MANILA, Philippines – The forthcoming summit called by outgoing US President George W. Bush and other G8 leaders on November 15 to address the international financial crisis will unlikely usher in genuine solutions to the problem, according to anti-debt groups in the country and the Asia Pacific region.

“The summit is fundamentally flawed – it excludes many countries whose citizens are bound to suffer the greatest impacts of the crisis and only aims to stabilize the current system in the interest of global capitalist elites,” said Lidy Nacpil, coordinator of the Jubilee South – Asia Pacific Movement on Debt and Development (JS-APMDD).

She said that civil society groups in the region plan to stage a series of worldwide protest actions leading up to the Nov 15 Global Summit of the G20.

“These actions call 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. A more inclusive process that includes all countries and involves civil society representatives to review the current international financial and monetary architecture is also needed,” Nacpil said.

Nacpil stressed that what the world needs right now is a process that will put people and the planet first.

"We cannot entrust just a small group of leaders and countries led by US Pres Bush and the G8 with the responsibility for reworking global economic rules and institutions.  Given their past actions, we anticipate that they will only aim 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,” she explained.

For his part, Milo Tanchuling, secretary general of the Freedom from Debt Coalition (FDC), pointed out that the G8 leaders have committed more than one trillion US dollars of public funds to bail out private banks and private financial institutions out of their crises.  He expressed fears that ordinary people will once again be made to foot the bill for such measures.

"Have we not learned from previous experiences, like the Asian financial crisis in 1997, the economic collapse in Argentina from 1999 to 2002, and other crises that resulted in massive devastating impacts and illustrate the need for real transformation of the global economic and financial system?" he asked.

JS-APMDD and FDC vowed to be at the forefront of civil society protest actions calling for an "alternative path" towards addressing the current global financial meltdown and turning the crisis into an opportunity for advancing a "people's agenda for change."  

Forty international and regional networks and more than 200 national organizations and movements from Asia, Africa, Europe, the Americas and other parts of the world will participate in actions that will take place in at least 25 countries.  In a joint statement issued recently, the organizers of the protest actions declared that it is time for a "fundamental rethink" and a "truly global response to a global crisis":

"ENOUGH! We will take no more.  This system can be changed and must be changed!" -30-

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