The undersigned participants in the First South-North Study and Strategy Meeting of the International Campaign on Illegitimate Debt, representing 50 global and regional networks and organizations from 36 countries from throughout the world, meeting in Quito, Ecuador, on September 9 – 15, 2008,
1.That the people of Ecuador have been demanding that their government fulfill its right and obligation to take necessary measures in the face of the debt claimed illegitimately of their country, in order to favor the wellbeing of millions of families who for years have suffered the consequences of the inhumane policies of structural adjustment imposed by the organisms of international credit and other lenders;
2.That the President of the Republic of Ecuador and his government, in July 2007, took the sovereign decision to designate a pluralistic Special Commission, comprised of national and international experts on the Debt and its impacts, in order to undertake a Comprehensive Audit of the Public Credit of Ecuador;
3.That the Commission conducted its work with scientific criteria and technical objectivity, throughout the period of time established by the Ecuadoran government, in order to present its final report in September, 2008;
4.That the jurists who have been involved and who have advised the Commission have corraborated that, with respect to the legal situation of the debt in Latin America, general principles of law (such as those of good faith, the free determination of peoples, the prohibition of usury, contractual balance, rebus sic stantibus, human rights, environmental rights, among others), international covenants, and fundamental norms of domestic law have been violated;
5.That the decision to undertake the Audit is complemented by other initiatives whose aim is to promote the building of a new regional and international financial architecture, including the creation of the South Bank and partial withdrawal from the International Center for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID);
1.To express our support for this sovereign decision of the Ecuadoran government, that will make it possible to know in a transparent manner the characteristics of the process of public indebtedness, to establish precise responsibilities for the illegitimate indebtedness that has been to the detriment of the national interest and the dignified life of the population, and to develop criteria in order to avoid the accumulation of new illegitimate debt;
2.To support the actions that the President of the Republic, the Government, and the social movements and organizations of Ecuador undertake so as to implement and and put into practice in a sovereign manner the conclusions and recommendations that the Audit Commission formulates in its final report, including the possible suspension of payment on all credits which the audit has established and demonstrated to be irregular, illegal, illicit and therefore illegitimate, in accordance with their rights and obligations to defend and promote the human, collective and environmental rights of the population and on the basis furthermore of the principles incorporated into the new Constitution;
3.To respectfully ask the government of Ecuador, in order to avoid unjust payments that generate irrecoverable losses from the public budget, to extend the comprehensive audit to all pending debt claims that exist at all levels and were not included in the sampling or initial process of this audit, and to suspend payment on those debts until such time as the final results of the audit be made known, at which time payment on those credits that are neither illegal nor illegitimate would be resumed;
4.To manifest our commitment to to disseminate at all levels internationally the process and results that are officially published by the Integral Audit Commission, in order to seek the support of governments, parliaments, movements, and others, with the objective of achieving the restitution of and reparations for all that the Ecuadoran people have unjustly paid and the realization of comprehensive audits in all those countries that have suffered the same illegitimate processes of indebtedness, as is now happening in the form of Citizen Audits in several countries around the world.
5.To support as well the actions that the government, the peoples, and social movements and organizations of Ecuador undertake with the aim of advancing in the construction of an alternative financial architecture, such as the sovereign decision to withdraw from the ICSID and contribute to the creation of a South Bank that serves the interests and rights of the people and constitutes a break with the structure and functioning of existing International Financial Institutions.
Quito, Ecuador, September 15, 2008
Jubilee South, Africa Jubilee South, Jubilee South/Americas, Jubilee South Asia-Pacific Movement on Debt and Development, European Network on Debt and Development EURODAD, Jubilee USA Network, CADTM Belgium, CADTM Ecuador, African Network on Debt and Development AFRODAD, Lutheran World Federation Program on Illegitimate Debt, LATINDADD, Southern Peoples’ Ecological Debt Creditors Alliance, Norwegian Church Aid, SLUG- Norway, Debt and Development Coalition of Ireland, Observatory on Debt in Globalization of the Spanish State, French Plataform on Debt and Development, Aktion Finantzplatz -Switzerland, Jubilee Debt Campaign-Great Britain, Jubilee Scotland, Jubilee Australia, ATTAC Japan, Freedom from Debt Coalition Philippines, Equity Justice Working Group Bangladesh, Indian Social Action Forum, INFID Indonesia, KAU Indonesia, National Debt Group-Ecuador, Jubilee Peru Network Jubilee South Brazil, PAPDA Haiti, Dialogue 2000 Argentina, Jubilee South Colombia, “In Debt with Rights” Campaign-Colombia, CADTM Colombia, Red Sinti Techan-El Salvador, Economic, Social, Cultural and Environmental Rights Platform–Uruguay, ANEEJ Nigeria, Jubilee Zambia, Economic Justice Network Malawi, Campaign Against Debt-Mali, National Forum on Debt and Development-Ivory Coast, CADTM Morrocco, Southern Africa Economic Justice Network