The debt problem is not over, despite all the promises and schemes offered by lending governments and international financial institutions.
The debt continues to exacerbate poverty and rob the peoples of Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, Asia and the Pacific of their human rights to health, education, housing, water and all the other essential goods and basic services which should be available to all
>to livelihoods, living wages and job security
>to healthy environment and sustainable use of ecological resources
>to independence and political autonomy
>to self-determination in economic development and all other aspects of national life
It is a scandal that the rich world continues to demand hundreds of millions of dollars every day from the South, in payment of ‘debts’ that have emerged from unjust economic relations that impoverish the South and enrich the North. These debts include those:
>contracted without democratic processes,
>accompanied by unjust terms and obligations
>perpetuated through fraud and deception
>lost to corruption and failed projects
>that supported repressive governments
>that financed policies harmful to people and the environment
Debt continues to be used as an instrument of control by lending governments and international institutions. Conditionalities attached to loans and debt relief enforces neoliberal policies and projects, facilitating the entry and unaccountable operations of transnational corporations securing trade deals favorable to transnational corporations and rich countries at the expense of the economies, livelihoods and resources of the peoples of the South promoting invasive foreign and military policy and strategies allowing the plunder and resource extraction from recipient countries and hastening environmental destruction and climate change undermining democratic decision-making
We urge you all to join the GLOBAL WEEK OF ACTION VS DEBT and IFIs – a week of various forms of citizen’s actions and mobilizations worldwide from October 14 to 21, 2007.
Several important events will mark that week:
October 15 – the 20th anniversary of the death of Thomas Sankara, former President of Burkina Faso, who called for repudiation of debt
October 16 – World Food Day
October 17 – International Day to Eradicate Poverty; Stand Up and Speak Out Mobilizations
October 20 – World Youth Day
October 19-21 – IMF-WB Annual meetings
Together let us challenge and confront northern governments, international banks, transnational companies, and multilateral institutions such as the IMF, World Bank, and WTO to take responsibility for debt domination and illegitimate debt.
Let us also demand past and present governments and government officials in the South to be accountable for their role in the debt problem. Let us declare our readiness to stand in solidarity with those who choose to repudiate illegitimate debt.
Let us pursue alternative and responsible financial relations, principles and standards to stop the re-accumulation of illegitimate debt. These will involve major changes in international and national structures, processes and policies towards the establishment of equitable and just economic, financial and political relations.
Platform of the Global Week of Action
We demand from North and South governments and international financial institutions the following:
1. Open, transparent and participatory Parliamentary and/or Governmental Debt Audits in both South and North countries; Full cooperation with citizens groups for independent Citizens Debt Audits, including the Global Citizens Audit of the lending operations and related policies of the World Bank and IMF, Regional Development Banks and Export Credit Agencies.
2. Immediate and 100% cancellation of multilateral debts and all illegitimate debts as part of the total cancellation of debt claimed from the South, without externally imposed conditionalities; Repudiation of unsustainable, unjust and illegitimate debt;
3. Full transparency and accountability to citizens in the implementation of debt cancellation and debt repudiation; Democratic decision-making and implementation to ensure that funds freed from debt cancellation and debt repudiation are used for genuine, equitable and sustainable development.
4. Immediate end to the financing and enforcement of neoliberal policies and projects through debt related conditionalities:
>Stop the privatization of public services and the use of public resources to support private profits
>Stop using debt and aid as leverage for unfair trade agreements
>Stop the promotion of environmentally destructive projects such as big dams and harmful mining of oil, gas coal and other dirty energy; Stop the escalation of climate change
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
1. Start planning with your local and/or national organizations and networks what forms of actions you will do in your own communities, cities, countries during the week of Action.
Example of actions:
Fasting – join others in a worldwide Rolling Fast
Protest Marches, Rallies; Human Chain
Candlelight / Torch Parade
Indoor forums / Teach Ins
Speaking tours at universities, factories, community halls, churches
Publish posters and statements
Distribute statements /manifestos etc on debt in your communities and at public places like markets, bus stations, schools, churches etc
Wear pins during the week
2. Link your actions to local and national important dates, symbols and claims.
3. Use the Global Week of Action versus Debt Logo (aside from your own) in your posters, stickers, pins and other materials to signify this week is being observed globally
4. Sign up your organization to the Call for Global Week Action against Debt and the Campaign Platform. Help circulate the Call and Platform to other groups and network for more signatories
5. Fax, email or hand deliver the international statement and your local/national statements to offices of the following:
>Local, National and International Press
>Country/area offices of the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Africa Development >Bank, Asian Development Bank, Inter-American Development Bank, European Bank for >Reconstruction and Development, and Export Credit Agencies
>Embassies of lender governments, especially G8
>International Banks – Citibank, Barclays etc
6. Call on elected representatives, faith leaders and other prominent individuals – both South and North – to associate themselves with these actions and demands
PARTICIPATING ORGANIZATIONS as of June 30… PLEASE SIGN UP ON OR JULY 15!
INTERNATIONAL and REGIONAL Movements and Networks:
Jubilee South, Oil Change International, European Network on Debt and Development (EURODAD), Committee for the Abolition of Third World Debt ( CADTM), Latin American Network on Debt and Development (LATINDADD), African Network on Debt and Development ( AFRODAD), LDC WATCH, Jubileo Sur Americas, Africa Jubilee South, Asia/Pacific Movement for Debt and Development (APMDD), South Asia Alliance on Poverty Eradication (SAAPE) Southern Africa Peoples Solidarity Network (SAPSN), AFRICA Jubilee Zambia, Daughters of Mumbi-Kenya, Forum for Africa Alternatives-Senegal, Solidarity Africa Network – Kenya, Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development (ZIMCODD) ASIA and the PACIFIC Freedom From Debt Coalition-Philippines, INFID Indonesia, Indian Social Action Forum (INSAF),Rural Reconstruction Nepal, Asian Regional Exchange for New Alternatives (ARENA), Focus on the Global South, Jubilee Australia, Jubilee Kyushu on World Debt and Poverty Japan, Attac Japan EUROPE Debt and Development Coalition-Ireland, , SLUG Norway, Blue 21 Germany, Quien debe a Quien? Spain, Aktion Finanzpltatz Schweiz Switzerland, Jubilee Debt Campaign United Kingdom LATIN AMERICA and CARIBBEAN Dialogo 2000 Argentina, PAPDA-Haiti, PACS-Institute of Alternative Policies for the Southern Cone – Brazil, NORTH AMERICA Jubilee USA Network, 50 Years is Enough Network