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“Another World is Possible”
Social Proclamation of Monterrey
by Collectif
4 April 2002

Organizations representing unions, farmers and agricultural workers, indigenous peoples, the popular movement, environmentalists, women, youth, children, and human rights from Mexico and many other countries of the world have convened here in the Social Forum “Another World is Possible” from the 18 to the 22 or March, in Monterrey, Mexico to make the voice of the excluded society heard by the International Conference for the Financing of Development sponsored by the United Nations Organization. We are gathered here, above all, to make known our complete rejection of the neoliberal globalization that has been advocated for so many years by the G-7 member countries and other multilateral organizations such as the IMF, the WTO and the World Bank, who are responsible for imposing an economic order upon the entire planet that has brought about devastating consequences, has globalized misery, injustice, inequality and environmental degradation. We are here today to manifest our complete rejection of the intent to advance the increased integration and subordination of Mexico to the United States through the scheduled meeting between Vicente Fox and George Bush.

This UN conference will debate a document, the so-called Monterrey Consensus, which was brought to the conference with the stipulation that not even a comma could be change and that includes the “agreement” not to represent the necessities of the poor countries but that of the interests, limitations and conditions of the rich countries and of the same organisms that are in charge of globalization misery we experience on a daily basis. It proposes an exercise of situation, or of a scene mounted to recuperate a little bit of legitimacy for an economic model whose last priority is combating the causes of poverty.

The Monterrey Consensus is a document that is full of good intentions, but lacks concrete commitments, methods or mechanisms to advance development. Now we find that the poor and the rich share the same amount of responsibility and try to use corruption as a pretext for not distributing resources. The Official Assistance for Development has reduced the discussion to only a few crumbs left over from the earnings of the rich countries from which the poor people of the world must try to extract all that they can, earnings that are in large part due to the indiscriminate opening of the markets of developing countries. As we well know, Mexican programs, such as Progresa, as well as those on a global level, have not produced results since they are incapable of modifying the economic policies that cause poverty. The Monterrey Consensus maintains the principal paradigms of neoliberalism: more free trade and more indiscriminate investment to be used to promote a growth which only succeeds in further polarizing the world.

Mexico is a good example of the results of this model. Since the inception of NAFTA, Mexico has received 80,207 billion dollars in foreign investment; it has quintupled foreign trade, however during this entire neoliberal period its growth has hovered around zero, it has a 40% deficit in the generation of new employment, a trade deficit and seventy million people living in poverty.

We are not in agreement with the social disaster of NAFTA, or with the fact that the United States and the rest of the governments of the hemisphere intend to extend this model throughout this whole continent through the creation of the Free Trade Area of the Americas. The Puebla-Panama Plan, the Colombia Plan and the Dignity Plan form part of the “neocolonist” plans and of he hegemony of the United States to consolidate their economic, political and military domination throughout the continent.

Those with power intend to impose their domain upon the peoples and their culture. This can only be achieved by homogenizing all nations. The objective is that all nations are converted into one large market from which can be extracted that which is necessary for the continued reproduction of the system. This implies the necessity to destroy other cultures and their peoples through the subordinated integration of all into the same development model. Africa is a dramatic example.

Now, the indigenous peoples of Latin America are in more danger than ever. It is not a coincidence that the corridor that represents the Puebla-Panama Plan coincides directly with the lands owned by indigenous peoples. This represents a large part of the most coveted natural resources on earth and as provides examples of what “they” have deemed intolerable examples of rebellion.

Capital is not provided for the long-term, they only think and fight for immediate gains. Therefore, the conservation of the environment is not a priority for them. If the cost of “development” implies the destruction of the forests, the contamination of the rivers and seas and the devastation of the biosphere, they do not care. The official international cost calculated for environmental deterioration and degradation in Mexico is 10% of average GDP since the inception of NAFTA.

Privatization now has been extended to include energy, education, health, social security and even water and the biodiversity of agricultural products through genetic modifications, without considering the needs or the social interests of the people and their nations.

The oppression against women has increased and has achieved new levels, for this reason they have continued to fight incessantly to defend their rights and for justice for all as well as for the right to make decisions about their own bodies and their right to a life without violence. However, the road is still long. The full acceptance of sexual diversity, as well as all types of diversity in all aspects of life is a continuing fight.

This UN conference is legitimizing and promoting an economic model that produces consequences that we well know. The UN also has planned several attacks, for example, that which they intend to carry out in Chiapas with the displacement of the zapatista communities in Montes Azules under the pretext of protecting the biodiversity. More and more, the UN is being converted into a instrument to transmit the interests of the G-7, and particularly those of the USA. This has served as a security blanket for the military policies of the United States and its allies under the pretext of combating terrorism.

Since September 11, globalization has entered into a new, and even more dangerous, phase, that which Dr. Pablo Gonzalez Casanova has deemed the neoliberalism of war. It is truly insulting that the UN Conference allows the United States to exaggerate their contribution by 5 billion dollars to aid while their military budget is 48 billion dollars.

The genocidal wars in Afghanistan, Palestine and Colombia are part of this campaign, and are adding victims of hunger to those already felled by the war.

Facing the voracity of power, the people of the world have not remained passives. This shows us that ANOTHER WORLD IS POSSIBLE. In recent years, one can find resistance, defense and the creation of alternatives in all corners of the world. From the construction of networks, worldwide and continental coordinations and the protests in Seattle have proven advances in the globalization of alternatives and of hope. We continue in the fight for land, water, against privatization, for indigenous rights and culture, for labor rights, education, the equity of gender and respect for diversity, the environment and the recuperation of our natural resources. We call for all to join us in a continental campaign against the FTAA, to defeat the Puebla-Panama Plan, to reject a NAFTA Plus and to continue fighting against the embargo against Cuba.

In each summit, in all of the meetings of multilateral organizations, our voice will be present. There are advances in the coordination of the fights that will respond to the barbarity of power.

This is our work: To advance our levels of coordination, to travel to all corners of the planet to be the spokespeople of hope in the face of our common enemy and to advance in our Unity. We will be the voice of this humanity that is disposed to face death, war and hunger with life and justice.

To be the voice of dignity is our mission, to carry our word into the consciousness of all the women and men of this planet is our fight for the future.

In this way and only in this way IS ANOTHER WORLD POSSIBLE.


Collectif