Jubilee South e-Bulletin

Jubilee South pursues campaign vs. illegitimacy of debt in World Social Forum III

29 March 2003 by Jubilee South

Jubilee South activities in the World Social Forum III bore an international articulation of various strategies in addressing and overcoming the illegitimacy of debt and related issues on development.

Among the strategies that surfaced in almost all the seminars Jubilee South helped organize or where JS persons spoke were the need to put in place mechanisms to engage people in an accounting to be made on the debt problem — be this through tribunals or citizensaudits; to link anti-debt struggles to the struggles for fair trade and for peace; and, to build solidarity among social movements for an international campaign to address the illegitimacy of debt.

The activities were a progression of Jubilee Souths work in the WSF in 2001 and 2002. In the first WSF, it was the Jubilee South Americas that advanced the idea of a debt tribunal in workshops on external debt, globalization, and ecological debt. In the second WSF, the tri-continental network of Jubilee South along with international partner networks organized the International PeoplesTribunal on Debt, an undertaking that constituted the largest international public forum on debt ever convened.

For this third WSF, JS concentrated efforts on taking stock of the present realities of its work and defining concrete strategies to overcome debt and address the illegitimacy of debt.

Its main activities were a seminar on “Strategies Addressing the Illegitimacy of Debt: Popular and Judicial initiatives, Citizen Audits, Non-payment and other Alternatives, which was co-sponsored by the Coalition to Abolish Third World Debt (CADTM) among others, and a conference on”New Perspectives and Insights on Globalization and Debt: A critical review of current trends and initiatives".

In the seminar on strategies on January 26-27, at the PUC Centro de Eventos, speakers and participants exchanged information on their work, analysis and strategies. Lidy Nacpil, the moderator for the morning session, said the seminar is a space for dissemination and exchange of information, ideas, experiences and lessons on concrete initiatives and strategies in hope of enriching the processes of struggles against debt.

The first session focused on tribunals. A 20-minute video of the International PeoplesTribunal Debt (IPTD) which was held as a special event of the World Social Forum II was presented. This was complemented by the distribution of a CD and printed materials on the tribunal.

Jostein Hole Kobbeltvedt of the Norwegian Campaign for Cancellation of Third World Debt (SLUG) then spoke on the experience of the Norwegian Tribunal on Third World Debt. The tribunal, held November 30, 2002, was a project inspired by the IPTD. The Norwegian Tribunal jury recognized the notion of illegitimacy and said HIPC Heavily Indebted Poor Countries
In 1996 the IMF and the World Bank launched an initiative aimed at reducing the debt burden for some 41 heavily indebted poor countries (HIPC), whose total debts amount to about 10% of the Third World Debt. The list includes 33 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The idea at the back of the initiative is as follows: a country on the HIPC list can start an SAP programme of twice three years. At the end of the first stage (first three years) IMF experts assess the ’sustainability’ of the country’s debt (from medium term projections of the country’s balance of payments and of the net present value (NPV) of debt to exports ratio.
If the country’s debt is considered “unsustainable”, it is eligible for a second stage of reforms at the end of which its debt is made ’sustainable’ (that it it is given the financial means necessary to pay back the amounts due). Three years after the beginning of the initiative, only four countries had been deemed eligible for a very slight debt relief (Uganda, Bolivia, Burkina Faso, and Mozambique). Confronted with such poor results and with the Jubilee 2000 campaign (which brought in a petition with over 17 million signatures to the G7 meeting in Cologne in June 1999), the G7 (group of 7 most industrialised countries) and international financial institutions launched an enhanced initiative: “sustainability” criteria have been revised (for instance the value of the debt must only amount to 150% of export revenues instead of 200-250% as was the case before), the second stage in the reforms is not fixed any more: an assiduous pupil can anticipate and be granted debt relief earlier, and thirdly some interim relief can be granted after the first three years of reform.

