3 September 2013 > 4 September 2013

St Petersburg, Russia

Counter Summit in St Petersburg

Chiara Filoni will intervene for CADTM

On the 3rd and 4th of September a large scale international Counter Summit, intended as an alternative to the September Summit of 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). , will be held in St Petersburg, Russia. It will take place at the Международный Деловой Центр, nab.reki Smolenki 2. Organized by the Post Globalization Initiative, the Summit’s ambition is to develop new principles of economic and social policy which are not based on the Washington Consensus. As part of the Summit, world renowned experts, economists, politicians, and social scientists from Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas will come together for panel discussions, seminars, and public lectures.

Counter Summits have a tradition of their own. These major international democratic events are commonly held in response to the elites’ G20 and 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. Summits and represent alternative points of view on the most pressing social issues. The St Petersburg Counter Summit is especially important in light of the ongoing global economic crisis. It will suggest ways to solve the problems associated with the crisis of US hegemony, “free trade” and the 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.

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Since the 1980s, neoliberal (neoconservative) ultra-market-oriented policy has been implemented throughout the world, the directives of which are largely determined by the G8 and the G20.The onset of the 2008 crisis, however, revealed the historical limits of neoliberalism: global capitalism had lost its effectiveness. Populations now face the task of implementing new economic policies and approaches in the social sphere. The Counter Summit ‘s ambition is to aid society in making the necessary decisions, and taking the step from criticizing neoliberalism to pursuing radical change. A transition from a weak to a strong state, from non-intervention in the economy to regulation is maturing. Recognizing the primacy of social, cultural, scientific and technological progress mandates a qualitative change in policy.

The Counter Summit’s task is to define an alternative vision – one of a multipolar world economy, free from US hegemony and the dominance of transnational corporations. The relevance of these issues for Russia has become especially evident since the country’s accession to the WTO has brought to the fore once again the question of whether the domestic economy should develop in line with the Western trade and financial institutions’ recommendations, or focus on its own priorities.

The Counter Summit agenda includes the following topics: problems of financial markets, the policy of 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.

http://imf.org
and World Bank World Bank
WB
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 global economic crisis, the problem of debt and budget cuts. The issues of economic regulation, food safety, environmental protection, labour and social rights, changes in the energy sector and the role of government in the economy will also be discussed. In contrast to liberal politics, the Counter Summit’s participants consider the answer to the crisis to be the welfare state and not the commercialization of public goods. They are convinced that the neoliberal era is coming to an end.

The Counter Summit in St Petersburg will be attended by dozens of scholars and public figures from around the world, including Egyptian economist Samir Amin, American activist Kevin Danaher, Venezuelan sociologist Edgaro Lander, Canadian political scientist Pierre-Yves Serinet, and Head of Ecuador’s Anti-Monopoly Service, Pedro Paez.

Major international organizations that will take part in the Counter Summit include: Focus on the Global South, Global Exchange (US), Attac France, Via Campesina, the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (US), Our World is Not For Sale (OWINFS), the Tax Justice Network, Latindadd, the Brazilian Network on Peoples Integration (REBRIP), the Committee for the Abolition of Third World Debt (CADTM), Campagna per la Riforma Della Banca Mondiale, Plataforma Interamericana de Derechos Humanos, Democracia y Desarrollo (PIDHDD), the Centre for Civil Society (South Africa), Globalization Monitor (China), the Institute for Global Research and Social Movements (Russia), Indonesia For Global Justice, and the Institute for Socioeconomic Studies (INESC, Brazil).

The Post Globalization Initiative was launched in Moscow on April 30th 2013, with the participation of the Institute of Global Research and Social Movements (IGSO), the Transnational Institute (TNI), Focus on the Global South, Attac France and other international institutes. The international Post Globalization Initiative aims to find new ways for the economy to recover from the failure of the neoliberal project. The Initiative’s experts are convinced that 2008 marks the beginning of a new era. The crisis signaled the end of financial globalization (1982-2008) and paved the way for a development based on new economic and socio-political principles.

Counter Summit begins at 12 a.m. at 3rd of September.

The programme will be published separately in the nearest time on http://pglobal.org/


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