New Financial Architecture: SIGN-ON Statement

Patrick Bond pbond at
Mon Oct 26 21:35:01 PST 1998


This is relatively strong stuff, given the broad social movement network from which it emanates. I think it's worthy of support.

If you agree, send your signature to Njoki right away... 50 Years is Enough! is still the best p.r. machine we have on this particular front.

Many thanks,


> Date: Mon, 26 Oct 1998 13:28:14 -0800 (PST)
> From: Njoki Njoroge Njehu <wb50years at>
> Dear 50 Years Is Enough Activists/Friends,
> Greetings to all.
> Below follows a statement that was drafted by participants of a Bank
> Information Center Strategy meeting in Washington following the World
> Bank/IMF Annual meetings. Over the two-day period, participants discussed
> various issues related to World Bank campaigning work. There was a special
> focus on the ongoing (and at the time very "hot/on everyone's lips") debate
> on a new global financial structure. The statement constitutes of a
> statement and list of principles that the meeting participants felt should
> be part of the discussions and solutions in building a new architecture.
> The sign-on deadline is THURSDAY, OCTOBER 29, 1998. Please share it as
> widely as possible. We are seeking individual and organizational sign-ons.
> Please respond to me soonest possible.
> In Peace & Solidarity,
> Njoki Njoroge Njehu
> 50 Years Is Enough Network
> : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : :
> Northern and Southern elites have fashioned a system of capitalism for the
> few. For many, many years, people in most of the world have suffered the
> crises associated with northern consumption, and the colonization and global
> resource extraction which has accompanied it. As trade grew to include the
> global free trade in capital, so too, the economic crisis has grown to
> global proportions. The spirit of triumph that has accompanied the
> accumulation of capital has deadened our senses and deafened us to the cries
> of people who are excluded from the governance and the benefits of the
> economic systems. During this decade, warning signals have issued from
> Mexico in 1994 and in East Asia in 1997. This system is throwing the global
> community over the precipice into recession and depression, social
> conflicts, and environmental degradation.
> Northern and Southern elites have created a speculative economy which has
> become more powerful than the real economy where workers produce goods and
> services. In the name of free trade, they have removed all barriers to
> capital mobility in trade and investment regimes. Leaders have shaped a
> system of economic governance that marginalizes the nation state and civil
> society while empowering multinational corporations and global financial
> speculators.
> Parallel to the globalization of finance and markets, there has been the
> emergence of a global civil society movement that builds up from local
> struggles and endeavors to uphold fundamental economic, social, and
> environmental rights. The time has come for us to move from resistance to
> proposition.
> We, the members of this global civic society, call for a new international
> financial architecture. And, we call for new architects and a new
> foundation for these economic structures. The new foundation must rest on
> principles of justice, ecological sustainability, equity, inclusiveness and
> democratic pluralism. The new architecture must include mechanisms to
> ensure accountability of international institutions to localities and
> citizens affected by their policies and programs. All politics are local
> and all economies are increasingly global. Bridges, in the form of
> accountability mechanisms, must connect localities to international
> institutions. The architects must consider the appropriate scale and scope
> of these new international financial institutions and also the implications
> for the necessary regulation of global capital, that would ensure a just and
> pluralistic alternative architecture.
> Whereas the ultimate indicator of a healthy economy is a world in which
> equity, justice, fairness, sustainability, access to meaningful work, and
> the ennoblement of humanity are paramount;
> Whereas these attributes are not currently served by the existing
> architecture of international financial institutions or the economic model
> they serve, but instead these institutions contribute significantly to
> exacerbating a litany of social, environmental, economic, and political
> problems;
> Therefore, the current architecture of international financial institutions
> and the model they serve should be replaced with one that supports a healthy
> economy as defined above, and that these institutions, whatever their
> determined scale, scope, and structure, should be built on the following
> principles:
> 1. Poverty eradication, debt annulment, and environmental restoration should
> be central components of the new architecture;
> 2. There should be full recognition that countries need each other, that we
> are interdependent;
> 3. The process of developing such institutions and the accompanying global
> network of strong local economies should be an ongoing and open-ended one,
> always open to improvements and created in a participatory, transparent
> process, which recognizes civil society as playing a legitimate and
> influential role;
> 4. There should be no single solution or ideology. Economic pluralism and
> diversity are necessary to reflect local, national and regional realities.
> Common to a diversity of solutions and ideologies, however, should be
> adherence to principles of democracy;
> 5. Changes in international finance institutions should be directed at
> assuring transparency and accountability in both public and private
> institutions as a prerequisite for democratization. The centralization of
> policy making should be minimalized to the greatest extent possible, and the
> creation and support of community-level enterprises should be prioritized;
> 6. Changes should be based on needs of humanity, and not assuring returns to
> capital;
> 7. A return to strong domestic and productive economies and a shift away
> from speculative economies should be prioritized; and
> 8. Private gain should not depend on public loss, nor should private losses
> be transferrable to public losses.
> As Endorsed By:
> : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : :
> Njoki Njoroge Njehû
> Director
> 50 Years Is Enough Network
> 1247 E Street, SE
> Washington, DC 20003 - USA
> Phone: 202/IMF-BANK; 202/544-9355
> Fax: 202/544-9359
> Email: wb50years at
> Web:

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