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Sign on Letter to the WSSD
From: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
To activists across Canada,
Thousands of citizens from across Canada and the US will be
protesting the destructive impact of economic globalization in
Washington, DC on Sunday April 16. The protests are targeted at the
World Bank and the International Monetary Fund who will be holding
their semi-annual meetings at that time. Organizers envision marches
and rallies on the scale of the Seattle WTO protests. Parallel events
including rallies and teach-ins will be held across Canada.
The Halifax Initiative, a multi-sectoral coalition committed to
economic democracy and a strong critic of the Bank and the Fund for
the last five years, is circulating the following letter for
organizational signon. It will be released on April 14 at a press
event in Ottawa and circulated at events in Canada and in Washington
on the16th .
We are requesting the signon of senior representatives of Canadian
NGOs only. We request only one signature per organization. Please
signon in the following manner:
Wherever possible, please indicate the number of Canadians
represented by your membership.
We urge you to circulate this letter within your networks to expand its reach.
PLEASE have your signon to us by no later than 5pm, Eastern time,
Thursday, April 13, 2000. We apologize for the short time-frame and
hope it does not prevent your endorsement. All signons to be
forwarded to email@example.com
Any questions, please contact me in Vancouver at 604-915-9600 or Pam
Foster in Ottawa (until the 12th when she leaves for Washington) at
Policy Analyst/Regional Coordinator
PS: The letter is currently being translated. Contact me for the
French version on Monday.
April 14, 2000
Dear Prime Minister Chretien
On Sunday, April 16, thousands of people will march in the streets of
Washington to protest the role the World Bank and the International
Monetary Fund (IMF) play in increasing global inequity, poverty and
environmental degradation worldwide. Many Canadians will be in
Washington or participating in solidarity events from Vancouver to
Halifax. All will be demanding that the Bretton Woods institutions
cease the destructive policies and practices that have exploited
people and the environment to the benefit of a very few for
Fundamental changes to the World Bank and the IMF are essential. We
believe that the empowerment of working people and the poor, along
protection, must be made the primary objectives of the multilateral
financial institutions. We will not be content with empty promises to
repair social and environmental damage that the institutions
themselves have caused. The IMF and World Bank must stop acting as
enforcers for the exploitation of the land and its people.
To these ends, the IMF should stop managing the economies of
impoverished countries. The IMF has eroded democracy and the capacity
of the state to act on behalf of the people. The role of the IMF
should be fully reassessed and changes implemented immediately.
The World Bank should be directed to operate entirely on behalf of the poor,
and at the service of the poor. Environmental protection must be made
a priority, so that our children's children will have a future to
inherit. World Bank investments must be fundamentally redirected
towards renewable energy and sustainable agriculture and forestry.
This means an end to structural adjustment programs as imposed by
these institutions. Structural adjustment lending forces countries to
liberalize and privatize their economies and slash government health
and education budgets. Additionally, this means the immediate
cancellation of the debts of impoverished countries. The ongoing debt
crisis must no longer serve as a lever to pry open debtor countries
to the exploitation of their resources, both natural and
International capital must be brought under control, and made to serve the
people. We need the regulation of capital flows, and an end to the hemorrhaging
of wealth from the hands that generate it. The IMF must cease
initiatives currently underway to compel countries to open their
borders to the free flow of international finance, which was
implicated in every financial crisis of the last three years.
We call on the nations of the world to re-evaluate the structures,
policies and practices of these institutions. The peoples most
affected by the policies and practices of the institutions as well as
all parts of civil society must be fully represented in this process.
Canada has shown leadership in the struggle to reduce the crippling
debt load of the poorest countries both bilaterally and through the
World Bank and the IMF. We call on your leadership now to usher in a
millennium marked by a just world economic order that serves the
majority, one that engages only transparent, accountable and
democratic multilateral financial institutions.
Cc: Hon. Paul Martin, Minister of Finance
Hon. Lloyd Axworthy, Minister of Foreign Affairs
Maria Minna, Minister, Canadian International Development Agency
Jim Peterson, Secretary of State for Financial Institutions
Tom Bernes, Executive Director for Canada, International Monetary Fund
Terry O’Leary, Executive Director for Canada, World Bank
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