Success of the CADTM International Council in Marrakech on the eve of the summit against the World Bank and the IMF

13 October by CADTM

The CADTM International Council [1] was held in Marrakesh on October 10 and 11, 2023. Around 50 delegates from 16 African nations (Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, DRC, Congo Brazzaville, Mali, Togo, Ivory Coast, Niger, Tunisia, Morocco, Gabon, Guinea Conakry, Senegal, South Africa, Kenya), 3 Asian nations (India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan), 2 Latin American and Caribbean nations (Puerto Rico, Mexico), and 3 European nations (Belgium, Spain, France) attended the conference. Participants of the CADTM International Council will also take part in the counter-summit of social movements in Marrakesh, from October 12-15, 2023.

 A multifaceted crisis of capitalism

The two days were filled with discussion and exchange. They started with an update on the world situation. We are in the midst of a multifaceted crisis caused by a capitalist system that is destroying the planet: an ecological and climate crisis, a food crisis, a health crisis, a migratory crisis exacerbated by the inhumane policies of the European Union, the United States, and other Northern countries, an economic, military, and political crisis, and the legitimacy of governments around the world is dwindling.

We are also in the midst of a severe debt crisis, which originated in the North and is predominantly impacting countries in the South. Many countries got deeply indebted throughout the 2010s, which were marked by extremely 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.
set by the Northern powers’ central banks. The Covid-19 crisis then impacted these countries, reducing international trade and, as a result, the foreign exchange profits of export-dependent countries. Rising cereal, liquid petrol and oil prices, along with the abrupt increase in 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. rates decided by the FED FED
Federal Reserve
Officially, Federal Reserve System, is the United States’ central bank created in 1913 by the ’Federal Reserve Act’, also called the ’Owen-Glass Act’, after a series of banking crises, particularly the ’Bank Panic’ of 1907.

FED – decentralized central bank :
and the ECB ECB
European Central Bank
The European Central Bank is a European institution based in Frankfurt, founded in 1998, to which the countries of the Eurozone have transferred their monetary powers. Its official role is to ensure price stability by combating inflation within that Zone. Its three decision-making organs (the Executive Board, the Governing Council and the General Council) are composed of governors of the central banks of the member states and/or recognized specialists. According to its statutes, it is politically ‘independent’ but it is directly influenced by the world of finance.
, created significant debt repayment and refinancing issues. Many countries have entered a debt crisis, with widespread suspensions of debt repayments by countries such as Sri Lanka in 2022-2023, Ghana in 2022-2023, and Zambia, among others, having a significant impact on populations.

This debt crisis has led to 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.
’s return to grace, with a hundred or so loans “granted” to over-indebted countries, along with their share Share A unit of ownership interest in a corporation or financial asset, representing one part of the total capital stock. Its owner (a shareholder) is entitled to receive an equal distribution of any profits distributed (a dividend) and to attend shareholder meetings. of neoliberal conditions.

These neoliberal policies, which disproportionately affect women, have sparked various mobilizations in the North and South in 2019-2020, with women playing a key role. These were frequently violently suppressed. Another important factor is that the left in general is far too moderate, and the vast majority of its representatives lose their radicalism once in power (examples include Spain with the PS-Podemos-Izquierda Unida government, Portugal, Greece in 2015, Brazil with Lula back in power since January 2023, and so on). This is leading to a series of disillusions that are pushing some working-class voters not to vote, to fill an invalid ballot or to vote for right-wing or far-right forces.

We are also witnessing a crisis in the anti-globalization movement, which can no longer organize huge global protests and is stuck in extremely moderate actions.

We have also strongly condemned Israeli colonization in Palestine, the apartheid rule backed by the Zionist regime, and all the civilian victims it has spawned for years, and especially in recent days.


 Review of the CADTM’s shared international secretariat

The CADTM international network, which is present in 30 countries, functions horizontally and has a shared international secretariat, the SIS, comprised of a South and a North organisation. Since 2013, ATTAC-CADTM Morocco and CADTM Belgium have jointly administered this shared international secretariat. The SIS presents a report on its activities to the International Council once a year.

The role of the SIS is defined in the CADTM network’s operating charter (point 2 of Part II) as follows: “The International Secretariat has the role of coordinator. Its main tasks involve facilitating internal communication within the network, strengthening visibility of actions and analyses carried out by the network and of its member organizations, especially via the CADTM website and electronic bulletins. They help the network’s member organizations apply the decisions made by the global assembly, they coordinate the participation of the network’s member organizations during the international meeting. They promote collaboration with other international organizations with whom the network collaborates. The International Secretariat can invite members of the International Council to participate in its online meetings”.