Simultaneously the IMF and the World Bank change their vocabulary : their loans, which so far had been called, “enhanced structural adjustment facilities” (ESAF), are now called “Growth and Poverty Reduction Facilities” (GPRF) while “Structural Adjustment Policies” are now called “Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper”. This paper is drafted by the country requesting assistance with the help of the IMF and the World Bank and the participation of representatives from the civil society.
This enhanced initiative has been largely publicised: the international media announced a 90%, even a 100% cancellation after the Euro-African summit in Cairo (April 2000). Yet on closer examination the HIPC initiative turns out to be yet another delusive manoeuvre which suggests but in no way implements a cancellation of the debt.

List of the 42 Heavily Indebted Poor Countries: Angola, Benin, Bolivia, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoro Islands, Congo, Ivory Coast, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Honduras, Kenya, Laos, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nicaragua, Niger, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Vietnam, Zambia.
conditioned debts should be cancelled. The jury found it particularly upsetting that Norway is still claiming the payment of the debt from the Ship Export Campaign from the 1970s, which was mainly motivated by Norwegian interests. SLUG is now looking at how to move forward with campaigns in South.

In the second session, speakers from South Africa and the Philippines focused on debt and legal principles and instruments.

Michael Abrahams of the Alternative Information and Development Centre (AIDC) briefly explained the notion of odious debt Odious Debt According to the doctrine, for a debt to be odious it must meet two conditions:
1) It must have been contracted against the interests of the Nation, or against the interests of the People, or against the interests of the State.
2) Creditors cannot prove they they were unaware of how the borrowed money would be used.

We must underline that according to the doctrine of odious debt, the nature of the borrowing regime or government does not signify, since what matters is what the debt is used for. If a democratic government gets into debt against the interests of its population, the contracted debt can be called odious if it also meets the second condition. Consequently, contrary to a misleading version of the doctrine, odious debt is not only about dictatorial regimes.

(See Éric Toussaint, The Doctrine of Odious Debt : from Alexander Sack to the CADTM).

The father of the odious debt doctrine, Alexander Nahum Sack, clearly says that odious debts can be contracted by any regular government. Sack considers that a debt that is regularly incurred by a regular government can be branded as odious if the two above-mentioned conditions are met.
He adds, “once these two points are established, the burden of proof that the funds were used for the general or special needs of the State and were not of an odious character, would be upon the creditors.”

Sack defines a regular government as follows: “By a regular government is to be understood the supreme power that effectively exists within the limits of a given territory. Whether that government be monarchical (absolute or limited) or republican; whether it functions by “the grace of God” or “the will of the people”; whether it express “the will of the people” or not, of all the people or only of some; whether it be legally established or not, etc., none of that is relevant to the problem we are concerned with.”

So clearly for Sack, all regular governments, whether despotic or democratic, in one guise or another, can incur odious debts.
and how campaigners in South Africa sought the application of the odious debt doctrine to apartheid debt. The campaign was waged in 1998 in spite of the many limitations in using the legal framework to tackle the debt issue. One case put forward was that of huge borrowing for ESKOM, African continent’s largest energy utility. That have mounted to little as poor people continue to have no access to power and power services are being privatized.

Ana Maria Nemenzo of the Freedom from Debt Coalition-Philippines gave a presentation of FDCs Vote Against the Debt Campaign, a campaign that demanded the repeal of a Philippine law that provides for automatic appropriations of public resources for debt payments. The campaign drew wide public support and has to be pursued to free up resources that can go to public services and development needs.

Speakers in a session on the Fair and Transparent Arbitration Proposal (FTAP) discussed the cases that can be subjected to FTAP and the steps of such a process. Susanne Luithlen of Jubilee Germany said FTAP is a way to address cases of clear wrong-doing , such as the case of the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant in the Philippines and the Norwegian ships in Ecuador, and provides a frame for a neutral body to declare a debt illegal and void.

