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Declaration On Debt

Un important travail de réflexion collective a été accompli au cours du Forum Social mondial de Nairobi sur la problématique de la dette. Il est intéressant de constater que ces réflexions se sont déroulées dans une ambiance d’unité. La déclaration que nous publions ici a été adoptée par plus de 50 organisations, réseaux et mouvements qui travaillent et militent sur la question de la dette. Les ateliers et conférences sur la dette ont culminé au cours du 4ème jour du Forum avec cette déclaration unitaire qui contient de nombreuses propositions concrètes pour des actions et des mobilisations mondiales, régionales au cours de l’année 2007 pour une annulation totale et inconditionnelle de la dette réclamée aux pays du Sud et la recoonnaissance des Peuples opprimés comme les vrais créditeurs d’une immense dette historique, écologique et sociale.

  1. Campaigns, social movements, non-governmental organisations, community-based organisations, faith-based organisations and activists from all around the world have gathered in Nairobi, Kenya for the 2007 World Social Forum. Together, we the undersigned participants of the World Social Forum are determined to achieve an end to debt domination. It is a scandal that the rich world demands hundreds of millions of dollars every day from the South in payment of ‘debts’ that have emerged from the unjust economic relations that impoverish the South and enrich the North. These are illegitimate debts and they are still robbing the peoples of Africa, Latin America, and Asia of their rights – their rights to independence and political autonomy, as well as to health, education, water, and all the other essential goods and basic services which should be available to all.
  2. The debt crisis is not just a financial problem for the countries of the South. It is also a political problem that is based on and reinforces unequal power relations: debt continues to be used as an instrument of control, through conditions attached to loans and debt relief. It is an instrument of leverage used by lender countries and lender-controlled institutions to: aid the entry of their transnational corporations; enforce their foreign policy options and military and invasive strategies; secure favourable trade deals; and promote resource extraction from recipient countries.
  3. It is also a responsibility of the North: their reckless, self-interested, irresponsible and exploitative lending has fostered this crisis, and their imposition of policies has deepened it. Wealthy governments, transnational companies, and institutions such as the IMF, World Bank, and WTO, must all take responsibility for their roles in creating and perpetuating this situation.
    We also recognise the role of unaccountable and corrupt governments in the South in creating this debt. These governments must make restitution for their theft from and exploitation of peoples in the South.
  4. We applaud the Norwegian campaigners, working in partnership and solidarity with Southern movements, who succeeded in convincing the Norwegian government to be the first lender to cancel debts on the grounds of its own irresponsible lending. We know that their years of hard work have brought the Norwegian government to this position. We call on the G8 governments and other lenders to look at the debts which they are claiming, to question the justice and legitimacy of these claims, and to recognise their own responsibility. All lenders – governments, financial institutions and private companies – must take up this challenge.
  5. We know that our strength lies in the commitment and determination of social movements, campaigns and individuals working in solidarity around the world. The challenge to the injustice of debt domination has come and still comes from these tireless and vocal efforts. This, over many years, has forced the debt crisis from being an issue that few knew about, and that many governments did not acknowledge, to being a subject of debate around the world. It has also brought successes such as that in Norway, and the realisation of official debt audits in Ecuador and other countries. We, Southern and Northern people’s movements and organisations, are determined to work and raise our voices together until our call for an end to debt domination becomes irresistible.
  6. Given the human suffering caused by historical and continuing exploitation of the countries of the South, the imbalance of economic and political power, and the ecological devastation inflicted on the South by commercial interests, governments and institutions of the North, there is no question that the North is in fact in debt to the South. We assert that the South is the creditor of an enormous historical, social, cultural, political, and ongoing ecological debt. This must be acknowledged, and restitution and reparations must be made.
  7. We are calling for just economic relations between and within countries. We are NOT calling for lender-controlled initiatives such as HIPC or PRSP to ease the financial flows of some impoverished countries, or for debt relief dependent on conditions set by the institutions of the North. We are calling for the rich and powerful countries of the world to recognise that they are benefiting from and failing to take responsibility for the exploitation of the South. We assert the rights of peoples to hold their own governments to account, and call on governments to uphold those rights. We are calling for official and citizens’ audits of debt and a citizens’ audit of the international financial institutions. We are calling for systematic social control of public indebtedness. We are calling for debt cancellation without the imposition of conditions by lenders and for restitution and reparations. We stand in solidarity with governments who choose to repudiate illegitimate debt. We are calling for the total elimination of illegitimate, odious, unjust, and unpayable debt.

In consequence, we join together to support the following calls to action:

1. A Global Week of Action against Debt – October 14 to 21, 2007

This week offers campaigners the opportunity to mark:

– October 15 – 20th anniversary of the death of Thomas Sankara
– October 16 – World Food and Rural Women`s Day
– October 17 – International Day to Eradicate Poverty
– October 20 – World Youth Day
– October 19-21 – IMF-WB Annual meetings

The call to governments during the Week of Action will be:

– South – debt repudiation
– North – debt cancellation

2. Fasts to protest against debt domination

– A 40-day rolling fast from September 6 to October 15 (week of action)
– « One lunch for Africa »: a proposal for African / Southern campaign groups to fast over one lunchtime, during the rolling fast and for two days before the G8 meeting.

