The system of debt continues to devastate the lives of people around the world. People in the South face the daily impacts and consequences of the financial indebtedness of their countries, which far from having been “relieved” is growing in step with the crisis and the pursuit of extraordinary profits by the most concentrated forms of capital. They continue also to bear the burden of the unpaid historical, social, ecological, and climate debts which are increasing as well to the rhythm of false solutions to the global crisis.
In Europe and North America, social security is being dismantled in the name of fiscal austerity, while millions of people cannot find a decent job and military budgets rise. South and North, people are fighting for the provision of public services and basic rights such as healthcare, education, housing, water, social security, land and urban reform, while governments favor the payment of services on an often ill-gotten debt.
It is the very foundations of the system that are showing their flaws. Nonetheless, most governments and the International Financial Institutions (IFIs) persist in seeking “solutions” that will only worsen the problems of our peoples, as they place financial markets and debt at the center of responses to the crisis they provoked.
Instead of new mechanisms of indebtedness and the perpetuation of illegitimate debt, people everywhere call for the repudiation of illegitimate and odious debts and the consolidation of economic and financial alternatives that are sovereign and democratic and based on respect for human rights and Nature.
Let us join forces and say NO to illegitimate debt: acquired on people’s behalf but destined to benefit a few corrupt bankers and politicians, huge multinationals, speculative interests, and the criminalization and repression of popular resistance. Peoples the world over demand accountability and transparency in public finances. We demand the suspension of debt payments and the realization of comprehensive and participatory debt audits NOW! The protection of human rights must be the top priority of all States.
We invite you to join and take action! Email us at email@example.com with updates about your action in your area.
The situation of the people of Pakistan continues to be critical. The international financial institutions and bilateral lenders have not heeded widespread calls for debt cancellation for Pakistan and reparations for the climate-related disaster.
We urge peoples’ organizations, movements and citizens groups in the South and throughout the world to step up solidarity actions.
On October 14, 2010 – during the Global Week of Action vs Debt – let us SHOUT OUT: DEBT CANCELLATION and CLIMATE REPARATIONS for PAKISTAN NOW!
On this day, we urge you to take the following actions:
- Release press statements and letters to the editor to local and international media
- Promote calls through the internet via appropriate listserves, instant messaging & social networking tools like Facebook, Twitter, Skype, Friendster, etc
- Send a barrage of telecommunications messages (telephone, mobile phone, fax and e-mail) to the headquarters of the World Bank, IMF, ADB and/or to their offices in Pakistan and/or in your countries. Send similar messages to embassies and finance ministries of bilateral lenders with priority to Japan, France, Germany, USA and China.
Jubilee South – Asia/Pacific Movement on Debt and Development (JSAPMDD), Jubilee South – European Network on Debt and Development (EURODAD), CADTM International, Jubilee USA Network, Jubilee Debt Campaign UK, Debt and Development Coalition Ireland, South Asia Alliance for Poverty Eradication (SAAPE), Freedom from Debt Coalition Philippines (FDC), Indian Social Action Forum (INSAF), Equity and Justice Working Group- Bangladesh (EquityBd), SUPRO Bangladesh, Koalisi Anti-Utang Indonesia (KAU), Institute for Essential Services Reform Indonesia (IESR), Monitoring Sustainability of Globalization Malaysia (MSN), Rural Reconstruction Nepal (RRN), LDC Watch, Migrant Forum Asia (MFA), Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum (PFF), Pakistan Kissan Rabita Committee, Labour Education Foundation Pakistan, Labour Party Pakista.
Peoples organizations, community groups, workers, farmers, youth and women’s movements, and NGOs in various parts of the world will be mobilizing for the October 7 to 17 Global Week of Action against Debt.
October 8, 2010 has been designated Day of Action on “WORLD BANK and IFIs OUT OF CLIMATE”. Join us in organizing various actions on that day calling for:
- An end to the World Bank and IFIs’ financing of policies and projects that harm people, the environment and exacerbate the climate crisis
- Resistance to the World Bank and other IFIs’ financing “climate programs” and promoting false solutions to climate change
- Opposition to governments giving a mandate to the World Bank to be the trustee and manager of climate finance
- Rejection of loans and other debt-creating instruments for climate finance
Organize demonstrations in front of WB and IFI offices; mount communications barrage to WB and IFIs via email, faxes, telephones, social networking venues; hold press conferences and other media activities!
This year under the slogan “Break the Chains, Change the System”, in Latin America, the Caribbean, Asia and Africa, movements and organizations that form part of the Jubilee South network will engage in diverse activities aimed at drawing attention and strengthening resistance and alternatives to the domination exercised by a debt that is illegitimate and has been further exacerbated in the present global context of systemic crisis
The social and ecological costs of the debt imposed on the Global South and the questioning of the role of the International Financial Institutions will be the main focus of attention during the Week of Global Action against Debt and the IFIs from October 7 through 17, worldwide.