Jorge Acosta of Ecuador spoke on making use of human rights instruments and international arenas (ex UN HR arenas, the International Court of Justice, etc) to gain recognition, political support, official mechanisms that advance resolution of the issue. He brought forward the campaign of civil society movements against a debt to Norway that even the previous Norwegian government has declared to be illegitimate. A corruption commission in Ecuador has made recommendations on the Norwegian Ship Export case and law suits may follow.

Another set of speakers then took the floor to present national and regional campaign efforts. Ricardo Canese of Paraguay discussed anti-privatization struggles that are linked to the campaign for debt cancellation, citing the case of Itaipu, said to be the largest power plant in operation. Arjun Karki of Nepal gave a rundown of campaign efforts of members of the Jubilee South Asia-Pacific (JSAP). The campaigns take on the various dimensions of the debt problem in the region, including external debt, micro-debt such as debt bondage in local communities, rising domestic debt as a result of the slowdown of lending from external sources. Georgine Djeutane Kengne of Cameroon noted new forms of domination and colonization and called for a rethinking on the NEPAD (The New Partnership for Africa’s Development) vision. Alejandro Bendaña of Nicaragua discussed the arrest of a former president of his country under charges of corruption and the institutional systemic corruption of the IMF IMF
International Monetary Fund
Along with the World Bank, the IMF was founded on the day the Bretton Woods Agreements were signed. Its first mission was to support the new system of standard exchange rates.

When the Bretton Wood fixed rates system came to an end in 1971, the main function of the IMF became that of being both policeman and fireman for global capital: it acts as policeman when it enforces its Structural Adjustment Policies and as fireman when it steps in to help out governments in risk of defaulting on debt repayments.

As for the World Bank, a weighted voting system operates: depending on the amount paid as contribution by each member state. 85% of the votes is required to modify the IMF Charter (which means that the USA with 17,68% % of the votes has a de facto veto on any change).

The institution is dominated by five countries: the United States (16,74%), Japan (6,23%), Germany (5,81%), France (4,29%) and the UK (4,29%).
The other 183 member countries are divided into groups led by one country. The most important one (6,57% of the votes) is led by Belgium. The least important group of countries (1,55% of the votes) is led by Gabon and brings together African countries.

-World Bank World Bank
The World Bank was founded as part of the new international monetary system set up at Bretton Woods in 1944. Its capital is provided by member states’ contributions and loans on the international money markets. It financed public and private projects in Third World and East European countries.

It consists of several closely associated institutions, among which :

1. The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD, 189 members in 2017), which provides loans in productive sectors such as farming or energy ;

2. The International Development Association (IDA, 159 members in 1997), which provides less advanced countries with long-term loans (35-40 years) at very low interest (1%) ;

3. The International Finance Corporation (IFC), which provides both loan and equity finance for business ventures in developing countries.

As Third World Debt gets worse, the World Bank (along with the IMF) tends to adopt a macro-economic perspective. For instance, it enforces adjustment policies that are intended to balance heavily indebted countries’ payments. The World Bank advises those countries that have to undergo the IMF’s therapy on such matters as how to reduce budget deficits, round up savings, enduce foreign investors to settle within their borders, or free prices and exchange rates.

’s push for privatization.

The proposals put forward in the morning sessions of the seminar include the following:

- Promote campaigns for the cancellation of the debt;
Denounce the exploitation that has been perpetrated by the international agencies — the International Monetary Fund, World Bank, BIRD — and break away from structural adjustment Structural Adjustment Economic policies imposed by the IMF in exchange of new loans or the rescheduling of old loans.

