Press Release - Thursday, March 14, 2002

All circus, no substance. Canada's performance in Monterrey to set stage for Kananaskis.

March 14, 2002 – Next Monday, Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, will attend the UN Conference on Financing for Development (FfD) in Monterrey, Mexico. Today Canadian non-governmental organizations release a letter to the Prime Minister strongly critical of Canada’s role in the FfD process and concerned about implications for the G8 in Kananaskis.
“Governments, including Canada, are unwilling to face the crisis of development,” said Gerry Barr, President – CEO of Canadian Council for International Cooperation,  “If they abandon political will in Monterrey, how can commitments to global cooperation in Kananaskis be credible?”
Intense US pressure gutted the Financing for Development process, reducing the outcome document to a set of vague principles and generalities. Governments eliminated or weakened commitments that could have delivered real reform to ineffectual global financial and trade systems. A substantive 'Monterrey Consensus' document should have included commitments to: 1) increased aid, 2) enhanced aid effectiveness, 3) trade policy reviews, 4) currency transactions tax implementation, 5) review of the inequitable governance at the World Bank, IMF and World Trade Organization, 6) debt cancellation, and 7) the establishment of a debt arbitration mechanism.
“The FfD was to develop new approaches to poverty eradication and global inequity;” said John Mihevc of KAIROS, “What we get are Ministerial photo-ops and more tired promises that the private sector will care of the world’s poor, which it will not.”
During FfD negotiations, Canada cut draft language in the consensus document to control the flow of capital in order to prevent financial and economic crisis. On March 23, 1999, the Canadian Parliament, with all-party support and by a 2:1 majority passed a motion to control the flow of capital in order to prevent financial and economic crisis.
“Canada surrendered principle after principle in order to avoid displeasing the US,” said Robin Round of Halifax Initiative, “Just how independent is our foreign policy? Are we sure the G8 shouldn’t be in Kansas this year?”
For further information please contact:
Katia Gianneschi – CCIC – Tel: 613-241-7007 x 311 (Ottawa – French/English)
Robin Round – Halifax Initiative – Tel: 867-633-3211 (Whitehorse - English)
John W. Foster – North South Institute / Social Watch
Hotel Yamallel  Tel:  52-8375-3500/ 52 83-75-3598, Email:
Joy Kennedy Ecumenical Team - World Council of Churches
Casa Inn Son Mar Hotel  Tel: 011 52 818 375 44 00
Carole Samdup – Rights & Democracy – Hotel Safi - Cell: 514-591-4989