united on the following global demands:
1. Immediate and 100% cancellation of multilateral debts as part of the
total cancellation of debts claimed from the South, without externally
The inhuman and destructive consequences of debt domination which the
international financial institutions play a major part in perpetuating
are evidence against the outrageously deceitful claim of these
institutions that they are working for poverty reduction and financing
Debt relief initiatives of international financial institutions have to
date covered only a very small part of the debt claimed from the South.
Worse, these initiatives come with conditions that undermine the
sovereignty of people to determine their own path of development, have
proven harmful to livelihoods and the environment, and keep South
economies tied to the interests of global private profit.
Cancellation of only a small part of the debt may release some funds
that can be used for basic services but does not free the South from
debt bondage. Debt cancellation must be 100%.
And for immediate action, we highlight the especially urgent cases most
of Africa, Haiti, Nepal, Tsunami-hit countries and others recently
devastated by natural calamities, countries ravaged by war, societies
overwhelmed by HIV/AIDS, and others experiencing severe social,
financial and economic crisis.
We reject the international financial institutions debt sustainability
framework. There is no level of debt that is sustainable in a global
economic system that is founded on domination and exploitation of the
peoples, economies and resources of the South. This framework is a
means by which these institutions justify maintaining the indebtedness
of Southern countries.
The insistence on their debt sustainability framework is also a refusal
to address the more fundamental question of the illegitimacy of the debt
claimed from the South. Peoples of the South should not be made to pay
for illegitimate debts -- debts they have not benefited from, debts that
financed projects that have caused displacement of communities and
damage to the environment, debts wasted on corruption or failed
projects, debts contracted through undemocratic and fraudulent means,
debts with grossly unfair terms and harmful conditions, odious debts
incurred by dictatorships, debt contracted in the context of
exploitative international economic relations, debts for which peoples
of the South have paid many times over.
Though the financial debts claimed from the South are of staggering
amounts, totaling more than US$2.3 trillion dollars, the North in fact
owes the peoples of the South a far, far greater debt. It is the
historical, economic, social, and ecological debt accumulated over
centuries of plunder and exploitation by North with the collaboration of
The IMF and the World Bank should bear the costs of writing off debts
owed to them by using the World Banks loan loss provisions (valued at
US$3 billion as of June 30, 2005) and retained earnings (valued at US$27
billion as of June 30, 2005) and IMF gold stocks. With the market price
of gold surpassing US$600 an ounce, the IMFs 103.4 million ounces of
gold are worth more than US$60 billion, rather than the US$9 billion
recorded on the IMFs books.
2. Open, transparent and participatory External Audit of the lending
operations and related policies of the International Financial
Institutions, beginning with the World Bank and IMF
Debt campaigns, movements, peoples organizations, and NGOs are now
involved in preparing for and conducting country-level independent
Citizens Audits of Debts claimed from South countries as well as calling
on South governments to conduct transparent, open and participatory
Government Audits (e.g. Parliamentary) of these debts. These audits are
aimed at examining the origins and causes of the debt problem, taking
stock of effects and impacts, bringing to light the dubious and
illegitimate character of the debts, identifying responsibility and
accountability, and establishing and strengthening the basis for urgent
changes in national policies on the debt and related issues.
We challenge the international financial institutions to subject
themselves to similar independent audits of the loans they have
released, their lending policies, processes and operations, and the
terms and conditionalities that have accompanied these loans, and take
stock of the effects and impacts. Such audits should look into the
culpability and accountability of these international financial
institutions, and asses what restitution and reparations must be made.
The international financial institutions have recently been stepping up
efforts to portray themselves as champions of good governance, including
the announcement of renewed efforts and strategies to fight corruption.
We challenge these institutions to begin with themselves and examine how
they have been involved in creating and exacerbating the problem of
corruption. External, independent audits of their loans, lending
operations and conditionalities should include this question. Further,
corruption must be seen as a systemic problem that also involves the
private sector, especially transnational corporations.
3. Stop the imposition of conditions and the promotion of neoliberal
policies and projects.
Through the conditions attached to their loans and programs, the IMF and
World Bank have succeeded in restructuring the global economy. The
widespread use of structural adjustment programs from the early 1980s in
countries with significant debt, poverty, and financial problems has
forced most of the South countries economic policies to ape those of the
industrialized countries, regardless of how inappropriate those policies
may have been for the countries development needs. Because of the
imposition of neo-liberal policies on countries desperate for access to
credit, peoples across the South now confront economies oriented to
export production rather than providing for local markets, devastated
manufacturing sectors, a large percentage of economic actors in foreign
hands, valuable public assets privatized, health and other social
sectors crippled by decades of de-funding, environmental resources
devastated by over-exploitation, small farms and businesses wiped out by
denial of credit and subsidies, and massive unemployment.