Several days of debate and mobilization are expected during this Week promoted by the South-North Campaign on Illegitimate Debt with the participation, too, of other networks and organizations. On this occasion, among many others, three calls stand out:
World Bank out of climate!
Within days of the annual meetings of the IMF and World Bank, to be held this year in Washington, DC, under the banner “World Bank out of Climate!”, organizations will demonstrate and present statements to WB officials and offices in South countries, rejecting the role which it seeks to consolidate in the negotiations on climate change and calling on the World Bank and its sister institutions to get out of climate finance.
The World Bank seeks to impose its definition of the problem and its solutions, according to the statement to be presented. The organizations further affirm that the strategy of the North, in the face of global warming, is to seek to maintain its impunity, save money, and transfer responsibility to the South via the promotion and support of false solutions such as carbon trading, hydroelectricity, nuclear energy, agrofuels, and the selling of technologies. In this scheme, the role for the World Bank is similar to that played in recent decades when it propagated a development model based on external indebtedness, and then used that debt to impose structural adjustment, privatization and the neoliberal opening.
Solidarity with Pakistan and Haiti!
On October 14, movements throughout Asia and around the world will take action in solidarity with the people of Pakistan, in the wake of the recent terrible flooding.
Actions will focus on the call for immediate debt cancellation and reparations for climate debt related to the flooding. Thus far, the IMF, the World Bank, and Asian Development Bank have chosen to offer more loans instead of cancelling the debts they claim from Pakistan. Overall, loans of these institutions and other multilateral financial institutions come up to more than 50% of Pakistan’s total outstanding external debts.
A similar call is also being made in relation to the alleged “humanitarian aid” promised to Haiti, eight months after the earthquake that devastated the Caribbean nation leaving nearly 1,500,000 homeless people, and 2,000,000 vulnerable to malnutrition.
For October 15, the deadline for the renewal of the UN Mission of Stabilization (MINUSTAH) in Haiti, there is a call for a special day of solidarity with the Haitian people, to also demand the withdrawal of these troops, the immediate cancellation of the external debt that still weighs on the country, and reparations for what has unjustly been paid. In this regard, the International Monetary Fund announced the cancellation of the debt it claimed of Haiti, but conditioned on the start of a new process of indebtedness tied to the big multinational companies engaged in the field of reconstruction. To make matters worse, the Interim Commission for the Reconstruction of Haiti (CIRH) complements the MINUSTAH, putting the finishing touch to the occupation for the neocolonial management of Haiti on behalf of foreign powers.
Various activities are being prepared on various problems related to debt and the role of financial institutions. For example, in Asia, the organization of Bangladesh EquityBD will hold a series of public forums, seminars and cultural events in various cities to focus attention on “Food Sovereignty and the role of the IFIs”.
In Africa, the Coalition on Debt and Development of Zimbabwe (ZIMCODD) will hold among several activities a public commemoration in the city of Harare, on October 9, demanding an official audit on external debt, its cancellation, and to call attention on the need to implement reforms to the lending policy.
Among the activities to be undertaken in Latin America and the Caribbean is a joint “Workshop on Finance and Climate in South America”, organized by Jubilee South/Americas, the Brazil Network on Multilaterial Financial Institutions, Latindadd, and Oxfam International, in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The Workshop will conclude on October 7th with a manifestation outside the offices of the WB/International Finance Corporation in Sao Paulo, and the presentation of a joint statement demanding “World Bank Out of Climate.”
Several countries in Central America will call attention to the relationship between climate change and debt. Nicaragua is preparing a Pre Hearing of the Climate Justice Tribunal. El Salvador, among other actions, is joining with a huge march for climate justice on October13th. Numerous educational events will also take place during the Week of Action, including a workshop on “The role of the IFIs in the carbon market” in Hermosillo, Mexico, another in Buenos Aires on “The social impacts of debt today in Argentina”, and in Panama the first course on Political Ecology, plus a mobilization against the debt on Oct.12 together with the Cry of the Excluded. While organizations in Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro, San Juan de Puerto Rico, Havana and Hermosillo will be in the streets to show support for the Haitian people and demand the withdrawal of the MINUSTAH troops and unconditional debt cancellation.
The Global Week of Action Against Debt and IFIs is held since 2007 and is convened by the International South-North Campaign on Illegitimate Debt.
Break the Chains – Transform the System
We’ve been told that the global economy is on the road to recovery. The Wall Street casino that triggered the global financial and economic crisis is back up and running; the largest banks are back to paying out enormous bonuses to their CEOs and investors; the International Financial Institutions (IFIs) have a new lease on life with massive increases in their operating capital and political role.
