Declaration On Debt, World Social Forum in Nairobi, Kenya

29 January 2007

1. Campaigns, social movements, non-governmental organisations, community-based organisations, faith-based organisations and activists from all around the world have gathered in Nairobi, Kenya for the 2007 World Social Forum. Together, we the undersigned participants of the World Social Forum are determined to achieve an end to debt domination. It is a scandal that the rich world demands hundreds of millions of dollars every day from the South in payment of ‘debts’ that have emerged from the unjust economic relations that impoverish the South and enrich the North. Indebtedness is still robbing the peoples of Africa, Latin America and Asia of their rights - their rights to independence and political autonomy, as well as to health, education, water and all the other essential goods and basic services which should be available to all.

2. The debt crisis is not just a financial problem for the countries of the South. It is also a political problem that is based on and reinforces unequal power relations: debt continues to be used as an instrument of control, through conditions attached to loans and debt relief. It is an instrument of leverage Leverage This is the ratio between funds borrowed for investment and the personal funds or equity that backs them up. A company may have borrowed much more than its capitalized value, in which case it is said to be ’highly leveraged’. The more highly a company is leveraged, the higher the risk associated with lending to the company; but higher also are the possible profits that it may realise as compared with its own value. used by lender countries and lender-controlled institutions to: aid the entry of their transnational corporations; enforce their foreign policy options and military and invasive strategies; secure favourable trade deals; and promote resource extraction from recipient countries.

3. It is also a responsibility of the North: their reckless, self-interested, irresponsible and exploitative lending has fostered this crisis, and their imposition of policies has deepened it. Wealthy governments, transnational companies, and institutions such as the IMF 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.
, 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.

, and WTO WTO
World Trade Organisation
The WTO, founded on 1st January 1995, replaced the General Agreement on Trade and Tariffs (GATT). The main innovation is that the WTO enjoys the status of an international organization. Its role is to ensure that no member States adopt any kind of protectionism whatsoever, in order to accelerate the liberalization global trading and to facilitate the strategies of the multinationals. It has an international court (the Dispute Settlement Body) which judges any alleged violations of its founding text drawn up in Marrakesh.

must all take responsibility for their roles in creating and perpetuating this situation.

We also recognise the role of unaccountable and corrupt governments of the South in creating this debt. These governments must make restitution for their theft from and exploitation of peoples in the South.

4. We applaud the Norwegian campaigners, working in partnership and solidarity with Southern movements, who succeeded in convincing Norwegian government to be the first lender to cancel debts on the grounds of its own irresponsible lending. We know that their years of hard work have brought the Norwegian government to this position. We call on the G8 G8 Group composed of the most powerful countries of the planet: Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK and the USA, with Russia a full member since June 2002. Their heads of state meet annually, usually in June or July. governments and other lenders to look at the debts which they are claiming, to question the justice and legitimacy of these claims, and to recognise their own responsibility. All lenders - governments, financial institutions and private companies - must take up this challenge.

5. We know that our strength lies in the commitment and determination of social movements, campaigns and individuals working in solidarity around the world. The challenge to the injustice of debt domination has come and still comes from these tireless and vocal efforts. This, over many years, has forced the debt crisis from being an issue that few knew about, and that many governments did not acknowledge, to being a subject of debate around the world. It has also brought successes such as that in Norway, and the realisation of official debt audits in Ecuador and other countries. We, Southern and Northern people’s movements and organisations, are determined to work and raise our voices together until our call for an end to debt domination becomes irresistible.

6. Given the human suffering caused by historical and continuing exploitation of the countries of the South, the imbalance of economic and political power, and the ecological devastation inflicted on the South by commercial interests, governments and institutions of the North, there is no question that the North is in fact in debt to the South. We assert that the South is the creditor of an enormous historical, social, cultural, political and ongoing ecological debt. This must be acknowledged, and restitution and reparations must be made.

7. We are calling for just economic relations between and within countries. We are NOT calling for lender-controlled initiatives to ease the financial flows of some impoverished countries, or for debt relief dependent on conditions set by the institutions of the North. We are calling for rich and powerful countries of the world to recognise that they are benefiting from and failing to take responsibility for the exploitation of the South. We assert the rights of peoples to hold their own governments to account, and call on governments to uphold those debts. We are calling for official and citizens’ audits of debt and a citizens’ audit of the international financial institutions. We are calling for systematic social control of public indebtedness. We are calling for debt cancellation without the imposition of conditions by lenders and for restitution and reparations. We stand in solidarity with governments who choose to repudiate illegitimate debt. We are calling for the total elimination of illegitimate, odious, unjust and unpayable debt.

Proposed calls to action:

1.A Global Week of Action against Debt - October 14 to 21
This week offers campaigners the opportunity to mark:
October 15 - 20th anniversary of the death of Thomas Sankara
October 16 - World Food Day
October 17 - International Day to Eradicate Poverty
October 20 - World Youth Day
October 19-21 - IMF-WB Annual meetings

The call to governments during the Week of Action will be:
South - debt repudiaton
North - debt cancellation

2.Fasts to protest against debt domination
A 40-day rolling fast from September 6 to October 15 (week of action) in USA
‘One lunch for Africa’: a proposal for African / Southern campaign groups to fast over one lunchtime, during the rolling fast and for two days before the G8 meeting.

