8 October 2013 > 15 October 2013


Not our debt

Global week of action on debt and IFIs

Joint statement for the global week of action on debt and IFIs 2013

Debt payments, tax avoidance and capital flight are impoverishing people to enrich a few. Money is transferred from the global South to the global North, from the marginalized to the powerful, from the 99% to the 1%. This financial system devastates the lives and livelihoods of hundreds of millions of people through the impacts and crises it creates.

Predatory and reckless lenders are protected from the impacts of the debt crises they have caused, whilst people who had no say in the loans are paying the price. The system of predatory and reckless lending and bank bailouts has increased inequality and undermined democracy in every corner of the world.

This system must come to an end, as a step towards true democracy, greater equality and the meeting of basic human rights.

We are a global movement who support citizens across the world who are calling for:

8-15 October 2013

 As the world’s most powerful lenders gather in Washington at the annual meetings of 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.

and IMF, we the people stand together to send a clear message: 
Unjust debts are not our debts.
From Latin America to Africa and Asia, from Europe to North America, we are living with the damage and suffering caused by illegitimate and unsustainable debts.
In a world where borrowers are punished and lenders call the shots, we say to lenders - take responsibility for failing us.
We want people-centred solutions to this crisis, not false solutions imposed by lenders from above.
This week, our global and local movements are saying, in many different creative ways, and in many different languages: ‘It’s not our debt’
It’s not our debt when we didn’t create it.
It’s not our debt when we weren’t consulted.
It’s not our debt when our basic rights are violated through re-paying it.
Unjust debts are not our debts.

We urge you to join us for a week of action on October 8 to 15 and do any one or more of the following actions to express these calls

Hold public forums and community discussions, distribute literature and materials 
Organize a rally, a march or other forms of action – in schools, communities, workplaces, public spaces
Send letters and statements to your governments
Send out electronic messages via social media - ie Facebook or twitter
Organize press conferences, circulate press statements, send letters to your newspapers,

Take action:
During international debt week from 8-15 October, we are calling on people across the world to stand in solidarity to say ‘It’s not our debt’. Please send a message why you think a particular debt is ‘not our debt’ or ‘should not be paid’.
1) Write on a piece of paper why you think a particular debt is ’not our debt’ or ’should not be paid’. For example:
- ’A debt should not be paid if paying it will threaten your health ... life before debt!’
- ’A debt should not be paid if the money was lent to a brutal dictator to buy weapons’
- ‘It is not our debt if banks borrowed and lent the money recklessly’
2) Take a photo of yourself with the piece of paper. Some examples are at:
3) Post your picture on twitter, facebook or instagram, writing out the message as well, and using the hashtag #notourdebt. Example:
4) Once you have used the hashtag #notourdebt the message and photo will appear automactically at:
If you can’t take a photo you can still take part by writing a message on twitter and/or facebook with the hashtag #notourdebt
If you can’t post your photo to twitter or facebook, you can send it to info at jubileedebtcampaign.org.uk and Jubilee UK will post it for you.


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