People and the planet should not pay the costs of the crises!
For the hundreds of millions of people around the world who were pushed even further into poverty and marginalization due to the crisis, and for the planet Earth itself, however, this “recovery” is meaningless. Together with the food, climate, and fuel crises, the economic crisis led to massive job and wage losses, cut-backs in the provision of basic human rights to healthcare, education, housing, water, electricity, and social security, violent evictions from land and territories, increased concentration of corporate control and exploitation of natural resources, and a rise in racist, gender, religious, and sexual discrimination, among other impacts. The costs of this truly systemic crisis continue to rise, including also skyrocketing social crisis and heightened militarization, war, and criminalization of protest, even while the financial sector is again reaping record profits.
Debt levels around the globe have also increased dangerously, as a result of policies designed to subsidize the wealthy and favor the free flow of capital in a market that was supposed to be self-correcting. The debt domination that countries in the global South have suffered for decades is beginning to affect countries in the North more directly, and the types of painful “austerity measures” that devastated populations throughout the South are more widely being applied in the North. Still, it is people and the planet in the South, and those most vulnerable in the North, that stand to bear the brunt of a renewed debt crisis.
The peoples of the South do not owe; they are the creditors!
The debt that is accumulating is not just financial however. By and large, the response to the crises has been a continuation of failed policies of the past, increasing the ecological, climate, social, and economic debts owed to working people and the marginalized. The alarming failure of governments in the North to make concrete commitments to settle their climate debt to the South, through deep domestic emissions cuts and compensatory finance and technology, threatens our collective future. Similarly, limited, lender-driven and conditioned debt relief has ignored the need to respect the self-determination and sovereignty of all peoples and to address demands to end the impunity of the casino economy and make reparations for the damage done through illegitimate indebtedness.
Other wrong-headed responses to the crises include: lending for crisis needs, fossil fuels, agrofuels, mega infrastructure and energy projects or so-called clean development mechanisms; promoting the carbon market and the notion of a “green” capitalism; and the central role given to highly questioned institutions such as the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, regional development banks, the Financial Stability Forum, or the World Trade Organization.
People and the planet demand debt cancellation and reparations, NOW!
Enough is enough! What people and the planet are demanding is to break the chains of debt domination and the subjugation of all life to the dictates of the market in an economic system based on accumulation and overconsumption by the few, rather than justice and solidarity among the many. We, the peoples, must unite locally and globally to build alternatives of equity and equilibrium for all, without debts or domination.
Instead of more illegitimate debt and new institutions like the G20 – the self-proclaimed “premier forum for international economic cooperation”-, that exclude the majority of countries, it is time to transform a system whose failure has become increasingly evident. Rather than profiting from the crises on the backs of the same peoples, countries, and planet that for too long now have been paying the costs of their enrichment, the governments, corporations, and institutions of the North, together with elites in the South, must provide reparations for the debts they have incurred and their responsibility for these multiple crises and the disproportionate use of the planet’s resources.
Stop Illegitimate Lending – Transform the System!
We call on movements and organizations all over the world to join forces in this fight and to unite in the GLOBAL WEEK OF ACTION AGAINST DEBT AND IFIs, October 7-17. Together let us carry out actions wherever we are, in support of the following demands and ongoing struggles:
- No more debt in response to the crises provoked by the lenders
- Unconditional cancellation and repudiation of all illegitimate financial debts
- Restitution and reparations for ecological, climate, economic, social and historical debts owed by the governments and corporations of the North to the peoples of the South
- Respect for the sovereign right of countries to repudiate or stop servicing debt claims in order to meet their human and nature rights obligations
- Solutions to the economic, climate, energy, and food crises that are equitable, participatory, and transformational
- World Bank and regional development banks out of Climate Finance
- An end to the nefarious practices of vulture funds, which profiteer at the expense of impoverished countries and debt cancellation.
- No more irresponsible lending to finance destructive projects or to prop up illegitimate governments.