Structural Adjustments policies were enforced in the early 1980 to qualify countries for new loans or for debt rescheduling by the IMF and the World Bank. The requested kind of adjustment aims at ensuring that the country can again service its external debt. Structural adjustment usually combines the following elements : devaluation of the national currency (in order to bring down the prices of exported goods and attract strong currencies), rise in interest rates (in order to attract international capital), reduction of public expenditure (’streamlining’ of public services staff, reduction of budgets devoted to education and the health sector, etc.), massive privatisations, reduction of public subsidies to some companies or products, freezing of salaries (to avoid inflation as a consequence of deflation). These SAPs have not only substantially contributed to higher and higher levels of indebtedness in the affected countries ; they have simultaneously led to higher prices (because of a high VAT rate and of the free market prices) and to a dramatic fall in the income of local populations (as a consequence of rising unemployment and of the dismantling of public services, among other factors).

IMF : http://www.worldbank.org/
programs unilaterally defined and arbitrarily implemented by these international agencies;
- Promote Plebiscites and Popular Courts to involve the public in the debate about the Illegitimacy of Debt;
Utilize legal arguments on Odious Debt, Force Majeure, etc, for the cancellation from the debt;
Investigate, denounce and require judgment and reparation in cases where the debts were incurred by dictatorial regimes in their efforts to maintain power even at the cause of genocide against their own people;
- Denounce human rights violations committed to fulfill financial commitments even at the detriment of social needs;
Deepen the discussion on a Fair and Transparent Arbitration Process promoted by independent and neutral bodies;
Discuss, democratically, the creation of an International Financial Code that guarantees Guarantees Acts that provide a creditor with security in complement to the debtor’s commitment. A distinction is made between real guarantees (lien, pledge, mortgage, prior charge) and personal guarantees (surety, aval, letter of intent, independent guarantee). justice in international financial relations;
- Launch an international campaign against corruption and in defense of the public;
- Investigate and denounce cases of usury, corruption and privatization of public debts;
- Deepen and strengthen alliances between the indebted countries;
- Immediately initiate debt audits in all of the countries of the South;
- Link the pursuit of world peace to the perpetration of the politics of financial plunder by countries of the North in alliance with the elites of the South.

The afternoon session moderated by Maria Lucia Fattorelli of Brazil focused on citizensaudits as an instrument for defending sovereignty and preparing for interstate action toward debt repudiation.

The first speaker, Eric Toussaint of CADTM Belgium, discussed the way Third World countries have transferred hundred of thousands of dollars to rich countries through the mechanism of debt payments. He related the experience of Peru which in 1996 sold $20 million in debt papers for $11 million to Elliot Associates to reduce its debt. Elliot, however, successfully sued to recoup the entire face value of the debt papers. Toussaint said such experiences underline the necessity of creating legal international measures to reclaim the money taken from the South.

César Benjamin of Brazil batted for a moratorium which he said is justified because financial institutions and creditors have imposed interest rates Interest rates When A lends money to B, B repays the amount lent by A (the capital) as well as a supplementary sum known as interest, so that A has an interest in agreeing to this financial operation. The interest is determined by the interest rate, which may be high or low. To take a very simple example: if A borrows 100 million dollars for 10 years at a fixed interest rate of 5%, the first year he will repay a tenth of the capital initially borrowed (10 million dollars) plus 5% of the capital owed, i.e. 5 million dollars, that is a total of 15 million dollars. In the second year, he will again repay 10% of the capital borrowed, but the 5% now only applies to the remaining 90 million dollars still due, i.e. 4.5 million dollars, or a total of 14.5 million dollars. And so on, until the tenth year when he will repay the last 10 million dollars, plus 5% of that remaining 10 million dollars, i.e. 0.5 million dollars, giving a total of 10.5 million dollars. Over 10 years, the total amount repaid will come to 127.5 million dollars. The repayment of the capital is not usually made in equal instalments. In the initial years, the repayment concerns mainly the interest, and the proportion of capital repaid increases over the years. In this case, if repayments are stopped, the capital still due is higher…

The nominal interest rate is the rate at which the loan is contracted. The real interest rate is the nominal rate reduced by the rate of inflation.
which were absurdly high. He said there are no moral impediments to moratorium.

