Press Release: October 29, 2008

New undemocratic “Washington Consensus” won’t fix global crisis, state over 630 groups from 104 countries
International, October 29th, 2008 – The day before the United Nations (UN) meets to discuss its new high-level taskforce on the global financial crisis, chaired by Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz, and two weeks before the US hosts members of the Group of 20 to address the same issue, a coalition of 630 organizations from 104 countries have issued a statement demanding a truly global response to the global crisis and laying out a set of principles for doing so.

“Of course it is imperative to agree quickly on measures to address the immediate crisis and protect ordinary workers, low-income households, and other extremely vulnerable sectors from the impacts”, said Lidy Nacpil of Jubilee South - Asia/Pacific Movement on Debt and Development.

“But since the impacts are likely to be the greatest on the poorest people, and in emerging economies and developing countries”, Ms. Nacpil continued, “shouldn’t all countries –governments and peoples – have a say, not just those responsible for this crisis?”

The statement demands that any future global summit must meet the following principles:

  • involve all governments of the world;
  • meaningfully engage civil society, citizen’s groups and social movements in the process;
  • set a clear timeline for regional consultations with groups most affected by the crisis;
  • be comprehensive in scope, tackling the full array of issues and institutions; and,
  • be transparent, with proposals and draft outcome documents made publicly available and discussed well in advance of the meeting.

It also lays out a role for the UN, as a globally representative body, to convene such an event.

“The policies northern governments, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund pursued for the past thirty years have failed spectacularly,” said Vitalis Meja with Afrodad.

“And now, the response is to bring 20 governments to DC for a new ‘Washington Consensus’”.

“Any attempt by the most powerful countries to stitch-up a deal with no public consultation,” said Roberto Bissio with Social Watch, “and no involvement of the majority of the world’s countries through an inclusive process will only further undermine public trust and confidence.”

The full global sign-on statement is available on-line at

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Lidy Nacpil, Regional Coordinator, Jubilee South – Asia/Pacific Movement on Debt and Development, Philippines, +63 917 880 0410 or lnacpil[a]
Vitalis Meja, Programs Director, African Network on Debt and Development (Afrodad), Zimbabwe, +263 912 710708 or vitalis[a]
Robert Bissio, Coordinator, Social Watch, Uruguay, + 33 6 2198 3661 or rbissio[a]
Jesse Griffiths, Coordinator, Bretton Woods Project, United Kingdom, +44 (0)20 7561 7610, jgriffiths[a]
Fraser Reilly-King, Coordinator, Halifax Initiative, Canada, +1 613 789 4447 or freillyking[a]