Global Week of Action against Debt and the IFIs

Break the Chains - Transform the System

27 August 2010

October 7-17, 2010

We’ve been told that the global economy is on the road to recovery. The Wall Street casino that triggered the global financial and economic crisis is back up and running; the largest banks are back to paying out enormous bonuses to their CEOs and investors; the International Financial Institutions (IFIs) have a new lease on life with massive increases in their operating capital and political role.

People and the planet should not pay the costs of the crises!

For the hundreds of millions of people around the world who were pushed even further into poverty and marginalization due to the crisis, and for the planet Earth itself, however, this “recovery” is meaningless. Together with the food, climate, and fuel crises, the economic crisis led to massive job and wage losses, cut-backs in the provision of basic human rights to healthcare, education, housing, water, electricity, and social security, violent evictions from land and territories, increased concentration of corporate control and exploitation of natural resources, and a rise in racist, gender, religious, and sexual discrimination, among other impacts. The costs of this truly systemic crisis continue to rise, including also skyrocketing social crisis and heightened militarization, war, and criminalization of protest, even while the financial sector is again reaping record profits.
Debt levels around the globe have also increased dangerously, as a result of policies designed to subsidize the wealthy and favor the free flow of capital in a market that was supposed to be self-correcting. The debt domination that countries in the global South have suffered for decades is beginning to affect countries in the North more directly, and the types of painful “austerity measures” that devastated populations throughout the South are more widely being applied in the North. Still, it is people and the planet in the South, and those most vulnerable in the North, that stand to bear the brunt of a renewed debt crisis.

The peoples of the South do not owe; they are the creditors!

The debt that is accumulating is not just financial however. By and large, the response to the crises has been a continuation of failed policies of the past, increasing the ecological, climate, social, and economic debts owed to working people and the marginalized. The alarming failure of governments in the North to make concrete commitments to settle their climate debt to the South, through deep domestic emissions cuts and compensatory finance and technology, threatens our collective future. Similarly, limited, lender-driven and conditioned debt relief has ignored the need to respect the self-determination and sovereignty of all peoples and to address demands to end the impunity of the casino economy and make reparations for the damage done through illegitimate indebtedness.
Other wrong-headed responses to the crises include: lending for crisis needs, fossil fuels, agrofuels, mega infrastructure and energy projects or so-called clean development mechanisms; promoting the carbon market and the notion of a “green” capitalism; and the central role given to highly questioned institutions such as the International Monetary Fund IMF
International Monetary Fund
Along with the World Bank, the IMF was founded on the day the Bretton Woods Agreements were signed. Its first mission was to support the new system of standard exchange rates.

When the Bretton Wood fixed rates system came to an end in 1971, the main function of the IMF became that of being both policeman and fireman for global capital: it acts as policeman when it enforces its Structural Adjustment Policies and as fireman when it steps in to help out governments in risk of defaulting on debt repayments.

As for the World Bank, a weighted voting system operates: depending on the amount paid as contribution by each member state. 85% of the votes is required to modify the IMF Charter (which means that the USA with 17,68% % of the votes has a de facto veto on any change).

The institution is dominated by five countries: the United States (16,74%), Japan (6,23%), Germany (5,81%), France (4,29%) and the UK (4,29%).
The other 183 member countries are divided into groups led by one country. The most important one (6,57% of the votes) is led by Belgium. The least important group of countries (1,55% of the votes) is led by Gabon and brings together African countries.
, the World Bank World Bank
The World Bank was founded as part of the new international monetary system set up at Bretton Woods in 1944. Its capital is provided by member states’ contributions and loans on the international money markets. It financed public and private projects in Third World and East European countries.

It consists of several closely associated institutions, among which :

1. The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD, 189 members in 2017), which provides loans in productive sectors such as farming or energy ;

2. The International Development Association (IDA, 159 members in 1997), which provides less advanced countries with long-term loans (35-40 years) at very low interest (1%) ;

3. The International Finance Corporation (IFC), which provides both loan and equity finance for business ventures in developing countries.

