Deal in Ignominious Green in the Galapagos

The debt-for-nature swap scam in over-indebted Ecuador

21 June by Anne Theisen

Illustration de Anne Theisen

According to Julien Bouissou’s article in Le Monde on 18 May 2023, ’cancelling the debt and offsetting it with a set of measures to safeguard the biodiversity of the Galapagos archipelago, a UNESCO world heritage site’ is an ’extraordinary green deal’, ’a solution for low and middle-income countries like Ecuador that are over-indebted’. For its part, the Courrier International of 12 May 2023 considers this ’cancellation’ of debts to protect the Galapagos to be ’a great success’. On the Groupe SIPA website, Fabrice Groffini applauds ’the world’s largest debt swap in favour of nature’. While most of the media seem to be praising this measure presented by the Ecuadorian government at a press conference on 9 May 2023 as a way of ’reducing its debt while better protecting the environment’, this optimistic view is contradicted by an article entitled Galapagos deal: an ignominious legacypublished in Spanish on the website of LATINDADD, the South American network for economic and social justice, on 23 May 2023. In this detailed analysis, financial experts Daniel Ortega, former Ecuadorian minister and director of the ESPOL public development policy centre, Iolanda Fresnillo of EURODAD, Patricia Miranda and Rodolfo Bejarno of LATINDADD show that behind the apparent success of this economic and ecological arrangement lie dark and worrying realities.

Is there a hidden agenda?

Éric Toussaint and Pablo Laixhay of the CADTM, who have highlighted the hypocrisy of debt-for-nature swaps in previous articles, point out that these opaque arrangements are not the ’debt cancellations’ that the CADTM is advocating. On the contrary, they exacerbate the ecological, economic, political, and social dependencies and imbalances that threaten over-indebted countries like Ecuador. Following a critical analysis, we will propose more ethical and advantageous alternatives for the indebted populations and for the protection of the environment. Finally, we will conclude with a more general warning from the CADTM against ’green capitalism’ and a reminder of the CADTM international line of action.

What is this miracle solution presented by the Ecuadorian government at its press conference in Quito on 9 May 2023, in the presence of Ecuadorian Economy Minister Pablo Oresema and Environment Minister Jose Antonios Davalos?

 A highly complex international financial package

Mural de caricaturas del capitalismo, Cuenca, Ecuador, verano de 2022 (A.T.)

This risky operation was organized by an Irish-based SPV (Special Purpose Vehicle), the GPS Blue Financing Designated Activity Company, backed by Crédit Suisse (a private bank that failed in March 2023 following a number of financial scandals and mismanagement). The operation consists of converting $1.628 billion of commercial debt, issued in the form of international bonds by the Ecuadorian government, into a ’Galapagos Marine Bond Bond A bond is a stake in a debt issued by a company or governmental body. The holder of the bond, the creditor, is entitled to interest and reimbursement of the principal. If the company is listed, the holder can also sell the bond on a stock-exchange. ’, i.e. a credit facility of $656 million (maturing in 2041). This would result in a debt reduction of $1 billion.

Please note that this is not strictly speaking a ’debt cancellation’ as announced in many articles, but a debt conversion, a change of creditor and destination. The debt still exists, with interest Interest An amount paid in remuneration of an investment or received by a lender. Interest is calculated on the amount of the capital invested or borrowed, the duration of the operation and the rate that has been set. . It is therefore Crédit Suisse (bought on 19 March 2023 by another Swiss bank, UBS, which itself had failed in 2008 and was finally rescued at great public expense) that becomes the country’s main creditor for this liability representing 3% of Ecuador’s total external debt of $48.129 billion in February 2023.