Our struggle against debt domination is waged in large part to win
freedom from the conditions that indebted governments are blackmailed
into accepting. For the September 2006 actions we demand:
a. In this 50th anniversary year of the International Finance
Corporation (IFC), the IFIs end the promotion of privatization of
public services and the use of public resources to support private
The IMF and especially the World Bank have been the main drivers in the
global push for the privatization of basic services. They are joined by
other financial institutions like regional development banks and export
The international financial institutions promote privatization of public
services through policy conditions and policy advice, financing of
projects that pave the way for privatization, providing technical
assistance in the preparation of feasibility studies as well as the
process of implementation, and even direct support for private companies
taking over public utilities. The International Finance Corporation
plays a major role in providing risk guarantees as well as equity
assistance for these private companies, and facilitating government
bail-outs of privatized utilities in distress.
The continued emphasis on privatizing basic services such as water
provision or, when no company is interested in purchasing the utility,
arranging leases and service contracts and the commercialization of
even life-saving agencies such as those managing food reserves reflects
a fixation on markets as the only organizing principle for economies
even in the face of overwhelming contradictory evidence. Failure after
failure of water privatizations in the South has not deterred the IFIs
from their mission to wrest assets from public ownership.
Our message to the IFC and its multilateral partners is clear: no more
public resources for support of private profit.
b. Stop IFI funding and involvement in environmentally destructive
projects beginning with big dams, oil, gas and mining and implement the
major recommendations of the Extractive Industries Review.
The international financial institutions are also presenting themselves
as leading in the fight against climate change and environmental
destruction. However, no amount of clever rhetoric about stronger
commitments and new strategies can hide the fact that many projects
designed, driven and supported by international financial institutions
violate the already watered-down standards and safeguards avowed by
these same institutions and cause massive environmental as well as
The World Bank is itself a major ecological debtor, having funded major
projects such as hydro-electric dams, mines, pipelines and petroleum
exploration and development projects which have displaced populations
and wrought major environmental damage. The World Bank has refused to
implement major recommendations of its own Extractive Industries Review
including 1) the principle that communities faced with resource
extraction projects must give free, prior and informed consent, 2) and
the phase out of investment in hydrocarbon extraction projects.
The World Banks attempt to claim leadership on the issue of climate
change with the application of its development of carbon credit trading
is another tragic example of market fundamentalism. Entrusting the
precarious future of the worlds climate to the World Banks clever market
solutions distracts the major actors from focusing on the
over-consumption that threaten to doom the planet and all who live on
it. Meanwhile, the World Bank Group, which claims leadership in
developing alternative energy, devotes much greater resources to
developing conventional energy sources. Indeed, the World Bank is the
worlds leading financer of projects producing greenhouse gases.
c. Immediately stop imposing conditions that exacerbate health crises
like the AIDS pandemic and make restitution for past practices such as
requiring user fees for public education and health care services.
IFI policies have aggravated health crises like the AIDS pandemic in a
number of ways. Austerity measures have constrained health budgets,
prevented the hiring of critically needed teachers and health care
workers due to limits on spending for public sector employees, and kept
people out of clinics and children away from schools by insisting on
user fees. The macroeconomic policies the International Financial
Institutions have imposed over the last 25 years including fiscal
austerity, high interest rates, unilateral trade liberalization and
privatization of essential services - have led to lower growth rates and
fewer improvements in social indicators than had occurred over the two
decades between 1960 and 1980.
The IFIs owe an enormous social debt to countries whose public services
have been damaged by their policies. Their creditors are the women of
South countries, who have had to step in to provide the health care, the
food, the teaching, the water, and the other basic goods and services
put out of reach by IFI policies. The World Bank and the IMF should pay
for free primary education and primary health care as a form of
reparations or restitution for the damage their policies have caused.
As we take to the streets and plazas on September 14 to 20, in
Singapore and around the world, we stand united in our call for an end
to the destruction visited upon the South by the IMF, the World Bank,
the other multilateral banks, and the countries that control them.
We call upon activists to tell us about their planned activities so that
we may publicize them, and about the outcomes of their actions.
As of June 13, 119 organizations from around the world have signed on!
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