A statement to the G8 signed by more than 150 movements, networks and organizations
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:
- Cancel all illegitimate debt.
- Stop financing projects and policies that contribute to climate change
- Respect the South countries efforts to reverse harmful policies that led to the food crisis.
- Ban speculation on food prices.
- End the practice of using loans and debt cancellation to impose conditionalities.
- Pay restitution and reparations for the huge ecological debts owed to the South.
- 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