Goals and objectives

What we do
Halifax Initiative is a coalition of development, environment, labour, human rights and faith groups deeply concerned about the international financial system and its institutions. The Halifax Initiative was formed in the context of an international movement of non-governmental organizations focused on evaluating the role and record of the Bretton Woods Institutions at the time of their 50th Anniversary. Canadian NGOs formed the Halifax Initiative in December 1994 to ensure that demands for fundamental reform of the international financial institutions were high on the agenda of the G7's 1995 Halifax Summit. The Halifax Initiative has established itself as the Canadian presence for public interest advocacy and education on international financial institutional reform.

Since our beginnings in 1994, we have worked through research, education, advocacy and alliance-building to fundamentally transform the international financial system and its institutions to achieve poverty eradication, environmental sustainability and an equitable re-distribution of wealth. Our work has primarily focused on the World Bank, the IMF, debt and the Tobin Tax. In 1999, we started an NGO Working Group on Export Development Canada (EDC), recognizing the critical role that export credit agencies in the international financial system.


  1. Ensure that the international financial system contributes towards poverty eradication, environmental sustainability, an equitable distribution of wealth and the full realization of human rights.
  2. End the unsustainable policies and practices of the international financial institutions.
  3. Contribute to the realization of an alternative agenda for environmentally and socially sustainable development than the Washington Consensus.


  • stop lending for environmentally and socially destructive projects;
  • pursue cancellation of the debt of the poorest countries;
  • investigate and develop a mechanism(s) to control international currency speculation;
  • halt structural adjustment programmes as currently constituted so as to prevent further social and ecological damage; and
  • fundamentally transform the international financial system to ensure democratic governance, transparency, community involvement, full and open public participation and public accountability.