CHALLENGE TO THE G8 GOVERNMENTS

A statement to the G8 signed by more than 150 movements, networks and organizations

Wednesday 9 July 2008

The gathering of the most powerful countries of the world is an occasion for the people of the world to demand that this G8 Summit address the twin ‘tsunamis’ that plague humanity today – the food and climate crisis – and the continuing problem of Debt that has contributed significantly to these two crises and exacerbate their impacts.

THE INJUSTICE OF THE DEBT BURDEN AND THE PROBLEM OF ILLEGITIMATE DEBTS
The payment of huge amounts of debt service amplifies the effects of the
food and climate crises and hampers the ability of countries and peoples
of the South to deal with these crises. This is part of the injustice of
the debt and for this alone debt cancellation is urgent.

But the debt is more than just the problem of losing much needed
resources to debt payments. Debts
used for harmful projects or to impose harmful conditionalities such as
those which contributed to the food and climate crises are illegitimate
debts and should not be paid.

THE FOOD CRISIS
The high price of oil, worsening climate conditions and price
manipulation by domestic and international trading cartels and
speculators have certainly contributed significantly to the abrupt,
massive increase in the prices of food. But the food crisis can be also
be traced to economic policies that have been imposed on the countries
of the South for decades, with the use of debt, access to credit and
debt relief as instruments for coercion.
The combination of several policies that have been part of
conditionality packages of the IMF and World Bank have resulted in
falling productivity in basic food agriculture, steep increase in the
costs of food production, the huge reduction in land used for producing
staple food for domestic consumption, and less sustainable agricultural
practices.
Fiscal and monetary conditionalities included the removal of state
subsidies for production of basic food crops and reduction in spending
for public infrastructures such as irrigation systems. Prescriptions for
export-oriented high growth economic strategies led to heavy reliance on
expensive imported fertilizers and pesticides, massive shifts to
non-staple and non-food export crops, and the conversion of agricultural
lands to export processing zones. Liberalization of trade gave rise to
unfair competition from subsidized food products from the north.
Liberalization of finance capital further fueled real estate industries,
expanding land use conversion from production of food to private housing
estates, golf courses and resorts. The privatization of public services
and utilities also meant greater cost of food production and distribution.
In addition, the effects of huge debt payment on government resources
include the deterioration and neglect of many public infrastructures
needed to boost agricultural production, such as irrigation systems, and
farm to market roads.
The ability of many countries of the South to produce sufficiently for
their own food needs and keep prices accessible to the domestic market
have thus been steadily and dramatically eroding since the 1980’s. There
has been a significant increase in the number of net food importing
countries in the past two decade, diminishing capability to maintain
adequate buffer stocks of staple grains, and increasing vulnerability to
world food market supply and price dynamics.

CHALLENGE TO THE G8 GOVERNMENTS
Small farmers and landless peasants have had no real benefits from the
spiraling increases in of food prices, as farm gate prices continue to
be low. It is the trading cartels and speculators that have been
generating big profits.

The G8 governments bear primary responsibility for the debt burden and
the debt-related policy conditionalities that contributed to the food
crisis and magnify its impacts. They are the biggest bilateral lenders
and the most influential members of international financial
institutions. They should act immediately and decisively for the
cancellation of all illegitimate debts. The imposition of
conditionalities through loans debt and debt cancellation must stop. The
G8 governments and the international financial institutions should
respect the action of Southern countries to reverse the policies that
have led to the food crisis.
The G8 governments also share responsibility for other factors behind
the crisis — as governments of countries which are home to the biggest
multinational food corporations and food commodities speculators, and as
powerful governments shaping bilateral and multilateral trade agreements
affecting food. The G8 governments should regulate their predatory
corporations and investors, ban speculation on food commodities, and
stop pushing unfair trade agreements.