ATTAC-CADTM Morocco presented an overview of its tasks since November 2021 at the IC meeting on October 10 and 11, 2023, including the development of CADTM’s Arabic website, publications printed in Arabic, contacts with other international networks such as ATTAC and La Via Campesina, and participation in fundraising to finance the international network’s activities. CADTM Belgium, for its part, detailed the responsibilities it has accomplished, including the operation of the CADTM website in four languages: French, English, Spanish, and Portuguese. The site is run with the support of CADTM members from many countries (Belgium, France, Argentina, Spain, Brazil, Portugal, India, etc.). Every month, it receives about 220,000 visits, and the number is growing. CADTM Belgium also publishes in French, English, and Spanish. CADTM Belgium, like ATTAC-CADTM Morocco, contributes to fundraising for CADTM operations in the South of the globe.

SIS has also organized an international training course in Dakar in November 2022 for the youth in CADTM from West Africa. In terms of prospects, CADTM Belgium is working on a new book, The world debt figures 2024, as part of the SIS, which will follow on from The world debt figures 2015. The SIS is also preparing the CADTM’s participation in the next World Social Forum, to be held in Nepal in 2024.


 Review and prospects by region

The political situation of each major region of the CADTM International network was then discussed, as were the actions carried out since the November 2021 world assembly, and the prospects for action and mobilisation.

 The MENA region and the role of ATTAC CADTM Morocco as a member of the International Secretariat

Extreme social inequality exacerbated by neoliberal policies and harsh political repression characterize the MENA region. Workers, small-scale producers, young people, and women bear the burden of the deterioration of public services as a result of these policies.

The main activity of the year in the MENA region, and particularly for ATTAC-CADTM Morocco, was the organization of the Counter-Summit of social movements at the IMF and 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.

Annual Meetings in Marrakesh (October 12-15, 2023). This was a monumental task. ATTAC-CADTM Maroc also participated in other initiatives, most notably as a member of the Shared International Secretariat:

  • ATTAC CADTM - Morocco had its 16th Spring University in May 2023 in Marrakech, and its congress in December 2022.
  • In August 2022, Tunisia hosted a popular education university on social and environmental justice. A dynamic was also set in motion in Tunisia during the Counter-Summit preparations, with the presence of a 25-person Tunisian delegation.
  • Training camps for young people
  • Training courses for local groups
  • Publication of the first issue of the magazine Les Autres Voix de la Planète (AVP) in Arabic.


 CADTM Sub-Saharan Africa

The Staff General Secretary of CADTM Africa reported on the many activities carried out by the CADTM Africa network:

  • An Assembly of the Africa network
  • Training for CADTM Africa youth in Dakar in October 2022
  • Training sessions in Cotonou in October 2022 and in Cameroon in early 2023
  • Two days of training were organized in Bamako in June 2022 for CADTM Africa
  • A civil society capacity-building workshop on illegitimate debts, in September 2023 in Lomé (Togo)
  • Various very important collaborations with the pan-African feminist organization Womin on “the right to say no”, on mining companies and sovereignty over resources, as well as monitoring work against land grabbing
  • A major analysis of the African Development Bank
  • And many other activities
  • Including the publication in 2022 of a brochure on Africa’s debt in French, English and Spanish.

CADTM Africa’s action plan for 2024 is very extensive, with :

  • Training sessions on illegitimate debt in Tanzania, Congo-Brazzaville and Gabon
  • An international women’s seminar on debt and extractivism will be held in Cameroon
  • The fourth CADTM Africa University in Côte d’Ivoire
  • Political campaigns
  • A campaign against the African Development Bank, in collaboration with other organizations such as Womin
  • Activities against mining companies, and advocacy to change mining codes in various countries, in the interests of local communities.


 CADTM Africa’s coordination of feminist struggles

The CADTM network’s Coordination des luttes féministes, a women only space for popular education, action and building of alternatives to the oppressions and injustices suffered by women, also presented a balance Balance End of year statement of a company’s assets (what the company possesses) and liabilities (what it owes). In other words, the assets provide information about how the funds collected by the company have been used; and the liabilities, about the origins of those funds. sheet comprised of numerous activities. These included:

  • Holding monthly meetings
  • Participation in the first and second Women’s Climate Assemblies in Nigeria in 2022 and 2023
  • Participation in the campaign against the African Development Bank in Guinea-Conakry in April 2023.
  • The coordination will continue its activities by organizing a women’s capacity-building seminar in Cameroon in December 2023, and other activities in 2024.