3.Use occasion of governmental summits to raise the call for debt cancellation
G8, June 2007: media and via mobilizations in Germany and elsewhere (Mali)
Commonwealth Heads of Government, November 2007: mobilisation in Uganda

4.Call for audits
Official/government and citizens’ debt audits, and a citizens’ audit of the IFIs

5.Call for endorsements by prominent individiduals
Call on elected representatives, faith leaders and other prominent individuals - both South and North - to associate themselves with these actions and demands

(24th January 2007)

Organizational endorsements

Organization Country Name Contact
Jubilee South Global Lidy Nacpil secretariat at
Lutheran World Federation Program of Incidence on Illegitimate Debt Global Angel Furlan, Juan Pedro Schaad afurlan at
Southern Peoples Ecological Debt Creditors Alliance (SPEDCA) Global Ivonne Yanez ieetm at
World Council of Churches Global Athena Peralta rrm at
womenandgloby at
Africa Jubilee South Regional - Africa Demba Dembele dembuss at
AFRODAD Regional - Africa Vitalice Meja vitalis at
Asia Pacific Movement for Debt and Development (Asia Jubilee South) Regional - Asia and the Pacific Milo Tanchuling
EURODAD Regional - Europe Alex Wilks
Jubilee South/Americas Regional - Latin America and the Caribbean Beverly Keene jubileosur at
keeneba at
Organization of African Instituted Churches (OAIC) Pastor Prisca Apudo
Pan-African Youth Movement Maureen Nyakeramo nyakeramom at
Jubileu 2000 Angola Angola Benjamin Castello Jubileu2000.ang at,
jubileuangola at
Dialogue 2000 Argentina Beverly Keene dialogo at
CDL Bangladesh Mohiuddin Ahmad Mohi2005 at
CADTM Belgium Belgium Christine Vanden Doden Christine at
CADTM Belgium Belgium Eric Toussaint
CADTM Belgium Belgium Olivier Bonfond
CNCD - 11.11.11 Belgium Marta Ruiz
CADD Benin Emilie Atchaka
Fundacao Luterana de Diaconia Brazil Angelique van Zeeland Angelique at
Jubilee South Brazil Brazil Marcos Arruda marruda at
PACS Brazil Marcos Arruda marruda at
CADTM Congo Brazzaville Congo Brazzaville Isabelle Kikouka cadtmbrazza at
CADTM Congo Brazzaville Congo Brazzaville Nianga Rock cadtmbrazza at
NAD-CADTM Democratic Republic of Congo Victor Nzuzi
Ecological Action Ecuador Ivonne Yanez ivonne.yanez at
Ethiopian Higher Learning Institutions Student’s Unions Ethiopia Hunde Dhugassa
CADTM France France Claude Quemar Claude.quemar at
Blue 21 Germany Philipp Hersel Philipp.herself at
PAPDA Haiti Camille Chalmers Camille.Chalmers at
VAK (Cadtm Intntl. Network) India Ajit Muricken
Debt and Development Coalition Ireland Nessa N. Chasaide nessa at
Comboni Missionary Italy-Brazil Dario Bossi padredario at
FNDP (Cadtm Intntl. Network) Ivory Coast Solange Kone
Attac Japan Japan Yoko AKIMOTO
Jubilee Kyushu on World Debt and Poverty Japan Junko Okura preabsunol at
Kenya Lillia Okotta Tel +254-0726931211
Catholic Economic Justice Kenya Vincent Manginga
Catholic Economic Justice Kenya Brenda Lungatso lungbm at
Catholic Economic Justice Kenya Magnus Bruening bruening at
Catholic Economic Justice Kenya Andrea Rigon Andrea.rigon at
Catholic Economic Justice Kenya Christine Mwanwa ameceajp at
Catholic Economic Justice Kenya
Consolata Sisters (member of CEJ) Kenya Sr. Rose Fernández
Chemchemi ya Ukweli Kenya Dominic Kanuki chemchemi at
KENDREN Kenya Njuki Githethwa kendren at
Kenya Library Association (KLA) Kenya Caroline Warnae warnaecarolyne at
TARC-Kenya Kenya Chris Mwamblugu christophermwamblugu at
Youth Agenda for Peace and Development Kenya Mokaya Araní Mokayaarani at
CAD (Cadtm Intntl. Network) Mali Aminata Touré Barry,
Moktar Coulibaly
Attac-Cadtm Morocco Mimoum Rhamani
Center for International Studies Nicaragua Alejandro Bendaña Pedro47 at
SLUG (Drop the Debt) Norway Sigurel Kihl
LPP Pakistan Farooq Tariq
Freedom from Debt Coalition Philippines Elizabeth Paguio sabyte at
Freedom from Debt Coalition Philippines Milo Tanchuling mntanchuling at
IBON Foundation Philippines Tetet Lauron international at
tlauron at
Jubilee South Africa South Africa George Dor george at
Umzabalazo we Jubilee South Africa Eddie Cottle eddiecottle at
Campaign Quién debe a Quien? (Who Owes Whom?) Spain Griselda Piñero Delledonne
Observatorio de la Deuda en la Globalización ODG Spain Iolanda Fresnillo Iolanda.fresnillo at
Aktion Finanzplatz Switzerland Max Mader
RAID-CADTM Tunisia Rathi Chamki
Caritas Uganda Uganda Vincent Edoku
Ainsworth United Church of Christ USA Lynne Smouse López aucc at
Jubilee Northwest Coalition USA Alice Woldt awoldt at
Jubilee Orego USA Nancy Yuill jubileeoregon at
Jubilee USA USA Kristin Sundell Kristin at
Jubilee USA USA Neil Watkins neil at
Jubilee Zambia Zambia Muyatwa Sitali musitali at
Maryknoll Missionrs Zimbabwe Merwyn De Mello Merwyn.demello at
Bola Moyo Cara Pattison cara at
Sweden Kerstin Bergea kerstin at
Tanzania Ranaimuye Nkya Ranaimuye_nkya at
Giulia de Ponce



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