In compensation, $450 million repayable over 18 years will be entrusted to the Galapagos Life Fund (GLF), which will manage this sum for the benefit of the Galapagos marine reserve (comprising 13 islands, 35,000 species, 25% of which are endemic marine species) and also the Marina Hermandad reserve (60,000 km2 between the Galapagos reserve and the limit of the Costa Rica territorial waters). The fund is headquartered in the well-known tax haven Tax haven A territory characterized by the following five independent criteria:
(a) opacity (via bank secrecy or another mechanism such as trusts);
(b) low taxes, sometimes as low as zero for non-residents;
(c) easy regulations permitting the creation of front companies and no necessity for these companies to have a real activity on the territory;
(d) lack of cooperation with the inland revenue, customs and/or judicial departments of other countries;
(e) weak or non-existent financial regulation. Switzerland, the City of London and Luxembourg receive the majority of the capital placed in tax havens. Others exist, of course, such as the Cayman Islands, the Channel Islands, Hong Kong and other exotic locations.
of the State of Delaware in the United States. Ecuador’s environment minister Jose Antonio Davalos spoke of the importance of this ’endowment’, which will be used to ’safeguard the exceptional biodiversity of the flora and fauna of these two marine reserves and the national park. It will fund surveillance, monitoring and patrols to better protect rare species on the brink of extinction, such as whale sharks, hammerhead sharks and sea turtles’.

It should be remembered that this agreement occurred against a backdrop of exacerbated economic crisis following the Covid epidemic and consequent oil price fluctuations. Without this tense context, it is unlikely that such a reduction in the value of the debts could have been agreed. ’In times of crisis, it is better to reduce the value of a debt and receive a limited gain than to keep a high value but risk losing everything’. The current emphasis on global warming and sustainability imperatives probably influenced the nature of the negotiations as well.

“Fuera La$$o”, Sindicato de la Universidad de Cuenca en huelga general, verano 2022

The GLF’s board of directors will have 11 members, 6 from the foreign private-sector, representatives of the local tourism and fishing industries and research establishments. The other 5 are Ecuadorian government representatives. The private sector therefore has the majority representation and will be able to impose its interests. The administrative cost structure of the endowment fund is not known. It is likely that these costs are exaggeratedly high in order to enable the GLS fund to cream off maximum profits. Overcharging for administrative costs is a common method used to generate abusive profits.

In order to reassure investors about these risky investments, guarantees Guarantees Acts that provide a creditor with security in complement to the debtor’s commitment. A distinction is made between real guarantees (lien, pledge, mortgage, prior charge) and personal guarantees (surety, aval, letter of intent, independent guarantee). have been provided, notably by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) for 85 million dollars, by the Development Finance Corporation ’against political instability’ for 656 million dollars and by 11 private insurers adding a further 50% guarantee in support of the project.

This type of debt-for-nature swap is already underway in 16 other countries, but nowhere else on such a scale.

The same kind of mechanism was used in Belize in 2018 and in Barbados in 2022. Le scheme is similar. A private operator structured as an SPV (a private 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. orientated company with specific objectives) buy up sovereign securities at a significant discount, by issuing a new security called ’blue’, guaranteed by an institution (the IADB and the US - DFC) and, in this case, a pool of private insurers, creating an SPV and intermediating a series of multinational financial and private investment companies that structure and guide the transactions. It should be noted that by paying interest in local currency, rather than in hard currency (euro, dollar, yen, etc.), as is normally the case, repayments are in principle much easier. But in Ecuador’s case the country’s currency is the US dollar so this will not be an advantage. To obtain the dollars Ecuador must export goods to the world market (essentially raw materials and agricultural products - oil, bananas, broccoli, flowers, etc.), thus degrading its environment through intensive agricultural and prospecting activities.

The Nature Conservancy (TNC), the world’s largest conservation organization, has also concluded or planned debt-for-nature swaps with the Seychelles, Belize and Barbados, St Lucia, Namibia, Gambia and Kenya.

