USA: Network Demands Global Economic Justice

On the occasion of the first meetings of the governing bodies of the
International Monetary Fund and the World Bank in the 21st century, we call
for the immediate suspension of the policies and practices that have caused
widespread poverty, inequality, and suffering among the world's peoples and
damage to the world's environment. We assert the responsibility of these
anti-democratic institutions, together with the World Trade Organization,
for an unjust world economic system. We note that these institutions are
controlled by wealthy governments, and that their policies have benefited
international private sector financiers, transnational corporations, and
corrupt officials.

We issue this call in the name of global justice, in solidarity with the
peoples of the Global South and the former "Soviet bloc" countries who
struggle for survival and dignity in the face of unjust, imperialistic
economic policies. We stand in solidarity too with the millions in the
wealthy countries of the Global North who have borne the burden of
"globalization" policies and been subjected to policies that mirror those
imposed on the South.

Only when the coercive powers of the international financial institutions
are rescinded shall governments be accountable first and foremost to the
will of their peoples. Only when a system that allocates power chiefly to
the wealthiest nations for the purpose of dictating the policies of the
poorer ones is reversed shall nations and their peoples be able to forge
bonds - economic and otherwise - based on mutual respect and the common
needs of the planet and its inhabitants. Only when integrity is restored to
economic development, and both the corrupter and the corrupted held
accountable, shall the people begin to have confidence in the decisions that
affect their communities. Only when the well-being of all, including the
most vulnerable people and ecosystems, is given priority over corporate
profits shall we achieve genuine sustainable development and create a world
of justice, equality, and peace where fundamental human rights, including
social and economic rights, can be respected.

With these ends in mind, we make the following demands of those meeting in Washington April 16-19, 2000 for the semi-annual meetings of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund:

1. That the IMF and World Bank cancel all debts owed them. Any funds
required for this purpose should come from positive net capital and assets
held by those institutions.

2. That the IMF and World Bank immediately cease imposing the economic
austerity measures known as structural adjustment and/or other macroeconomic
"reform," which have exacerbated poverty and inequality, as conditions of
loans, credits, or debt relief. This requires both the suspension of those
conditions in existing programs and an abandonment of any version of the
Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative which is founded on the
concept of debt relief for policy reform.

3. That the IMF and World Bank accept responsibility for the disastrous
impact of structural adjustment policies by paying reparations to the
peoples and communities who have borne that impact. These funds should come
from the institutions' positive net capital and assets, and should be
distributed through democratically-determined mechanisms.

4. That the World Bank Group pay reparations to peoples relocated and
otherwise harmed by its large projects (such as dams) and compensate
governments for repayments made on projects which World Bank evaluations
rank as economic failures. A further evaluation should determine which
World Bank projects have failed on social, cultural, and environmental
grounds, and appropriate compensation paid. The funds for these payments
should come from the institutions' positive net capital and assets, and
should be distributed through democratically-determined mechanisms.

5. That the World Bank Group immediately cease providing advice and
resources through its division* devoted to private-sector investments to
advance the goals associated with corporate globalization, such as
privatization and liberalization, and that private-sector investments
currently held be liquidated to provide funds for the reparations demanded
above.

6. That the agencies and individuals within the World Bank Group and IMF
complicit in abetting corruption, as well as their accomplices in borrowing
countries, be prosecuted, and that those responsible, including the
institutions involved, provide compensation for resources stolen and damage
done.

7. That the future existence, structure, and policies of international
institutions such as the World Bank Group and the IMF be determined through
a democratic, participatory and transparent process. The process must
accord full consideration of the interests of the peoples most affected by
the policies and practices of the institutions, and include a significant
role for all parts of civil society.

The accession to these demands would require the institutions' directors to
accept and act on the need for fundamental transformation. It is possible
that the elimination of these institutions will be required for the
realization of global economic and political justice.

We commit to work towards the defunding of the IMF and World Bank by
opposing further government allocations to them (in the form of either
direct contributions or the designation of collateral) and supporting
campaigns such as a boycott of World Bank bonds until these demands have
been met.

* The International Finance Corporation (IFC) is a division of the World Bank Group. Also included is the Multilateral Investment Guaranty Agency (MIGA), which insures private investments in Southern countries.

SIGNED (partial list):

50 Years Is Enough Network

Alternative Information and Development Centre (AIDC) - Cape Town, South
Africa

Anti Debt Coalition - Indonesia

Campaign Against Neo-Liberalism in South Africa (CANSA) - Johannesburg,
South Africa

Campaign for Labor Rights - Washington, DC

Ecumenical Support Services - Harare, Zimbabwe

Focus on the Global South - Bangkok, Thailand

Food First/Institute for Food and Development Policy - Oakland, CA (USA)

Freedom from Debt Coalition - Manila, Philippines

Global Exchange - San Francisco, CA (USA)

Institute for Policy Studies, Global Economy Project - Washington, DC

Jubilee 2000 Afrika Campaign - London, UK

Jubilee 2000 Afrika Campaign (USA) - Pittsburgh, PA

Jubilee 2000 South Africa - Cape Town, South Africa

Kenya Action Network - Washington, DC (USA)

Kenya Human Rights Commission - Nairobi, Kenya

LALIT - Port Louis, Mauritius

 

Nicaragua Network - Washington, DC (USA)

 

NICCA - Oakland, CA (USA)

Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt & Development - Harare, Zimbabwe

AMP Section Name:World Financial Institutions
  • 110 Trade Justice

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