Call to Action - Washington April 21-25, 2004


30 March 2004

We reproduce here the ’50 years is enough’ network call to action against 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.
& 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.

semi-annual meetings.

International Days of Action Against the IMF & the World Bank:

April 16 - 25, 2004

Call to Action for Mobilization

April 21 - 25 in Washington, DC

2004 is:
- the 60th anniversary of the founding of the World Bank and the IMF;
- the 10th Anniversary of the founding of the 50 Years Is Enough Network campaign;
- a U.S. presidential election year;
- and a crucial year for the struggles for global justice.

For six decades, the World Bank and IMF have imposed policies, programs, and projects that:
- Decimate women’s rights and devastate their lives, their families, and their communities;
- Subjugate democratic governance and accountability to corporate profits and investment portfolios;
- Trap countries in a cycle of indebtedness and economic domination;
- Force governments to privatize essential services;
- Put profits before peoples’ rights and needs;
- Abet the devastation of the environment in the name of development and profit Profit The positive gain yielded from a company’s activity. Net profit is profit after tax. Distributable profit is the part of the net profit which can be distributed to the shareholders. ;
- Institutionalize the domination of the wealthy over the impoverished - the new form of colonialism; and
Facilitate corporate agendas through the economic re-structuring of countries enduring conflict and occupation, such as East Timor, Afghanistan, and Iraq.

In the 60th anniversary year of the IMF and World Bank, we demand the following measures from the institutions and the governments which control them. Add your voice, endorse the demands:

- Open all World Bank and IMF meetings to the media and the public;
- Cancel all impoverished country debt to the World Bank and IMF, using the institutions’ own resources;
- End all World Bank and IMF policies that hinder people’s access to food, clean water, shelter, health care Care Le concept de « care work » (travail de soin) fait référence à un ensemble de pratiques matérielles et psychologiques destinées à apporter une réponse concrète aux besoins des autres et d’une communauté (dont des écosystèmes). On préfère le concept de care à celui de travail « domestique » ou de « reproduction » car il intègre les dimensions émotionnelles et psychologiques (charge mentale, affection, soutien), et il ne se limite pas aux aspects « privés » et gratuit en englobant également les activités rémunérées nécessaires à la reproduction de la vie humaine. , education, and right to organize. (Such “structural adjustment Structural Adjustment Economic policies imposed by the IMF in exchange of new loans or the rescheduling of old loans.

Structural Adjustments policies were enforced in the early 1980 to qualify countries for new loans or for debt rescheduling by the IMF and the World Bank. The requested kind of adjustment aims at ensuring that the country can again service its external debt. Structural adjustment usually combines the following elements : devaluation of the national currency (in order to bring down the prices of exported goods and attract strong currencies), rise in interest rates (in order to attract international capital), reduction of public expenditure (’streamlining’ of public services staff, reduction of budgets devoted to education and the health sector, etc.), massive privatisations, reduction of public subsidies to some companies or products, freezing of salaries (to avoid inflation as a consequence of deflation). These SAPs have not only substantially contributed to higher and higher levels of indebtedness in the affected countries ; they have simultaneously led to higher prices (because of a high VAT rate and of the free market prices) and to a dramatic fall in the income of local populations (as a consequence of rising unemployment and of the dismantling of public services, among other factors).

” policies include user fees, privatization, and economic austerity programs.);
- Stop all World Bank support for socially and environmentally destructive projects such as oil, gas, and mining activities, and all support for projects such as dams that include forced relocation of people.
- We furthermore recognize the urgency of the world’s most catastrophic health crisis, the HIV/AIDS pandemic. We assert the culpability of the international financial institutions in decimating health care systems of Global South countries, and reject the approach of fighting the pandemic with more loans and conditions from these institutions. We call on the world’s governments to best deploy their resources by fully funding the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria. We demand the elimination of trade rules that undermine access to affordable life-saving medications.

 Help end global economic injustice driven by the policies and programs of the international financial institutions!

Educate, Organize, Mobilize!

Be the change you want to see in our world!
Organize public events in 2004, help expose the continued use of power, veiled by rhetoric, to enrich corporations, banks, and investors at the expense of people and the planet.

Mass mobilization April 21 - 25, 2004:

Come to Washington! Take a public stand in Washington DC during the IMF/World Bank semi-annual meetings.

Help Organize events throughout 2004 — speaking tours, monthly coordinated local & global actions, global justice film festivals, non-violent direct action, street theatre, conferences & teach-ins, popular education, vigils, etc.

Localize the movements for global justice, organize an event in your community.

 Endorse the Demands

Email or call 202/463-2265 for details & updates.



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