 Criticism of this debt-for nature swap

But whereas the loans granted to the Barbados ’blue bonds’ had an interest rate of 5.4%, the ’Galapagos marine bonds’ have an interest rate of 11.04%, which represents 450 million dollars over 18 years, divided between transaction and administration costs for the SPV and resources for natural conservation. This interest rate is remarkably high and will insidiously damage the Ecuadorian economy.

An ecological pretext for false economic aid

“¡El neoliberalismo mata! ¡Cada día!" grito de los estudiantes de la Universidad de Cuenca, huelga general, Ecuador, verano 2022 (A.T)

According to Éric Toussaint of the CADTM, ’in this case, we have an investment fund Investment fund
Investment funds
Private equity investment funds (sometimes called ’mutual funds’ seek to invest in companies according to certain criteria; of which they most often are specialized: capital-risk, capital development funds, leveraged buy-out (LBO), which reflect the different levels of the company’s maturity.
offering to buy back Ecuadorian securities at the market price and issue new securities at a very high interest rate, over 10%, which Ecuador will have difficulty repaying. So this is not a cancellation of debt, but a conversion, an exchange for new debt. Environmental protection is just a pretext, a cover. The new creditors are merely trying to make a sly profit... and to restore the Ecuadorian President Guillermo Lasso’s image on the financial markets and before the international community’.

It is true that the image of the Ecuadorian president has been tarnished by the unpopularity of his anti-social reforms, the country’s economic collapse and his questionable environmental policy since he declared that he wanted to double oil production by 2022 so as to reach 1 million barrels of oil per year by 2023. Oil is Ecuador’s main export and therefore generates the hard currency (dollars, yen, euros) needed to pay the country’s public debt obligations. But this policy only reinforces Ecuador’s external dependence and spiralling debt, and contradicts the climate priorities recommended by the IPCC. Their latest report states that the reduction in the production of fossil fuels, which are responsible for 87% of greenhouse gases, is the most urgent of the measures needed to avoid exceeding the 2030 1.5 degree limit for global warming.

It should also be noted that this debt-for-nature swap is largely insufficient to cover the financial needs of the Galapagos, which has been fiscally underfunded since 2020, running an annual deficit of $20 million per year. In fact, the planned operation will only provide $18 million a year. What’s more, the budget as currently estimated will not cover the management plan for the new ‘La Hermandad’ marine reserve.

In the context of debt-for-nature swaps, 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.
debts are never eliminated. One of the many negative consequences of a country being over-indebted is that the IMF demands drastic spending cuts in key sectors such as education, health, transport and research. Consequently, even if these exchanges free up a tiny percentage of public debt, these funds must be allocated to nature conservation organizations and cannot be freely invested by governments according to their needs in other important public sectors. This is yet another roundabout way of influencing national political choices.

Lack of integrity, transparency, sovereignty and security

LATINDADD’s financial analysis shows that this debt-for-nature swap in the Galapagos is far from sincere ’operating in a clean, transparent and accountable manner’. Senior officials have committed public assets and strategic resources, to a risky venture by private intermediaries and are thus eroding public trust and restricting future economic opportunities. Democratic institutions are weakened, and objectives to ensure sustainable development and climate justice cannot be met.

They note a lack of transparency regarding the conversion of debts, the taxation of the companies involved, acquisitions, contracts and actual profits. Some private companies or their subsidiaries are regularly accused of tax evasion, money laundering - we can now talk about green washing - and using tax havens. In his article (in Spanish or French)« la dette se paie, les escroqueries non » published on 27 february 2023, Pablo Laixhay explains how secret negotiations prevent ’the public from knowing exactly what their government is committing to in its agreements, or from carrying out environmental and social impact assessments.“This discretion is difficult to reconcile with the processes involved in drawing up national plans to protect nature, which require long phases of deliberation and negotiation... When investment contracts are not public and there is no free, prior and informed consent of the people who depend on marine resources for their livelihood’.