- Creation of new financial institutions and global and regional financial architecture that put people and the planet before profits and corporate power
- An end to the militarization and criminalization of social protest
GLOBAL WEEK OF ACTION AGAINST DEBT AND IFIs
OCTOBER 7 to 17, 2010
INTERNATIONAL SOUTH-NORTH CAMPAIGN ON ILLEGITIMATE DEBT
Initial endorsers: Jubilee South, Jubilee USA, Committee for the Abolition of the Third World Debt (Cadtm), European Network on Debt and Development (Eurodad), Africa Jubilee South, Daughters of Mumbi Global Resource Center (Kenya), Dialogue 2000 (Argentina)
CALENDAR OF ACTIONS
As part of the Global Week of Action, groups and organizations are encouraged to join with others, maximize your creativity and take every kind of appropriate action to raise our common concerns and support concrete struggles. You are encouraged to share your plans so that others can be supportive; some initial actions, like the March in Washington, DC, are noted below. The Week also includes a number of special days and targets that can help strengthen alliance-building with other movements and networks:
- · October 8: Global Day of Action on World Bank/IFIs out of Climate! and ¨Break the Chains; Transform the System¨ demonstration at the Annual Meetings of the World Bank/IMF in Washington, DC
- · October 12: Global ¨Minga¨ in Defense of Mother Earth Rights
- · October 15: Debt Repudiation Day in memory of Thomas Sankara and International Rural Women´s Day
- · October 16: World Food Day and Global Action for Food Sovereignty
- · October 17: Day of Action against Poverty and Mobilization of the World March of Women in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
The dates have now been set for the 4th edition of the GLOBAL WEEK OF ACTION AGAINST DEBT AND IFIs, to be held in 2o1o from October 7 – 17. More information will be available in brief, but meanwhile, confirm your organization´s endorsement of the Week this year, and share your initial thoughts and plans! Contact us at “firstname.lastname@example.org” or leave a comment here.
October 12 – 18, 2009
Week of Global Action against Debt and the IFI’s
No More False Solutions:
People and the Planet need Debt Cancellation and Reparations, NOW!
The global financial and economic crisis has devastating consequences on the lives of millions of people the world over, both South and North, and on our common home, the planet Earth. Together with the food, climate, and fuel crises, it has led to massive job and wage losses, cut-backs in the provision of basic human rights to healthcare, education, housing, water, electricity, and social security, violent evictions from land and territories, increased concentration of corporate control and exploitation of natural resources, and a rise in racist, gender, religious, and sexual discrimination, among other impacts. The costs of this truly systemic crisis continue to rise, including also skyrocketing social crisis and heightened militarization, war, and criminalization of protest, even while the profits of speculators and other vultures begin to rebound.
Debt levels throughout the global South are suffering as well from the impact of these crises unleashed in the heart of the global economy, as a result of policies designed to favor the free flow of capital in a market that was declared to be self-correcting. As a result, a new debt bomb is set to explode: reduced earnings and taxes, falling remittances from migrant workers, and heightened social, economic, and environmental demands is pushing many South governments into a desperate search for the nearest money-lender, wiping out any recent gains and again falling prey to those who offer little if anything besides more illegitimate debt.
The debt that is accumulating is not just financial however. The false solutions being promoted to the finance, climate, food, and fuel crises are provoking a potentially irreversible increase in the ecological, climate, social, and economic debts owed to the peoples and the planet, especially of the South. Among those false solutions we could cite new lending for crisis needs or for agrofuels, megaenergy projects or so-called clean development mechanisms; the carbon market; giving a central role to highly questioned institutions such as the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the Financial Stability Forum, or the World Trade Organization; and also limited, lender-driven and conditioned debt relief, ignoring the pledges for the recognition of debt illegitimacy and cancellation of all illegitimate financial debts without conditionalities. Instead of recognizing the need for fundamental transformation of a system whose failure has become increasingly evident, the responses of Northern governments – in particular the G7-, corporations and some governments in the South have aimed at saving the system. Rather than profiting from the crises on the backs of the same peoples, countries, and planet that for a long time now have been paying the costs of their enrichment, they must provide compensation and reparations for their responsibility in provoking a criminal crisis and the disproportionate use of the world’s wealth and of nature.
Enough is enough! We, the peoples, must unite locally and globally to build alternatives of equity and equilibrium for all without debts or domination. We thus call on movements and organizations all over the world to join forces in the WEEK OF GLOBAL ACTION AGAINST DEBT AND IFIs, October 12-18, 2009. Together with Indigenous Peoples who are calling us to a GLOBAL MOBILIZATION IN DEFENSE OF MOTHER EARTH, October 12-16, and uniting the struggle for freedom from debt domination and market fundamentalism with the struggles for climate justice (October 13), rural women and debt repudiation (October 15), food sovereignty (October 16) and poverty eradication (October 17), let us mobilize for lasting solutions that will make another world, a just world, possible. TAKE ACTION AND DEMAND:
- Cancellation of all illegitimate financial debts without conditionalities
- Restitution and reparations for ecological, climate, economic, social and historical debts, on the basis of comprehensive and participatory audits
- Respect for the sovereign right of countries to stop servicing debt claims in order to meet their human and environmental rights obligations
- Solutions to the economic, climate, energy and food crises that neither increase the debt burden on South peoples and the environment nor the militarization and criminalization of social protest
- Creation of new financial institutions and global and regional financial architecture that put people and the planet before profits and corporate power.
The peoples of the South do not owe and should not pay!
Debt Cancellation and Reparations Now!