THE CLIMATE CRISIS
The G8 governments also bear primary responsibility for the climate
crisis. Half of the world’s green house gas emissions come from the G8
countries. Most, if not all, of the G8 countries are lagging behind the
reduction targets of GHG emissions. Even the European Union, with its
bold plan of being the first de-carbonized economy in the world, has
undermined its own claims by planning to build 40 major new coal power
plants in the next five years.
And again, as the most powerful members of international financial
institutions, they are accountable for debt-related projects and
policies that exacerbate the climate crisis.
The World Bank and the regional development banks are major lenders to
projects involving fossil fuel industries, paid for by peoples of the
South. The Export Credit Agencies of G8 countries also provide financing
to these industries, part of which translates to liabilities of South
governments, again paid for by peoples of the South.
Since the signing of the Climate Convention in 1992, and even after
instituting “environmental policies,” the World Bank approved more than
133 financial packages to oil, coal and gas extraction projects,
comprising mainly of loans but also including equity investments,
guarantees and some grants. The total amount exceeds US$28 billion
dollars. Fossil fuel corporations based in G8 countries benefit from
almost every project finance package. The International Finance
Corporation of the World Bank is increasing its fossil fuel lending
portfolio.
The Asian Development Bank, to which Japan and the United States are the
biggest shareholders, is a major lender to coal, oil and gas projects in
Asia, approving close to US$2 billion worth of loans since the year 2000.
Other loan-financed projects and policy conditionalities of
international financial institutions have led to massive deforestation,
another major factor to climate change. These include, for instance, the
building of large-scale dams, road development in tropical forests, and
the promotion of palm oil production for export.
It is indeed ironic and deplorable that with such a record, the G8
governments is granting the World Bank a pre-eminent role in global
financing of climate mitigation and adaptation and the promotion of
“clean technology” and “clean development.” In the July 2005 Summit, the
G8 declared that the “The World Bank will take a leadership role in
creating a new framework for clean energy and development, including
investment and financing.” The regional development banks are claiming
similar roles.
The World Bank announced recently that it will establish Climate
Investment Funds (CIFs). Aside from the obvious inappropriateness of the
World Bank as manager of these Funds given its role in worsening the
climate crisis, the concepts, design and intentions of the funds are
seriously flawed.
The G8 governments are not only promoting false solutions through the
different facilities under the auspices of these international financial
institutions, they are intending to finance these through loans, thus
adding to the debt burden of developing countries. The UK government has
been leading the call for other governments to contribute to funds to be
administered by the World Bank as loans.
Instead of extending loans for climate mitigation and adaptation – the
G8 governments should begin with the recognition of the huge ecological
debt that they owe the countries and peoples of the South.
They should finance climate mitigation and adaption in the South as part
of restitution and reparations for the environmental damage and
destruction their policies and programs, their economies and
corporations have caused. These funds should be managed by democratic
and accountable institutions.
CALLS AND DEMANDS
We urge all peoples’ movements and organizations (labor, farmers, women,
youth, indigenous peoples), social and political movements, community
and citizens’ groups, and faith-based organizations, to challenge the
governments of the G8 countries to acknowledge their responsibility for
the food and climate crises and the continuing problem of debt, and take
decisive action to:

1. Cancel all illegitimate debt.
2. Stop financing projects and policies that contribute to climate change
3. Respect the South countries efforts to reverse harmful policies that
led to the food crisis.
4. Ban speculation on food prices.
5. End the practice of using loans and debt cancellation to impose
conditionalities.
6. Pay restitution and reparations for the huge ecological debts owed to
the South.
7. Facilitate the return of stolen assets kept in the banks in the G8
countries.


Signatories:
INTERNATIONAL and REGIONAL NETWORKS and ORGANIZATIONS
Jubilee South
European Network on Debt and Development (EURODAD)
CADTM International
JS – Asia/Pacific Movement on Debt and Development
Africa Jubilee South
Jubileo Sur Americas
Asia/Pacific Network on Food Sovereignty (APNFS)
AFRODAD
LATINDADD
Least Developed Country (LDC) Watch
South Asia Alliance for Poverty Eradication (SAAPE)
Southern Peoples Ecological Debt Creditors Alliance
Migrant Forum in Asia
EUROSTEP
OilChange International
Friends of the Earth International
Platform of Filipino Migrant Organisations in Europe (Platform Europe)
Action Aid International
Asia Pacific Forum on Women Law and Development (APWLD)
Asian Regional Exchange for New Alternatives (ARENA)
International Gender and Trade Network -Asia (IGTN-Asia)
Focus on the Global South
Coalition Against Trafficking in Women - Asia/Pacific (CATWP-AP)
Convergencia De Movimientos delos Pueblos delas Americas (COMPA)
NORTH AMERICA
Jubilee USA Network - USA
Sustainable Energy & Economy Network - USA
Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns - USA
Washington Office of Public Policy, Women’s Division, United Methodist
Church - USA
Center for Third World Organizing - USA
Global Exchange - USA
Medical Mission Sister’s Alliance for Justice - USA
Gender Action - USA
Halifax Initiative Coalition - Canada
Development Gap - USA
EUROPE
Jubilee Debt Campaign – UK
Jubilee Scotland
"¿Quien debe a Quién?” Campaign – Spain
Observatorio de la Deuda en la Globalización – Spain
Campagna per la Riforma della Banca Mondiale (CRBM) - Italy
CADI (Comitato Antirazzista Durban Italia) - Italy
Norwegian Coalition for Debt Cancellation (SLUG) - Norway
11.11.11. - Coalition of the Flemish North-South Movement - Belgium
Debt and Development Coalition - Ireland
Aktion Finanzplatz Schweiz - Switzerland
ATTAC - France
Commission for Filipino Migrant Workers (CFMW) - The Netherlands