3. Use occasion of governmental summits to raise the call for debt cancellation

– G8, June 2007: media and via mobilizations in Germany and elsewhere
– Commonwealth Heads of Government, November 2007: mobilization in Uganda

4. Call for audits

– Official/government and citizens’ debt audits, and a citizens’ audit of the IFIs

5. Call for endorsements by prominent individuals

– Call on elected representatives, faith leaders and other prominent individuals – both South and North – to associate themselves with these actions and demands.

6. Strengthen the interrelation and joint action among debt campaigners and those engaged in the struggle against unjust trade, privatizations, militarization, and war.

7. Realize a Day of Solidarity on March 29, in support of the people of Haiti in their demand for the cancellation of and reparations for the debt claimed of Haiti and the withdrawal of the UN Stabilization Mission troops (MINUSTAH).

8. Disseminate widely this Declaration and Call to Action, translating into as many languages as possible.

Global Organizations

Jubilee South, Lidy Nacpil

Lutheran World Federation Program of Incidence on Illegitimate Debt, Angel Furlan and Juan Pedro Schaad

Southern Peoples Ecological Debt Creditors Alliance (Spedca), Ivonne Yanez

World Council of Churches, Athena Peralta

Regional Organizations and Networks

Africa Jubilee South, Demba Dembele

Afrodad, Vitalice Meja

Asia Pacific Movement for Debt and Development (Asia Jubilee South), Milo Tanchuling

Eurodad, Alex Wilks

Jubilee South/Americas, Beverly Keene

Organization of African Instituted Churches, Pastor Prisca Apudo

Pan-African Youth Movement, Maureen Nyakeramo

National Organizations and Networks

Jubileu 2000, Angola, Benjamin Castello

Dialogue 2000, Argentina, Beverly Keene

Cdl, Bangladesh, Mohiuddin Ahmad

Cadtm, Belgium, Christine Vanden Doden, Eric Toussaint, Olivier Bonfond

Cncd – 11.11.11, Belgium, Marta Ruiz

Cadd, Benin, Emilie Atchaka

Fundaçao Luterana de Diaconia, Brazil, Angelique van Zeeland

Jubilee South Brazil, Brazil, Marcos Arruda

Pacs, Brazil, Marcos Arruda

Cadtm ,Congo Brazzaville, Isabelle Kikouka, Nianga Rock

Nad-Cadtm, Democratic Republic of Congo, Victor Nzuzi

Ecological Action, Ecuador, Ivonne Yanez

Ethiopian Higher Learning Institutions Student’s Unions, Ethiopia, Hunde Dhugassa

Cadtm, France, Claude Quemar

Blue 21, Germany, Philipp Hersel

PAPDA, Haiti, Camille Chalmers

Vak (Cadtm Intntl. Network), India, Ajit Muricken

Debt and Development Coalition, Ireland, Nessa N. Chasaide

Comboni Missionary, Italy-Brazil, Dario Bossi

Fndp (Cadtm Intntl. Network), Ivory Coast, Solange Kone

Attac, Japan, Yoko Akimoto

Jubilee Kyushu on World Debt and Poverty, Japan, Junko Okura

Catholic Economic Justice, Kenya, Vincent Manginga, Brenda

Lungatso, Magnus Bruening, Andrea Rigon, Christine Mwanwa

Consolata Sisters (member of Cej), Kenya, Sr. Rose Fernández

Chemchemi ya Ukweli, Kenya, Dominic Kanuki

Kendren, Kenya, Njuki Githethwa

Kenya Library Association, Kenya, Caroline Warnae

Tarc-Kenya, Chris Mwamblugu

Youth Agenda for Peace and Development, Kenya, Mokaya Araní

Cad (Cadtm Intntl. Network) Mali, Aminata Touré Barry, Moktar Coulibaly

Attac-Cadtm, Morocco, Mimoum Rhamani

Center for International Studies, Nicaragua, Alejandro Bendaña

Slug (Drop the Debt), Norway, Sigurel Kihl

Lpp,Pakistan, Farooq Tariq

Freedom from Debt Coalition, Philippines, Milo Tanchuling, Elizabeth Paguio

Ibon Foundation, Philippines, Tetet Lauron

Jubilee South Africa, South Africa, George Dor

Umzabalazo we Jubilee, South Africa, Eddie Cottle

Campaign Who Owes Whom?, Spain, Griselda Piñero Delledonne

Observatorio de la Deuda en la Globalización Spain, Iolanda Fresnillo

Aktion Finanzplatz ,Switzerland, Max Mader

Raid-Cadtm, Tunisia, Rathi Chamki

Caritas,Uganda, Vincent Edoku

Jubilee Debt Campaign, UK, Trisha Rogers, Caroline Pearce

Ainsworth United Church of Christ ,USA, Lynne Smouse López

Jubilee Northwest Coalition, USA, Alice Woldt

Jubilee Oregon ,USA, Nancy Yuill

Jubilee USA, Neil Watkins, Kristin Sundell

Jubilee Zambia, Muyatwa Sitali

Maryknoll Missioners, Zimbabwe, Merwyn De Mello

Lillia Okotta, Kenya

Kerstin Bergea, Sweden

Ranaimuye Nkya, Tanzania

Cara Pattison Bola Moyo, USA

Giulia de Ponce