13 November 2008
Debt & Public Finance
– As G-20 leaders meet Saturday to address the current global financial meltdown, more than forty international and regional networks and movements from different parts of the world vow to stage global protests calling for fundamental structural changes and a new global economic and financial system that is more responsive to the needs of the poor and the developing countries.
Lidy Nacpil, coordinator of the Jubilee South – Asia Pacific Movement on Debt and Development (JS-APMDD), said that the time is ripe to seek an “alternative path” and turn the crisis into an opportunity for advancing a “people’s agenda for change.” Nacpil, who is currently in Washington DC – the site of the G-20 summit, announced that 14 countries in Asia, 7 in Africa, 14 in Latin America and Caribbean, 8 in Europe and 1 in North America (USA) will be staging simultaneous protests in time for the “elite jamboree.”
In the Philippines, civil society groups led by Freedom from Debt Coalition will march to the US Embassy from the Mehan Garden in Manila to highlight the “culpability of the Bush administration” in the global financial, fuel and climate crises.
In a global call signed by 209 international, regional and national networks, the groups call and demand the following:
1. New structures and institutions based on new principles. We need national, regional and global financial institutions based on economic democracy and equity, ecological sustainability and environmental justice, gender, racial, ethnic and international justice and equality, and self-determination and sovereignty of peoples and nations.
2. No more market fundamentalism and “one size fits all” formula: The world doesn’t need another “Washington consensus” that has preached deregulation, privatization, the over-leveraging of banks and trade and capital liberalization that have damaged communities and the environment.
3. End the power of the IMF, World Bank: The present crisis has again demonstrated how we are all impacted by these powerful global institutions whose policies have been instrumental in its creation. Reforms to give them enhanced role, such as those being discussed in current debates, are unacceptable.
4. Regulate the global economy effectively. Governments should take immediate action to develop a new international regulatory architecture with democratic checks and balances that is aimed at preventing future financial crises and promoting the interests of workers, small-hold farmers, consumers, and the environment. The United Nations should play a central role in its development.
“We believe that the system must be changed and can be changed. We say no to summit called by lame duck US President George W. Bush and other G8 leaders. Their only agenda is to stabilize the current financial system in the interest of the global capitalist elite. The reforms they propose will only give greater power to institutions like the IMF and the World Bank which, in the first place, bear a big part of the responsibility for this financial crisis as well as the climate, food and energy crises. What should be done, instead, is to install economic structures and policies that place people’s needs first and give people greater control over resources and the decisions that affect their lives,” Nacpil said. -30-