Everything seems to have been orchestrated from Ireland and already announced at the January 2021 climate conference by Climate Fund Manager, an investment firm which, through its many subsidiaries and partners around the world, provided the initial capital and founded the Galapagos Life Fund, facilitating high-risk investments, to organize the exchange, with the participation, moreover, of complementary Dutch and European funds. This SPV (Special Purpose Vehicle) is registered in Ireland. It is an international holding company with a pyramidal structure without anyone at the top in charge or in control. The country, in this case Ecuador, loses part of its sovereignty. It now plays only a very limited observer role, subject to conditional loans covering the guarantee of the IDB, financial assessors and foreign private interests. It no longer has any real control over financial flows, the players involved or their actions, which are nonetheless crucial. Some of the international firms involved in these affairs are far more powerful and influential than the governments. They can thus have influence over elections and political orientations. In all these international financial structures, there is no precise plan for nature conservation or for the urgent de-carbonation of the country.

Risky investment opportunities are multiplying, but their traceability, and therefore their credibility, is no longer always attested. There is no evidence that the securities issued comply with the European Green Taxonomy or the requirements of the public tendering procedures imposed by the European Commission. It is possible that toxic by-products or by-products of inferior categories subsequent to endowment may be mixed with the securities, and the security plan does not cover the risk of these derivatives Derivatives A family of financial products that includes mainly options, futures, swaps and their combinations, all related to other assets (shares, bonds, raw materials and commodities, interest rates, indices, etc.) from which they are by nature inseparable—options on shares, futures contracts on an index, etc. Their value depends on and is derived from (thus the name) that of these other assets. There are derivatives involving a firm commitment (currency futures, interest-rate or exchange swaps) and derivatives involving a conditional commitment (options, warrants, etc.). .

 Alternatives proposals

According to the LATINDADD authors, ’the same level of external debt reduction could have been achieved while preserving the integrity, transparency and sovereignty of the system of governance through a hypothetical UN-led swap or by using international reserves to buy up public debt. It was not at all necessary to go through a private SPV in a sovereign exchange. In fact, there was a precedent in 2009 when the Ecuadorian government bought 289 million directly. LATINDADD also suggests the possibility of using a 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).

(United Nations Development Program) Multi-Donor Trust Fund or the Sustainable Environmental Investment Fund (SEIF), which they consider to be other governance tools that better meet the ethical imperatives mentioned above. In these various cases, the governing boards may be made up of representatives of civil society and the government, which may retain a right of veto when national interests are at risk. These directors would be subject to Ecuadorian jurisdiction, the electoral ballot, State and public supervision. They will have to comply with Ecuadorian law, which is very protective and elaborate on this subject. Ecuador’s constitution states, and rightly so, that biodiversity must not be used as a bargaining chip. Reforms of the financial system are therefore needed at national and international level to prioritize public interests, introduce appropriate control and regulation mechanisms to prevent abuses, guarantee transparency, ensure accountability, reduce transaction costs, and regulate to limit investment in unsustainable and unethical projects, taking inspiration from the European Green Taxonomy, for example.

As for the CADTM, it is calling for the pure and simple cancellation of the debts of the countries of the South in order to allow a real sustainable transition in the context of the climate crisis

As for the CADTM, it is calling for the pure and simple cancellation of the debts of the countries of the South in order to allow a real sustainable transition in the context of the climate crisis. Rather than resorting to complicated arrangements with unreliable private operators who do not communicate their profits, the countries of the South could use the $3,400 billion a year in debt repayments and interest to finance the transformations that are essential to the survival of bio-diversity and the planet, to peace and to social development? According to the UNDP, in 2022, 25 of the poorest countries out of the 52 considered to be over-indebted are dedicating a fifth of their budget to pay the interest on their debt. This amount should instead be invested directly in education, health, infrastructure, research, ecological transition, renewable energies, natural disaster prevention and management, etc. Instead, debt drives the commodification and extraction of strategic natural resources, the exploitation of forests, the tendency towards ever more intensive agriculture and fishing, mineral extraction and fossil fuel production. The intensification of these activities is destroying the environment and is often accompanied by unacceptable human rights violations.

