Week of Global Action against Debt and the IFI’s. No More False Solutions: People and the Planet need Debt Cancellation and Reparations, NOW!

15 September 2009

 October 12 – 18, 2009
Week of Global Action against Debt and the IFI’s
No More False Solutions: People and the Planet need Debt Cancellation and Reparations, NOW!

The global financial and economic crisis has devastating consequences on the lives of millions of people the world over, both South and North, and on our common home, the planet Earth. Together with the food, climate, and fuel crises, it has 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 profits of speculators and other vultures begin to rebound.

Debt levels throughout the global South are suffering as well from the impact of these crises unleashed in the heart of the global economy, as a result of policies designed to favor the free flow of capital in a market that was declared to be self-correcting. As a result, a new debt bomb is set to explode: reduced earnings and taxes, falling remittances from migrant workers, and heightened social, economic, and environmental demands is pushing many South governments into a desperate search for the nearest money-lender, wiping out any recent gains and again falling prey to those who offer little if anything besides more illegitimate debt.

The debt that is accumulating is not just financial however. The false solutions being promoted to the finance, climate, food, and fuel crises are provoking a potentially irreversible increase in the ecological, climate, social, and economic debts owed to the peoples and the planet, especially of the South. Among those false solutions we could cite new lending for crisis needs or for agrofuels, megaenergy projects or so-called clean development mechanisms; the carbon market; giving a central role 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.

, the Financial Stability Forum, or the World Trade Organization; and also limited, lender-driven and conditioned debt relief, ignoring the pledges for the recognition of debt illegitimacy and cancellation of all illegitimate financial debts without conditionalities. Instead of recognizing the need for fundamental transformation of a system whose failure has become increasingly evident, the responses of Northern governments – in particular the G7-, corporations and some governments in the South have aimed at saving the system. Rather than profiting from the crises on the backs of the same peoples, countries, and planet that for a long time now have been paying the costs of their enrichment, they must provide compensation and reparations for their responsibility in provoking a criminal crisis and the disproportionate use of the world’s wealth and of nature.

Enough is enough! 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. We thus call on movements and organizations all over the world to join forces in the WEEK OF GLOBAL ACTION AGAINST DEBT AND IFIs, October 12-18, 2009. Together with Indigenous Peoples who are calling us to a GLOBAL MOBILIZATION IN DEFENSE OF MOTHER EARTH, October 12-16, and uniting the struggle for freedom from debt domination and market fundamentalism with the struggles for climate justice (October 13), rural women and debt repudiation (October 15), food sovereignty (October 16) and poverty eradication (October 17), let us mobilize for lasting solutions that will make another world, a just world, possible. TAKE ACTION AND DEMAND:

- Cancellation of all illegitimate financial debts without conditionalities
- Restitution and reparations for ecological, climate, economic, social and historical debts, on the basis of comprehensive and participatory audits
- Respect for the sovereign right of countries to stop servicing debt claims in order to meet their human and environmental rights obligations
- Solutions to the economic, climate, energy and food crises that neither increase the debt burden on South peoples and the environment nor the militarization and criminalization of social protest 
- Creation of new financial institutions and global and regional financial architecture that put people and the planet before profits and corporate power.

 The peoples of the South do not owe and should not pay! Debt Cancellation and Reparations Now!

Contact : debtweek at gmail.com




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