Activists Disrupt Meeting to Demand ’Loan Sharks’ IMF and World Bank Cancel All Debt

13 October 2022 by Brett Wilkins

We need localization and ecological sustainability for the people, planet, and peace,” said CodePink’s Nancy Mancias. “We are calling on the IMF and World Bank to end its debt trap monetary practices which are causing countries to sink further down into economic crises.”

Two activists from the women-led peace group CodePink crashed a Tuesday afternoon debt restructuring panel during 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.
and 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.

Group annual meetings to demand that the international financial institutions “cancel all debts.”

CodePink organizers Olivia DiNucci and Nancy Mancias disrupted the “Debt Restructuring: Why Too Little and Too Late” session at the IMF’s Washington, D.C. headquarters.

The activists unfurled a banner imploring the institutions to “cancel all debts.” The women shouted “cancel all debt, reparations now,” even as they were removed from the venue by security personnel.

The IMF and World Bank are loan sharks trapping countries into debt. We need localization and ecological sustainability for the people, planet, and peace,” said CodePink campaign organizer Nancy Mancias.

We are calling on the IMF and World Bank to end its debt trap monetary practices which are causing countries to sink further down into economic crises,” she added. “We are calling on them to cancel all debt.”

In a statement, CodePink said that “the solution to stabilizing the global economy is not going to be found in debt restructuring but rather from debt cancellation.”

The path to economic sovereignty for the Global South is not through the predatory loans offered by the IMF/World Bank,” the peace group added, “but instead through reparations of all wealth and resources that have been stolen from countries through colonization, illegal invasions, occupations, and extraction of oil, gas, and coal.”

Mancias said that activists from CodePink joined members of ShutDownDC and Debt for Climate “in the streets” protesting the IMF and World Bank.

We demand the IMF and World Bank decolonize their practice for the people, for the planet, and for peace,” she asserted.

The CodePink protest came on the same day that the United Nations Development Program (UNDP UNDP
United Nations Development Programme
The UNDP, founded in 1965 and based in New York, is the UN’s main agency of technical assistance. It helps the DC, without any political restrictions, to set up basic administrative and technical services, trains managerial staff, tries to respond to some of the essential needs of populations, takes the initiative in regional co-operation programmes and co-ordinates, theoretically at least, the local activities of all the UN operations. The UNDP generally relies on Western expertise and techniques, but a third of its contingent of experts come from the Third World. The UNDP publishes an annual Human Development Report which, among other things, classifies countries by their Human Development Rating (HDR).

) published a paper calling on rich countries to step up and deliver desperately needed debt relief to 54 developing nations that are home to more than half of the poorest people on the planet. Additionally, the agency noted that 28 of those 54 countries rank among the world’s 50 most climate-vulnerable nations.

UNDP said the paper—entitled Avoiding ’Too Little Too Late’ on International Debt Relief—“highlights the ripple effects of government responses to the recent economic crisis, and the potential impacts.”

Debt relief would be a small pill for wealthy countries to swallow, yet the cost of inaction is brutal for the world’s poorest,” UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner argued in a statement. “We cannot afford to repeat the mistake of providing too little relief, too late, in managing the developing economy debt burden.”



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