Sergio Miranda discussed how debt service Debt service The sum of the interests and the amortization of the capital borrowed. has become the basis for economic policy-making. It is for this reason that Brazil has a deficit of social security.

Oscar Ugarteche of Peru related the experience of Nicaragua under Samosa and called for truth and transparency. He said controls and restructuring cannot be promoted without an investigation.

Ecuador-based Aurora Denoso of the Southern PeoplesEcological Debt Creditors Alliance recited a long list of activities and programs that have resulted in the great ecological debt of the North to the South. These include the Norths promotion of destructive intensive agriculture, export of dangerous transgenic products, piracy of biodiversity and building of military bases in ecologically rich areas.

She presented the strategies to address ecological debt, including building a movement of ecological debt creditors; including in Jubilee South proposals the social impacts of debt; and, demanding and collecting the return of cultural wealth and heritage. She said the financial debt of the South has been paid but the North still owes the South for the ecological debt they have accumulated.

Hugo Ruiz Diaz of Paraguay asserted that there are two possibilities open to campaigners: the reform of financial institutions, and the permanent abolition of financial institutions.

Among the proposals forwarded in the session on citizens’ audits are the following:

- Initiate and promote citizens’audits in each country as a way of gathering data and denouncing cases that reflect the illegitimacy of debt; Claim the right to debt moratorium as a prerogative of the sovereign states;
- Mobilize civil society forces to understand the shameful history of indebtedness and the legal resources available; Denounce debt as something that has resulted from policies that the peoples of the South were not consulted on and that were imposed on them;
- Uphold the sovereignty of nations which have been violated by instruments of control of the international financial movements; Implement tax policies that institute progressive fiscal demand on trans-border transactions and limit the free flow of capital; Denounce the role of fiscal heavens in the cases of corruption; and,
- Denounce the environmental havoc provoked by mega projects implemented with corruption; Invert the logic of that we are “debtors”, since the peoples of the South are creditors of political, social, ecological, and historical debts; Demand reparations for indigenous peoples who were marginalized and even exterminated;
- Denounce the responsibility of the IMF and other international financial agencies for the structural adjustment policies they have imposed on the countries of the South; Utilize all of resources in international law (such as Odious Debt, Force Majeure) for the cancellation of the Debt; and, Create and institutionalize an International Articulation of the Countries penalized by the Debt.

The January 27 morning session centered on the “Non-Payment of the Debt and Redistributive Shock and on Alternative Proposals”. The session was moderated by Marcos Arruda (Brazil) and Anne Amblès (France) and Nora Cortiñas (Argentina).

Julio Gambina of ATTAC Argentina gave the first presentation with a denunciation of how Argentinas US$8.6 billion in reserves that are not put at the disposal of the people who are suffering the economic crisis. He said nothing will happen if Argentina does not pay its debts. Last year, Argentina did not pay private fund creditors and nothing happened except that the government was able to give the unemployed a P150 subsidy a month. He also said that a progressive tax reform should be instituted to cover the public services budget.

Joao Machado, an economist, at the PUC (Catholic University) in Sao Paulo explained how financial policies are framed by foreign markets. Thus, there are serious problems in defining the priorities of governments. He said to keep paying debts spells failure in providing for the basic services that is the right of the people. He said the Brazilian government has to make choice.

Alexander Bouzgaline an economist at the University of Moscow said it is the international community that should address the theoretical and political question and that a common international action is needed.

Aminata Barry of the CAD in Mali lamented how money which could go to providing for the needs of population go instead to debt payments. Conflicts, AIDS, she said, are part of the problem of the indebtedness her country.

Denise Comanne of CADTM Belgium denounced the chaos in the present economic order. She batted for an investigation of the use of public money, progressive taxation, a stop to privatization, and a stop to speculation. Social movements should always be alert, she said, since they can exert pressure on governments.

