March 24, 2006
World Bank, International Monetary Fund write off some debts
KAIROS Statement on Global Day of Action Against Debt Domination
Calling for a "Made in Canada" Proposal Percent Debt Cancellation
By Michael Bassett
This weekend Finance Minister Ralph Goodale will join his counterparts from 20 developed, emerging and developing countries at the regular G20 Finance Ministers meeting. Prime Minister Paul Martin created this grouping of countries in 1999. It stands as an example of the Canadian leadership on the international stage that Mr. Martin has often spoken of, but little delivered since becoming Prime Minister last year.
Letter to Canadian IMF Director on Proposed New Debt Restructuring Mechanism
Mr. Ian Bennett
IMF Executive Director for Canada
Re.: IMF board meeting on SDRM on December 18, 2002
Dear Mr. Bennett,
On December 18, the Board will discuss the IMF’s most recent version of an insolvency procedure for states, labelled the “Sovereign Debt Restructuring Mechanism” (SDRM).
The Honourable John Manley
Minister of Finance House of Commons
Ottawa, K1A 0A6
July 19, 2002
Dear Minister Manley,
Southern Africa is facing its worst food crisis in over a decade, with millions of people facing starvation. The UN World Food Programme has launched an emergency appeal for assistance, and Canada is responding promptly and generously.
As development, human rights, church and environmental organizations, our concern extends beyond the need for emergency aid. We are dismayed to see millions of dollars continue to be taken out of the region by creditors like the World Bank.
Civil society in G7 countries charge finance ministers with saying little and doing even less to support the poor
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Open letter to the G7 finance ministers
When the G7 heads of government met in Halifax in June 1995, leaders made a commitment to a series of measures to reform the Bretton Woods Institutions. The G7 called for the provision of multi-lateral debt relief for the poorest countries, the promotion of environmentally sustainable development and the reduction of poverty.
Seven years later, these promises are unfulfilled. The crisis of legitimacy confronting the World Bank and the IMF at the 50th anniversary of their creation led to the G7 to take up the reform of the international financial institutions (IFIs) in Halifax. As the G7 finance ministers return to Halifax, this question of legitimacy continues to haunt the institutions.
The on-going debt crisis of developing countries is integral to the perpetuation of an unjust economic system, one that concentrates wealth and power in the hands of a few. EVERY SINGLE DAY in 1999, $128 million was transferred from the poorest countries to the richest in debt repayments. For every one dollar in aid to developing countries, more than seven dollars comes back to rich countries in the form of debt servicing.
Ottawa - Life and Debt, winner of the Critics Award at the Los Angeles Film Festival 2001, will be shown on the same day as the World Bank and the IMF meetings in Ottawa. Life and Debt offers a clear analysis of globalization and its negative impacts, focusing on the impacts of the World Bank and the IMF on Jamaica. Canada represents the World Bank and the IMF on the Board of Directors of both of these institutions.
This film is being shown by World Inter-Action Mondiale and Halifax Initiative following the November 17th Day of Action for Peace and Justice calling attention to the failures of economic globalization.
Roger Ebert, in a review of this film for the Chicago Sun-Times, wrote: "If you're curious about why the demonstrators are so angry, this is why they're so angry."