Of course, apart from or in addition to debt cancellation, other conditions can ease the debt burden and free up resources, such as low interest rates Interest rates When A lends money to B, B repays the amount lent by A (the capital) as well as a supplementary sum known as interest, so that A has an interest in agreeing to this financial operation. The interest is determined by the interest rate, which may be high or low. To take a very simple example: if A borrows 100 million dollars for 10 years at a fixed interest rate of 5%, the first year he will repay a tenth of the capital initially borrowed (10 million dollars) plus 5% of the capital owed, i.e. 5 million dollars, that is a total of 15 million dollars. In the second year, he will again repay 10% of the capital borrowed, but the 5% now only applies to the remaining 90 million dollars still due, i.e. 4.5 million dollars, or a total of 14.5 million dollars. And so on, until the tenth year when he will repay the last 10 million dollars, plus 5% of that remaining 10 million dollars, i.e. 0.5 million dollars, giving a total of 10.5 million dollars. Over 10 years, the total amount repaid will come to 127.5 million dollars. The repayment of the capital is not usually made in equal instalments. In the initial years, the repayment concerns mainly the interest, and the proportion of capital repaid increases over the years. In this case, if repayments are stopped, the capital still due is higher…

The nominal interest rate is the rate at which the loan is contracted. The real interest rate is the nominal rate reduced by the rate of inflation.
of between 0 and 5%, repayments in local currency rather than in hard currency, and the development of an economy that reduces external dependence by encouraging local production of goods consumed and reducing imports.

Nevertheless, cancelling the debt of the countries of the South is not such an unrealistic or dangerous measure as to compromise world finance. Its value in itself represents less than 5% of world debt, but that corresponds to more than one-sixth of the world’s population. National debts have already been written off in the past, for example in favour of Germany after the Second World War, and more recently in favour of certain ’least developed’ countries (LDCs). A structural review of this inefficient, immoral and unjust system that is causing people to suffer, is absolutely necessary! Societies have not always functioned on the basis of debt, as David Graeber’s anthropological studies show in his book ’Debt, the first 5000 years’. Debt is neither inevitable nor irreversible.

There are serious legal and political arguments to support over-indebted countries in the South who unilaterally and sovereignly cancel debts that are illegitimate, illegal and odious. (The concept of odious debt was formulated by Alexander Sacks’ doctrine in 1927). Debts that may be denounced can be identified through participatory citizens’ audits. Legal arguments such as the state of necessity, fundamental change in circumstances and situations of force majeure may also be invoked.

Moreover, the historical, moral, climatic and ecological debts owed by the North to the South are far greater than those owed by the countries of the South to the North.

The countries of the North have historical debts in reparation for the inestimable losses linked to imperialist conquests, slavery and colonization, and moral debts because they continue to dominate and exploit the South post-colonially without publicly acknowledging it. The destruction of cultural heritage, the plundering of wealth, land and resources grabbing, political interference, forced displacements, expropriations, famines caused by the invasion of European agricultural products subsidized by the CAP (Common Agricultural Policy), and manufactured wars are just a few examples of the disasters caused by American and European imperialism throughout the world.

Cancelling the debts of the countries of the South would also be included in fair compensation for the enormous contribution to climate change caused principally by the industries of Europe and North America - the biggest polluters - to the detriment of the countries of the South, which are suffering the most immediate and catastrophic consequences.

Lastly, cancelling the debts of the South would be a derisory concession compared with the ecological debt of the major powers, given the pollution and destruction caused by the production and extraction of their raw materials, the depletion of resources, the export of waste from the North to the South, the relocation of industries or ecological dumping, the burial of toxic and/or radioactive waste on their land and in their oceans, nuclear testing, and so much more.