Proposals forwarded in this session were to stop debt payments and redirect available resources to ensure equitable redistribution;

- Create a global and continental/ regional front that articulates and strengthens the fight against ALCA, Debt and Militarization. This Front should articulate the diverse movements that fight against the ALCA/ OMC, against the war, and against Debt;
- Carry out audits of external debt with the objective of recovering monies used for illegal and illegitimate debts;
- Reject HIPC and PRSP Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper
Set up by the World Bank and the IMF in 1999, the PRSP was officially designed to fight poverty. In fact, it turns out to be an even more virulent version of the structural adjustment policies in disguise, to try and win the approval and legitimation of the social participants.
as the false palliatives they have proven to be in addressing the misery of people;
- Promote tax reforms that taxes the richest and re-direct resources to the service of poor people;
- Push that industrialized countries fulfill the pledge they made at the first Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, in 1992, to work toward increasing development aid to 0.7 percent of their Gross National Product Gross National Product
The GNP represents the wealth produced by a nation, as opposed to a given territory. It includes the revenue of citizens of the nation living abroad.
- Push for greater social participation in public budget processes and the participation of social movements to ensure that resources are distributed to the neediest sectors.
- Withdraw from poverty alleviation mechanisms elaborated by international multilateral institutions, such as structural adjustment programs, that deepen peoplesmisery; and,
- Change aspects of the present world order that also cause huge bloodshed of resorts of the South for the North; and,
- Modify world commerce which is marked by First World subsidies that causes Third World countries a loss of R$ 200 billion yearly;
- Tax the profit Profit The positive gain yielded from a company’s activity. Net profit is profit after tax. Distributable profit is the part of the net profit which can be distributed to the shareholders. repatriation of multinational companies;
Stop privatization and reclaim public utilities that have been privatized
- Tax financial transactions
- Similar actions points and proposals were voiced out in other forums, specially in those sponsored or co-sponsored by Jubilee South or where a JS member spoke.

On January 24, speakers from the Jubilee South spoke in the Panel on Recovering Economic Sovereignty through Debt Cancellation & Capital Controls. JSs P. Raja Siregar (Koalisi Anti-Utang, Indonesia), Beverly Keene (Dialogo 2000, Argentina) and Demba Moussa Dembele (Jubillee South Africa, Senegal) joined speakers from Belgium, Brazil and Cuba in forwarding strategies for achieving debt cancellation/repudiation and public control over capital flows so as to promote poverty eradication and the right to self-determination and development. This forum was facilitated by another JS delegate, Evelyne Larrieux of PAPDA in Haiti.

Siregar gave a historical account of the accumulation of Indonesias debt under dictatorship. He said the Norths domination and exploitation of the South is being continued through debt conditionalities. He focused his discussion on the marked intensification in the Asian region of privatization, especially in the utilities sector (power, water, and telecommunication) and in the primary sectors (mining, oil, forestry, and agriculture), which is creating a new debt trap.

Across Asia, major issues on privatizations are being raised including the violation of existing constitutional provisions that stipulate public ownership of national resources and prohibit encroachment of private investors into sectors that are critical to public interest Interest An amount paid in remuneration of an investment or received by a lender. Interest is calculated on the amount of the capital invested or borrowed, the duration of the operation and the rate that has been set. , and contracts between the governments and private corporations that are grossly disadvantageous for people, he noted.

In the same vein, Dembele discussed how debt is used by multilateral institutions to impose policies — privatization, trade and investment liberalization — that further aggravate Africa’s external dependency and lay the ground for the takeover of Africa’s resources by multinational corporations. This, he said, has been aggravated by the lifting of capital controls, induced by neoliberal globalization.

Dembele asserted that both debt cancellation and capital controls will contribute to poverty alleviation and contribute to the restoration of democratic control over economic and social policies at the national and international levels.

Jubilee South co-coordinator Beverly Keene noted that for Jubilee South debt is a radical issue of justice. She said that with the debt people are stripped of choices, rights and their very lives. She discussed Jubilee South concepts of environmental, social and historical debt debts that are owed by the North to the South. She said financial debt cannot be discussed separate from these debts.

