Private Interest and the Public Good
Tela sits astride a slow, meandering river of the same name. It looks out over a rim of white-sand beaches onto Tela Bay. A warm Caribbean sun forces you to lather up with sunscreen,and nolch back your pace a couple of strides per minute as you stroll around this small Honduran town.
A mixed population of Garifuna -or more properly Garinagu - a people with a unique blend of Carib Indian and African roots, and folk of Spanish ancestry call this century- old, clapboard,. tin-roofed port town home. It holds about the same population as the whole of the Yukon.
|The “Private Interests vs. Public Goods” tour aims to bring Southern activists working on privatization issues at the local or national level to share their stories and strategies with Canadians facing the privatization of health care, education, energy, water and other public services.
Get a copy of "Empty Promises - The IMF, the World Bank, and the Planned Failures of Global Capitalism", which includes over 30 brief articles detailing everything you wanted to know about these two institutions.
For press articles resulting from the tour go to the Media button on the navigation bar, to Press Responses to Structural Adjustment.
July 22nd, 2003
The Role of IFIs
Halifax Initiative Coalition
I may have been asked to give this talk as I, among our Commonwealth colleagues, sit closest to Washington. As there is so much experience in the room in addressing issues of the World Bank and the IMF, I will merely start a list of all the ways that the IFIs are implicated in the relentless drive towards privatization of public assets.
First, I would like to quickly share two contextual comments regarding this push towards privatization. It must be situated within the drive towards the end of history, or the ultimate global supremacy of US-modeled capitalism. This victory was declared at the end of the Cold War. The end of history envisions the role of the state being limited to maintaining law and order and a sound investment climate.
The World Bank, the IMF and FTAA
Halifax Initiative Statement on the FTAA
Money, money everywhere, but nary a drop to drink
The World Bank has released its long awaited draft policy on forests. It severely weakens the existing Operational (OP) Policy on Forests of 1993. Environmental group pressure led to the current policy that bans Bank funding of logging in primary moist tropical forests. Over the past several years, the World Bank has sought to resume financing of "sustainable forest management" activities in the World's dwindling primary forests, particularly in the tropics.
Letter signed on by NGOs.
Mr. James D. Wolfensohn
The World Bank
1818 H Street, NW
Washington, D.C. 20433
Re: Draft Operational Policy on Forests
Dear Mr. Wolfensohn,
We are writing to you to express our dismay and rejection of the current draft OP on Forests which was placed on the World Bank's website on June 10, 2002.
At the invitation of the Parkland Institute and the Alberta Council for Global Cooperation, the Halifax Initiative participated in education events in 10 cities in Alberta to discuss the upcoming G8 meeting in Kananaskis, in June 2002.
Pamphlet [ PDF file ] (1.5 Mb)
The G7 drives the engine of neo-liberal globalization and controls the most powerful institutions of global finance and trade. It is impossible to speak of the impact of the G7 without discussing the impact of the Bretton Woods financial institutions: the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).