As Third World Debt gets worse, the World Bank (along with the IMF) tends to adopt a macro-economic perspective. For instance, it enforces adjustment policies that are intended to balance heavily indebted countries’ payments. The World Bank advises those countries that have to undergo the IMF’s therapy on such matters as how to reduce budget deficits, round up savings, enduce foreign investors to settle within their borders, or free prices and exchange rates.

, regional development banks, the Financial Stability Forum, or the World Trade Organization.

People and the planet demand debt cancellation and reparations, NOW!

Enough is enough! What people and the planet are demanding is to break the chains of debt domination and the subjugation of all life to the dictates of the market in an economic system based on accumulation and overconsumption by the few, rather than justice and solidarity among the many. We, the peoples, must unite locally and globally to build alternatives of equity Equity The capital put into an enterprise by the shareholders. Not to be confused with ’hard capital’ or ’unsecured debt’. and equilibrium for all, without debts or domination. 
Instead of more illegitimate debt and new institutions like the G20 G20 The Group of Twenty (G20 or G-20) is a group made up of nineteen countries and the European Union whose ministers, central-bank directors and heads of state meet regularly. It was created in 1999 after the series of financial crises in the 1990s. Its aim is to encourage international consultation on the principle of broadening dialogue in keeping with the growing economic importance of a certain number of countries. Its members are Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, India, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, USA, UK and the European Union (represented by the presidents of the Council and of the European Central Bank). - the self-proclaimed “premier forum for international economic cooperation”-, that exclude the majority of countries, it is time to transform a system whose failure has become increasingly evident. Rather than profiting from the crises on the backs of the same peoples, countries, and planet that for too long now have been paying the costs of their enrichment, the governments, corporations, and institutions of the North, together with elites in the South, must provide reparations for the debts they have incurred and their responsibility for these multiple crises and the disproportionate use of the planet’s resources.

Stop Illegitimate Lending – Transform the System!

We call on movements and organizations all over the world to join forces in this fight and to unite in the GLOBAL WEEK OF ACTION AGAINST DEBT AND IFIs, October 7-17. Together let us carry out actions wherever we are, in support of the following demands and ongoing struggles:
- No more debt in response to the crises provoked by the lenders
- Unconditional cancellation and repudiation of all illegitimate financial debts
- Restitution and reparations for ecological, climate, economic, social and historical debts owed by the governments and corporations of the North to the peoples of the South
- Respect for the sovereign right of countries to repudiate or stop servicing debt claims in order to meet their human and nature rights obligations
- Solutions to the economic, climate, energy, and food crises that are equitable, participatory, and transformational
- World Bank and regional development banks out of Climate Finance
- An end to the nefarious practices of vulture funds Vulture funds
Vulture fund
Investment funds who buy, on the secondary markets and at a significant discount, bonds once emitted by countries that are having repayment difficulties, from investors who prefer to cut their losses and take what price they can get in order to unload the risk from their books. The Vulture Funds then pursue the issuing country for the full amount of the debt they have purchased, not hesitating to seek decisions before, usually, British or US courts where the law is favourable to creditors.
, which profiteer at the expense of impoverished countries and debt cancellation.
- No more irresponsible lending to finance destructive projects or to prop up illegitimate governments.
- Creation of new financial institutions and global and regional financial architecture that put people and the planet before profits and corporate power
- An end to the militarization and criminalization of social protest 

OCTOBER 7 to 17, 2010

Initial Co-convenors GLOBAL Jubilee South, Committee for the Abolition of Third World Debt AFRICA Africa Jubilee South, Daughters of Mumbi Global Resource Center (Kenya), KENDREN (Kenya), Africaine de Recherche et de Coopération pour l’Appui au Développement Endogène (ARCADE), African Forum on Alternatives (Senegal) ASIA/PACIFIC Jubilee Australia, Equity Bangladesh, Citizen’s Alliance on reforms for Equitable and Efficient Development CREED (Pakistan) EUROPE/NORTH AMERICA European Network on Debt and Development (EURODAD), Observatory on Debt in Globalization ODG (Catalunya), Who Owes Who? Campaign (Spanish State), Slett U-landsgjelda SLUG (Norway), Ekvilib Institute (Slovenia), Jubilee USA, Jubilee Debt Campaign (UK), Jubilee Debt Campaign (Scotland), Maryknoll Office of Global Concerns (USA) LATIN AMERICA/CARIBBEAN Jubilee South/Américas, Andean Coordinator of Indigenous Organizations (CAOI), Friends of the Earth LA&C, Cadtm-Ayna, Dialogue 2000 (Argentina), Attac Argentina, Jubilee SouthBrazil, Haitian Platform on Development Alternatives (PAPDA), Nicaraguan Social Movement, Afec Roga (Paraguay)

