Marrakesh Statement : 79 years of neocolonial exploitation and destruction by the WB and the IMF, this is enough!

17 October by CADTM International , Collective

We, social and climate movements, trade unions, women’s, small farmers’ and indigenous peoples’ organizations, non-governmental organizations and citizens of the world, participating in the counter-summit of social movements against the annual meetings of the WB and IMF in Marrakech from 12 to 15 October, reaffirm our struggle against illegitimate debts.

Our counter-summit is the culmination of a collective and inclusive international process launched in January 2023. Six international online plenary assemblies have punctuated the democratic preparation of this global gathering. A joint appeal has been adopted. A multilingual website was created. Numerous preparatory meetings have been held, mainly in sub-Saharan Africa, in the Arab region in general, and in Morocco in particular.
More than 60 organizations and a dozen international networks took part in our counter-summit.
In Africa and the Arab region, the mobilization was even greater, with over a hundred delegates from countries such as Palestine, Iraq, Tunisia, Egypt, West Africa, Central Af-rica, East Africa and South Africa.
With 4 plenary sessions and around fifty workshops in addition to the opening march, our counter-summit was a resounding success, bringing to the city of Marrakech the voic-es of international movements fighting against the financial colonialism practised by the 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.

and 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.
since their creation in 1945.
Our counter-summit began on 12 October, the date of the arrival in the Caribbean of Christopher Co-lumbus and his expedition, which paved the way for the conquest, pillage and exploitation of the “American” continent by European imperialism from 1492 onwards. It ended on 15 October, the date of the assassination of Thomas Sankara, President of Burkina Faso, who was leading the fight for the non-payment of illegitimate debts and for the unity and sovereignty of the peoples of Africa and the world. The actions, speeches and wisdom of Thomas Sankara, from whom we draw our inspiration, were present throughout our counter-summit.

We denounce the 79 years of financial dictatorship of the IMF-WB, which, in alliance with imperialism and the corrupt and colonized ruling classes of the countries of the South, has maintained and reinforced the oppression of our peoples. More than 500 years of plundering nature and peoples is enough. The rights of peoples and Mother Earth must come before the profits of multinationals, governments and the rich.

Our counter-summit was a unique opportunity for collective action-oriented learning. We renewed our determination to continue our process of coordinating converging struggles and alternatives to sow the seeds of a society in which the common good, respect for planetary limits, food sovereignty and environmental and social justice take precedence. We shall decide our own future, and we reject the one that the World Bank, the IMF and their allies want to impose on us. It’s time to put an end to their ideological colonialism. We advocate a just ecological and energy bifurcation focused on a necessary alliance between local communities, workers, farmers, craftsfolk, and feminist movements.

It’s also time to say that if they don’t cancel our debt, we will repudiate it. Because the real debt is that of governments and multinationals, their historical, climatic, ecological and social debt to peoples, and to the peoples of the global South in particular!
It’s time to acknowledge and value the work of social reproduction carried out mainly by women throughout the world.

We took part in the counter-summit to ensure that the World Bank and the IMF do not celebrate their 80th anniversary next year, but honour their long-standing ecological, historical and neo-colonial debt to the people. We want to send them, as pillars of capital, to the dustbin of history.

We express our solidarity with the people of Palestine and we condemn the indiscriminate bombing and military actions carried out by the Israeli authorities. We call for the dismantling of the colonialist apartheid state of Israel and for respect for the rights of peoples to exercise their sovereignty.

We also denounce the authoritarianism and escalating repression of various governments, particularly in the Arab region, including Morocco, and we call for the immediate release of all political prisoners.

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