PACIFIC
Jubilee Australia

JAPAN
Jubilee Kyushu - Japan
Jubilee Kansai Network - JapanATTAC Japan
Society of St Columban - Japan
Pacific Asia Resource Center (PARC) - Japan
Japan Network on Debt & Poverty
Food Policy Center Vision21 - Japan
Kansai Action Center on Philippine Human Rights Issues - Japan
ATTAC Hokkaido - Japan
ATTAC Kyoto - Japan
ATTAC Kansai Group, Japan
Altermonde - Japan
Yokohama Action Research Center - Japan
Solidarity Network Migrants Japan
Global Peace and Alternative Media - Japan
Lencaena Communication Japonesia - Japan
KALAKASAN Empowerment Center - Japan

ASIA/PACIFIC
Freedom from Debt Coalition (FDC) – Philippines
KALAYAAN! ( Movement for People’s Freedom) - Philippines
Solidarity of Filipino Workers (Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino) -
Philippines
Bisig - Philippines
Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement - Philippines
Aniban ng Manggagawa sa Agrikultura`(Union of Agricultural
Workers)-Philippines
Resource Center for Sustainable Development (GITIB) - Philippines
Center for Migrant Advocacy - Philippines
Task Force Food Sovereignty - PhilippinesCenter for Popular Empowerment
(CPE) – Philippines
Center for Women’s Right and Development -
SANLAKAS - Philippines
Samahang Demokratiko ng Kabataan (Democratic Association of the Youth)
SDK – Philippines
Kanlungan Centre Foundation Inc. - Philippines
Youth Against Debt (YAD) - Philippines
Assalam Bangsa Moro People’s Association - Philippines
Ecological Waste Coalition of the Philippines (Ecowaste Coalition) -
Philippines
Global Alliance for Incinerators Alternatives (GAIA) - Philippines
Health Care Without Harm (HCWH) - Philippines
Global Call to Action against Poverty (GCAP)-Philippines
Womanhealth - Philippines
ODA Watch - Philippines
Management and Organizational Development for Empowerment (MODE) -
Philippines
Anti Debt Coalition (KAU) - Indonesia
Nadi - IndonesiaI
International Forum for Indonesian Development (INFID)-Indonesia
Institute for Essential Services Reform – Indonesia
Anjuman Asiaye Awam – Pakistan
Monitoring Sustainability of Globalization - Malaysia
NUBE - Malaysia
Luta Hamutuk Institute - East Timor
Centre for Human Rights and Development – Mongolia
Rural Reconstruction Nepal
NGO Federation of Nepal
All Nepal Women’s Association - Nepal
Center for Environmental Justice – Sri Lanka
Equity & Justice Working Group - Bangladesh
Unnayan Onneshan - Bangladesh
Community Development Library- Bangladesh
Jatiyo Sramik Jote - Bangladesh
Group of Liberal Debaters (GOLD) – Bangladesh
WARBE Development Foundation - Bangladesh
Anjuman Asiaye Awam - Pakistan
Bonded Labour Liberation Front Pakistan
Indian Social Action Forum (INSAF) - India
Alternatives Asia - India
Centre for Education and Communication - India
People´s Union for Civil Liberties - India
Narmada Bachao Andolan - India
Campaign for Judicial Accountability - India
Gender, Livelihoods and Resources Forum - India
Bihar Social Institute - India
ALternatives/Badayl- India
Intercultural Resource - India
National Centre for Dalit Human Rights, India
Centre for Education and Communication, New Delhi, India
Manthan Adhyayan Kendra, India
Vikas Samvad, MP – India
Human Rights Law Network – India
Seoul-Gyeonggi-Incheon Migrants Trade Union - Korea
Bahrain Center for Human Rights - Bahrain