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As part of the Global Week of Action, groups and organizations are encouraged to join with others, maximize your creativity and take every kind of appropriate action to raise our common concerns and support concrete struggles. You are encouraged to share Share A unit of ownership interest in a corporation or financial asset, representing one part of the total capital stock. Its owner (a shareholder) is entitled to receive an equal distribution of any profits distributed (a dividend) and to attend shareholder meetings. your plans so that others can be supportive; some initial actions, like the March in Washington, DC, are noted below. The Week also includes a number of special days and targets that can help strengthen alliance-building with other movements and networks:

- October 8: Global Day of Action on World Bank/IFIs out of Climate! and demonstration at the Annual Meetings of the World Bank/IMF, Washington, DC

Statement. World Bank out of Climate!

The World Bank, together with the other International Financial Institutions, has been instrumental since its inception in promoting the interests of the global North, the transnational corporations, financial and political elites: the very same interests that are responsible for pushing and benefiting from an economic model that impoverishes the vast majority, plunders nature, generates global warming and undermines the sovereignty of peoples. For these reasons it has been the target of (...) Read more

- October 12: Global ¨Minga¨ in Defense of Mother Earth Rights

- October 14: Shout Out for PAKISTAN: Debt Cancellation and Climate Reparations Now!

On this day, we urge you to take the following actions:

1. Release press statements and letters to the editor to local and international media

2. Promote calls through the internet via appropriate listserves, instant messaging & social networking tools like Facebook, Twitter, Skype, Friendster, etc

3. Send a barrage of telecommunications messages (telephone, mobile phone, fax and e-mail) to the headquarters of the World Bank, IMF, ADB and/or to their offices in Pakistan and/or in your countries. Send similar messages to embassies and finance ministries of bilateral lenders with priority to Japan, France, Germany, USA and China.

4. Hold mobilizations in front of the offices of the IMF, World Bank, ADB in our respective countries.

Jubilee South – Asia/Pacific Movement on Debt and Development (JSAPMDD), JUBILEE SOUTH, European Network on Debt and Development (EURODAD), CADTM International, Jubilee USA Network, Jubilee Debt Campaign UK, Debt and Development Coalition (DDC) Ireland, Observatori del Deute en la Globalització (ODG) Spain, South Asia Alliance for Poverty Eradication (SAAPE), Freedom from Debt Coalition Philippines (FDC), Indian Social Action Forum (INSAF), Equity and Justice Working Group- Bangladesh (EquityBd), SUPRO Bangladesh, logo semana deuda 2010 INGLESKoalisi Anti-Utang Indonesia (KAU), Institute for Essential Services Reform Indonesia (IESR), KRUHA (People’s Coalition for the Right to Water) Indonesia, Solidaritas Perempuan (SP) Indonesia, Monitoring Sustainability of Globalization Malaysia (MSN), Rural Reconstruction Nepal (RRN), LDC Least Developed Countries
A notion defined by the UN on the following criteria: low per capita income, poor human resources and little diversification in the economy. The list includes 49 countries at present, the most recent addition being Senegal in July 2000. 30 years ago there were only 25 LDC.
Watch, Migrant Forum Asia (MFA), Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum (PFF), Pakistan Kissan Rabita Committee, Labour Education Foundation Pakistan, Labour Party Pakistan

- October 15: Debt Repudiation Day in memory of Thomas Sankara and International Rural Women´s Day

- October 16: World Food Day and Global Action for Food Sovereignty

- October 17: Day of Action against Poverty and Mobilization of the World March of Women in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

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