Consequently, the CADTM is calling for real debt cancellation, which would not be a gift but a fair, legitimate and sustainable compensation for actual, past and historical injustices.

“Por el Tratado de No Proliferación de Combustibles Fósiles” con Rise up 4 Climate, ante la Comisión Europea, mayo de 2023

Call for vigilance and CADTM’s line of action

This worrying example of debt-for-nature swaps in the Galapagos is an opportunity for the CADTM to issue a warning about the threat of a new Green capitalism, of large-scale ’green-washing’ operations

This worrying example of debt-for-nature swaps in the Galapagos is an opportunity for the CADTM to issue a warning about the threat of a new Green capitalism, of large-scale ’green-washing’ operations. In the article “Why the CADTM disputes the “Swapping public debt for climate action" proposal" published on the CADTM website on 14 December 2022, The authors show that, since the 1990s, the members of the Paris Club Paris Club This group of lender States was founded in 1956 and specializes in dealing with non-payment by developing countries.

have been using debt-for-nature swaps to promote the interests of their private companies, with the support of international financial institutions (IMF, WB 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.

, IDB, etc.). $2.6 billion have been renegotiated worldwide between 1985 and 2015. However, to trust in the honesty and effectiveness of these various conversions and those who carry them out for profit, is still to refuse to recognize a structural cause of the climate crisis: the capitalist development model, which maintains debts and thus gives political and economic power to unreliable private operators, contributes to the transfer of wealth and leads inexorably to the destruction of our environment. Lenders/speculators/polluters’ are negotiating false solutions with governments in legitimacy crises: ’it’s cheap marketing’, leading to the commodification of nature to the detriment of its conservation and the well-being of populations. The CADTM refers to the work of Silviera Ribiero, which highlights this contradiction: 2,000 of the world’s largest companies that have announced net zero emission commitments are now lobbying during the negotiations on Article 6.4 of the Paris Agreement for a compensation mechanism to be established. Net zero emissions implies that emissions can be continued, or even increased, if they are balanced by the removal of carbon from the atmosphere and/or if they can be offset by carbon credits. However, this is nothing more than an accounting stratagem to justify the continued extraction of fossil fuels rather than reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The concepts of zero net emissions and climate neutrality must therefore be rejected, as must the motion tabled by the governments of Colombia and Argentina at COP27, supported by certain organizations, social movements and the IMF, which imposes ever more conditionalities.

In conclusion, in reaction to the many offensives of a new green capitalism, and in the face of urgent climate and social issues, the CADTM is defending a strong line of action as set out below.

The CADTM International line of action

1. Popular education, awareness-raising and self-organisation for indebted people.
2. Citizens’ participatory debt audits to repudiate odious and illegitimate debts.
3. Unilateral and sovereign cessation of debt payments, debt restructuring or repudiation in favour of social justice.
4. Repudiation of the agreements with the IMF and World Bank.
5. Creation of a united front of indebted countries for the non-payment of debt. And not just a front to push for the ’Debt Swap x Climate’ proposal as put forward at the last COP27 in Egypt.
6. Rejection of all conditionalities imposed by creditors.
7. Return of the assets embezzled by the corrupt leaders of the South, with the complicity of the banking institutions and governments of the North, to the citizens of the countries of the South .
8. Unconditional payment by the powers of the North of economic reparations for the historical, social and ecological debt accumulated against the peoples of the South.
9. Legal actions against the International Financial Institutions (IFIs).
10. In the event of nationalization of failing private banks, recovery of the cost of the operation from the assets of the main shareholders and directors.
11. Replace the World Bank, IMF 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.

with democratic institutions that prioritize respect for fundamental human rights in the financing of development, credit and international trade.
12. Abrogation of free trade, investment, association, political and military treaties, etc., which undermine the sovereignty of peoples and perpetuate mechanisms of dependence.

Translated by Mike Krolikowski



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