AFRICA
African Forum on Alternatives - Senegal
Daughters of Mumbi Global Resource Center - Kenya
Center for Promotion of Economic and Social Alternatives - Cameroon
Umzabalazo We Jubilee - South Africa
Jubilee South Africa
CRAPR / NAD - RD - Congo
LATIN AMERICA and the CARIBBEAN
Jubileu Sul Brasil - Brazil
PACS - Instituto Politicas Alternativas Para o Cone Sul - Brazil
Bloque Popular - Honduras
Jubileo Peru
Marcha Mundial delas Mujeres - Peru
Alianza Social Continental Capitolo - Peru
Dialogo 2000 - Argentina
ATTAC - Argentina
Periodico El Espejo - Argentina
Jubileo Sur - Mexico
Movimiento Mexicana de Afectados por las Presas y en Defensa delos Rios
 Mexico
Cactus Coaxaca - Mexico
Otros Mundos, A.C/Chiapas - Mexico
RED Mexicana de Accion Frente al Libre Comercio - Mexico
Centro de Documentacion en Derechos Humanos (Segundo Montes Mozo S.J.) -
Ecuador
RED Ecuatoriana de Defensores de Derechos Humanos - Ecuador
Mesa de Trabajo Sobre Migraciones Laborales - Ecuador
PAPDA - Haiti

INDIVIDUALS
Eisuke Naramoto, Japan
Hidenori Ao - Japan
Hiroshi Yamashita, Japan
GATA Kazumasa -Japan
Kalyani Menon Sen, India
Kazue Tanaka – Japan
Miki Fujimori - Japan
Mikiko Okiyama - Japan
Mituko Ogawa - Japan
Miyow Ogawa - Japan
Muto Ichiyo - Japan
Naomi Horihama - Japan
Makie Hatori - Japan
Nomura Osami - Japan
Okuno Takumi - Japan
Shigeki KONNO - Japan
Shindi Inoue - Japan
Sachiyo Tanahashi - Japan
Naoko Ishioroshi - Japan
Tadashi SETTSU (PAFF) - Japan
Watanabe Michie - Japan
Yasue Tanaka - Japan
Yukio Gibo – Japan
Rie Kawahito - Japan
Takako Nobuhara - Japan
Yasuaki Matsumoto, Palestine Solidarity in Sapporo - Japan
Misako Ogawa, Kagoshima City Council Member - Japan
Takaaki Osato, Midori Fukuoka - Japan
Yukio Giho, Okinawa Peace Memorial Museum - Japan
Takaaki Hashino, Japan Christian Organization - Japan
Rie Kawahito – Japan
Noel Cabangon - Philippines
Aaron Rom O. Moralina - Philippines
Atty. Romeo Gerochi - Philippines
Ted Aldwin Ong - Philippines
Gloria S. Canama – Pakistan
Sophea Chrek – Cambodia
Hemantha Withanage, Center for Environmental Justice – Sri Lanka
Bieniada Yerzy
Manfred Bergmann - Italy
Medha Patkar, Narmada Bachao Andolan - India
Ambrish Rai, Lok Sangharsh Morcha - India
Kavita Srivastava, People´s Union for Civil Liberties, Rjasthan - India
Prashant Bhushan, Campaign for Judicial Accountability - India
Praveer Peter, Gender, Livelihoods and ResourcesForum - India
Anil Sadgopal - India
Prakash Louis, Bihar Social Institute - India
Ranjan Soloman, ALTERNATIVES/BADAYL - India
Sauquat Hussain - India
Smitu Kothari, Intercultural Resource - India
Arun Kumar, Jawaharlal Nehru University - India
Mukta Srivastava, National Alliance of People Movements – India
Vincent,National Centre for Dalit Human Rights - India
Syed Saiful Haque - Bangladesh

Vous avez aimé cet article?

  • Le Journal des Alternatives vit grâce au soutien de ses lectrices et lecteurs.

    Je donne

Cet article est classé dans :

Partagez cet article sur :

  •    
Articles de la même rubrique

Analysis and Articles

In Defence of Neve Gordon

Articles sur le même sujet

G8

« G8, dégage ! » a résonné dans les rues du Havre

Je m’abonne

Recevez le bulletin mensuel gratuitement par courriel !

Je soutiens

Votre soutien permet à Alternatives de réaliser des projets en appui aux mouvements sociaux à travers le monde et à construire de véritables démocraties participatives. L’autonomie financière et politique d’Alternatives repose sur la générosité de gens comme vous.

Je contribue

Vous pouvez :

  • Soumettre des articles ;
  • Venir à nos réunions mensuelles, où nous faisons la révision de la dernière édition et planifions la prochaine édition ;
  • Travailler comme rédacteur, correcteur, traducteur, bénévole.

514 982-6606
jda@alternatives.ca