Also on January 24, JS co-sponsored a Seminar on the Illegitimacy of Debt with the Lutheran World Fellowship. A study on illegitimacy of debt was presented by Joseph Hanlon. The study covered the concepts of odious debt and usurious interest rates among others.

There were also regionally organized activities. The Seminar on the Continental Campaign Against Militarization, sponsored by Jubilee South Americas, came out with action points to denounce calls for war and resist the use of the region for war efforts. The launching of a book on citizensaudit at the end of the day was very well attended. The activity was organized by Jubilee South Brazil.

On January 25, a JS Americas-sponsored Seminar on ALCA/OMC and Militarization generated agreements and calls for the promotion of massive information and education campaigns that show the links between debt, ALCA (the free trade agreement of the Americas) and militarization. Participants supported the call of the WSF III to campaign against militarization.

On the same day, participants to a Seminar on CitizensAudit discussed ways to mobilize civil society forces to understand the shameful history of indebtedness and the legal resources available to address the problem. Participants discussed the promotion of citizensaudits in each country as a way of gathering data and denouncing cases that reflect the illegitimacy of debt.

In the early evening WSF Conference on Corporations Domain and Crisis in the International Financial System at the huge Gigantinho Sports Stadium, almost all of the distinguished panel of speakers — Susan George (France), Lidy Nacpil (Philippines), Maude Barlow (Canada) and Osvaldo Martinez (Cuba) — noted the role of debt in the economic crisis the world is facing.

Nacpil, Jubilee South international co-coordinator, raised the fundamental question of the legitimacy of the so-called indebtedness of the South. She outlined the basis for the illegitimacy of the debt, including that the creditors themselves created the situation of indebtedness and the needfor borrowing through a long history of colonization, neo-colonization and capitalist globalization; that creditors use debt to plunder the South; that creditors use debt and credit as an instrument for imposing economic conditionalities on the South; that the debt was contracted and accrued without consultation and consent of the people and people have not benefited from them; that debt is used as an instrument of the subversion of the rights and capacities of nations and peoples to define and direct their development programs and processes; that many of these debts were contracted by illegitimate parties through questionable, fraudulent and even illegal means, with illegitimate terms, for illegitimate purposes; that the servicing of these huge debts put an unsupportable burden on the South, and has a devastating impact on people, economies, and the environment; and that the debt has actually been paid many times over by the peoples of the South in financial, social, environmental and human terms.

She called for solidarity, especially in the face of the intensification of militarization and the build up to war, in transforming the neoliberal global system. “War is being waged even as the neoliberal economic system that it seeks to protect is experiencing serious crises,” she said.

Prior to the opening of the WSF III, on January 21-22, Jubilee South organized a Conference on “New Perspectives and Insights on Globalization and Debt: A critical review of current trends and initiatives.”Among other things, the conference aimed to enable Jubilee South to exchange information, updates and analyses on the current global economic and political situation which is the context and basis for its work; and, to contribute to the strengthening of Jubilee Souths global and regional leadership.

Speakers on peace and human security included Alejandro Bendana (Nicaragua), Ian Rivera (Philippines), Michael Abrahams (South Africa), and Ryu, Mikyung (Korea). Prominent Indian political economist Prof. Prahbat Patnaik gave an input on global recession. The Conference also heard inputs and discussions on trade, the privatization of public services, ecological debt, capital flows, the Argentine crisis, HIPC and PRSPs, the Sovereign Debt Sovereign debt Government debts or debts guaranteed by the government. Restructuring Mechanism, and regional developments and strategies.

[Some papers from the seminars and conferences have been posted on the Jubilee South website: www.jubileesouth.org ].

Other articles in English by Jubilee South (17)

0 | 10



8 rue Jonfosse
4000 - Liège- Belgique

00324 60 97 96 80