 CADTM South Asia

The CADTM South Asia review began with an update on the political situation in the region. Several countries are in a critical situation: Sri Lanka defaulted on its foreign debt in the spring of 2022, with terrible consequences for the population and an exceptional popular movement that led to the fall of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa. Pakistan and Bangladesh are choking under their foreign debt and close to default. Pakistan is suffering from the conditionalities imposed by the IMF, with which it has signed 33 agreements. Both countries are also facing the disastrous effects of climate change, as demonstrated by the terrible floods that hit Pakistan in 2022.

Delegates also discussed the rise of authoritarianism and religious extremism, the rivalry between India and China and its consequences, the ravages of micro-credit, particularly on women, and the massive rural exodus that characterizes the countries of the region. A very positive point: the huge mobilisations in Sri Lanka and India against agrarian counter-reform.

CADTM South Asia activists have been very active in anti-IMF mobilizations, and organized their annual meeting in Colombo, Sri Lanka, in December 2022.

The next big step for CADTM South Asia and the CADTM International network as a whole will take place in February 2024: the World Social Forum and a regional meeting of CADTM South Asia in Kathmandu, Nepal.


 CADTM Ayna in Latin America and the Caribbean

The report on CADTM Ayna’s activities began with a presentation of the political situation in several countries in the region. CADTM Ayna members note the rise of the extreme right, as in Argentina with the Milei phenomenon, but this is met with strong resistance. This is particularly the case in Colombia, Brazil and Chile, even if governments such as Gustavo Petro’s, Lula’s or Boric’s are not radical enough. We focused on Puerto Rico and Mexico, where the two CADTM Ayna representatives present came from: Puerto Rico is heavily indebted and the victim of a colonial relationship with the United States that goes back over 120 years. Mexico is also heavily indebted, particularly its internal debt, which is twice as high as its external debt.

The representatives also presented the activities of CADTM Ayna. These included:

Looking ahead, the next continental meeting will take place in Bogotá, Colombia, at the end of November 2023.

 CADTM Europe

The political situation in Europe is very complicated, with right-wing and even far-right parties, such as Giorgia Meloni’s in Italy, dominating. European governments, particularly those represented in the European Union, are pursuing inhumane policies towards migrants. In June 2023, the Greek coastguard sank a boat carrying over 700 migrants. This inhumane treatment has provoked reactions from left-wing activists and trade unions across Europe. Moreover, the war in Ukraine has already caused over 300,000 deaths on both sides since the Russian aggression.

The CADTM is active in two European countries: Belgium, where the Autumn Meetings, which drew over a hundred individuals, took place in September 2023, and France, where a team of about fifteen members attended the Summer Universities of Social Movements in Bobigny in August 2023. CADTM Italy is attempting to resume its operations following a tough period, owing mostly to the coronavirus epidemic. Individual members of CADTM are active in Spain, Portugal, and Greece.

At the end of the international council, it was decided to draft a communiqué in support of the Palestinian people, and another to express our support for the Haitian people in the face of the UN mission that social movements do not want.

The entire CADTM International delegation is now focused on the Marrakesh Counter-Summit, which condemns the neoliberal policies of the World Bank and the IMF, central components of the capitalist system that oppresses peoples and destroys the planet.



[1“The International Council (created during the May 2013 World Assembly) of the CADTM is a coordinating body between the continental structures in which the shared International Secretariat participates. The International Council has a mandate corresponding to the number of years between two World Assemblies and meets at least once a year. Each continental network chooses the four people (two full members and two deputies) who represent the continent, in accordance with the principle of” gender balance ". The International Council’s tasks include :
• coordinating the continent-wide structures of the network according to the changing regional and international political context;
• the collaboration between the network’s continental structures on the basis of the programs that have already been initiated;
• the main activities of the CADTM network according to the changing regional and international political context ;
• the work of the twin hub International Secretariat;
• the General Assemblies;
• following up on the decisions taken at the General Assemblies.

Other articles in English by CADTM (99)

0 | 10 | 20 | 30 | 40 | 50 | 60 | 70 | 80 | 90




8 rue Jonfosse
4000 - Liège- Belgique

00324 60 97 96 80