Press Release - Wednesday, September 30, 1998


For immediate release - September 30, 1998

Ottawa - Today, citizens from across Canada and the Commonwealth outlined a six-point plan designed to prevent future financial crisis and respond to the needs of the poorest and most vulnerable nations in the world.

After two days of intense discussion, some of the most innovative thinkers from North and South in the Commonwealth, as well as NGOs, university students and Canadian citizens urged the international community to take immediate action on six fronts:

  1. Cease initiatives currently underway at the IMF and elsewhere to compel countries to fully liberalize the capital account of nations;
  2. Implement national and international measures to immediately control the flow of speculative capital;
  3. Revisit assumptions about what constitutes sound macroeconomic and structural policy;
  4. Build the capacity of domestic markets to generate capital through debt relief, local economic development and incentives for domestic investment;
  5. Strengthen domestic financial sector regulation and full disclosure at the national and international levels;
  6. Establish a Commission on Global Finance with a mandate to engage decision-makers, economists, academics, non-governmental organizations and citizens groups around the world in the articulation of the “new financial architecture”.

“Minister Martin’s plan raises some important issues but falls short of its promise to address the underlying causes of financial instability and propose adequate solutions,” said Elizabeth May, Executive Director of the Sierra Club of Canada, “he’s got a new roadmap, but we’re still heading for the cliff.”

The Citizens' Agenda for Action, developed at the two day “Creating Common Wealth” forum calls on the Commonwealth Finance Ministers to place the financial turmoil in a human context, addressing the needs of citizens and nations before those of international markets and creditors. Citizens asserted that governments, in close consultation with their citizens, should have jurisdiction over whether or not it is in the best interests of their economy to liberalize and the pace such liberalization should take.

For more information:
Pamela Foster, Coordinator, 613-789-4447