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First meeting of CADTM International Council in Rabat, Morocco
by Pauline Imbach , Maria Elena Saludas
29 April 2014

Compliant to the decision taken at the The last Global Assembly of CADTM held at Bouznika (Morocco) in 2013, the International Council’s first meeting took place from the 15th -17th April, 2014. This meeting aimed to strengthen the coordination among the member organizations of the CADTM international network.

The following participants attended the meeting:

For CADTM Africa: Solange Koné and Sékou Diarra ; for CADTM AYNA : María Elena Saludas and William Gaviria ; for CADTM Europe : Christine Van den Daelen and Nicolas Sersiron, and also representatives of the International Secretariat, the responsibilities of which are shared (provisionally) by CADTM Belgium and ATTAC Morocco . Ten members of the International Secretariat (five delegates from Belgium and five from Morocco) were also present.

The Council held a meeting over three days in the premises of the Théâtre Aquarium in the heart of a picturesque popular locality in the city of Rabat (Morocco), full of markets displaying counters with typical foodstuff, fruits and colourful vegetables and dry fruits, while the vendors pleasantly greet the passersby, usually in Arabic, and offered their products .

The proposed agenda and topics discussed during these three days of intense debate were:

CADTM’s assessment and orientation regarding the World Social Forum ; strengthening CADTM’s collaboration with ATTAC and preparation of the ATTAC summer school in Europe in August 2014 ; Eric Toussaint’s analysis of the international situation along with timely interventions from the representatives of other continents.

And finally, CADTM’s role and tasks on:

public debt and comprehensive audits; illegitimate private debts related to the issue of micro-credit ( strongly affecting Morocco which has many victims); denunciations and actions related to the 70th anniversary of the World Bank and IMF, International Financial institutions created at Bretton Woods (1944 ) which act in the interests of capital and not that of the people; communication with all who struggle against austerity, unemployment, mortgage ... ; and , as always, the continuation and consolidation of our coordination with organizations and movements leading feminist struggles, peasant struggles , denunciation of the current model of production and consumption causing the climate crisis ; denunciation of free trade agreements (FTAs ) in all forms , since, vis-à-vis the profound global capitalist crisis we are facing an acceleration of agreements and treaties ( old and new) being signed. Its main objective is to grant an absolute legal guarantee to multinational companies and to support governments that promote the ideology of free trade.

Continental analyses were also conducted to evaluate our position vis-à-vis the aforementioned struggles and coordination with organizations and popular movements in each region. As always, the aim was to participate in the development of critical issues which contribute to the transition to the process of a non-capitalist change.

Before continuing with the story of our activities in Morocco , we wish to offer our warm thanks to ATTAC Morocco. Despite the difficulties experienced (refusal to issue receipts, repression of activists, economic difficulties ... ), they managed to hold this meeting, not only with an excellent arrangement but also with great affection and solidarity to all the participants. A big ‘thank you’ to the various members of ATTAC- CADTM Morocco and again congratulations for the work done.

As part of these activities, a public conference on the public debt and international financial institutions (WB/IMF) and their alternatives was convened on Friday, the 18th April at the National Library. A large number of participants attended and enriched the debate which was later covered by various mass-media.

On the 21st April, we begin our work in Morocco’s interiors-at Ouarzazate, 300 kms away from Rabat. At first, a training programme will be provided to women on the issues of debt, audit and micro-credit related to these themes, starting with the testimonies of victims, particularly the region’s women.

This seminar will bring together representatives of CADTM Africa (Togo, Burkina Faso, D R Congo, Mali, Tunisia, Senegal, Cameroon, Benin, Niger, Ivory Coast), CADTM AYNA (Argentina, Haiti ) and CADTM Europe ( Belgium and France ) .

Our presence in Morocco ends with the support to and an active participation in the International Caravan in solidarity with the victims of micro-credit (24th-28th April). It will start from Ouarzazate and is a way of strengthening CADTM Africa’s feminist work, because over 4,500 women organize in this city and its surroundings around this issue.

The caravan will pass through four cities. This activity is of considerable importance, given that two leaders of the Association for Defending Victims of Micro-credit were recently sentenced to an imprisonment for one year, following an unfair trial which ended on the 11thFebruary, 2014.

We will continue to share information about our presence in Morocco, an experience that presents us with new perspectives and new interpretations, since we are carrying out the same struggle albeit in a separate cultural framework. We learn and give expression to revolts, aware that the struggle and the search for alternatives are now local, regional, continental and international.

Written in Ouarzazate, Morocco, on the20th April, 2014

Translation by Sushovan Dhar

Pauline Imbach

CADTM France

Maria Elena Saludas