OUR DEMANDS OF THE
IMF AND WORLD BANK
50 Years Is Enough: U.S. Network for Global Economic
Internet - March/April 2000
On the occasion of the first meetings of the governing bodies
of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank in the 21st
century, we call for the immediate suspension of the policies
and practices that have caused widespread poverty, inequality,
and suffering among the world's peoples and damage to the world's
environment. We assert the responsibility of these anti-democratic
institutions, together with the World Trade Organization, for
an unjust world economic system. We note that these institutions
are controlled by wealthy governments, and that their policies
have benefited international private sector financiers, transnational
corporations, and corrupt officials.
We issue this call in the name of global justice, in solidarity
with the peoples of the Global South and the former "Soviet
bloc" countries who struggle for survival and dignity in
the face of unjust, imperialistic economic policies. We stand
in solidarity too with the millions in the wealthy countries of
the Global North who have borne the burden of "globalization"
policies and been subjected to policies that mirror those imposed
on the South.
Only when the coercive powers of the international financial
institutions are rescinded shall governments be accountable first
and foremost to the will of their peoples. Only when a system
that allocates power chiefly to the wealthiest nations for the
purpose of dictating the policies of the poorer ones is reversed
shall nations and their peoples be able to forge bonds - economic
and otherwise - based on mutual respect and the common needs of
the planet and its inhabitants. Only when integrity is restored
to economic development, and both the corrupter and the corrupted
held accountable, shall the people begin to have confidence in
the decisions that affect their communities. Only when the well-being
of all, including the most vulnerable people and ecosystems, is
given priority over corporate profits shall we achieve genuine
sustainable development and create a world of justice, equality,
and peace where fundamental human rights, including social and
economic rights, can be respected.
With these ends in mind, we make the following demands of
those meeting in Washington April 16-19, 2000 for the semi-annual
meetings of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund:
1. That the IMF and World Bank cancel all debts owed them.
Any funds required for this purpose should come from positive
net capital and assets held by those institutions.
2. That the IMF and World Bank immediately cease imposing
the economic austerity measures known as structural adjustment
and/or other macroeconomic "reform," which have exacerbated
poverty and inequality, as conditions of loans, credits, or debt
relief. This requires both the suspension of those conditions
in existing programs and an abandonment of any version of the
Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative which is founded
on the concept of debt relief for policy reform.
3. That the IMF and World Bank accept responsibility for the
disastrous impact of structural adjustment policies by paying
reparations to the peoples and communities who have borne that
impact. These funds should come from the institutions' positive
net capital and assets, and should be distributed through democratically-determined
4. That the World Bank Group pay reparations to peoples relocated
and otherwise harmed by its large projects (such as dams) and
compensate governments for repayments made on projects which World
Bank evaluations rank as economic failures. A further evaluation
should determine which World Bank projects have failed on social,
cultural, and environmental grounds, and appropriate compensation
paid. The funds for these payments should come from the institutions'
positive net capital and assets, and should be distributed through
5. That the World Bank Group immediately cease providing advice
and resources through its division* devoted to private-sector
investments to advance the goals associated with corporate globalization,
such as privatization and liberalization, and that private-sector
investments currently held be liquidated to provide funds for
the reparations demanded above.
6. That the agencies and individuals within the World Bank
Group and IMF complicit in abetting corruption, as well as their
accomplices in borrowing countries, be prosecuted, and that those
responsible, including the institutions involved, provide compensation
for resources stolen and damage done.
7. That the future existence, structure, and policies of international
institutions such as the World Bank Group and the IMF be determined
through a democratic, participatory and transparent process. The
process must accord full consideration of the interests of the
peoples most affected by the policies and practices of the institutions,
and include a significant role for all parts of civil society.
The accession to these demands would require the institutions'
directors to accept and act on the need for fundamental transformation.
It is possible that the elimination of these institutions will
be required for the realization of global economic and political
We commit to work towards the defunding of the IMF and World
Bank by opposing further government allocations to them (in the
form of either direct contributions or the designation of collateral)
and supporting campaigns such as a boycott of World Bank bonds
until these demands have been met.
* The International Finance Corporation (IFC) is a division
of the World Bank Group. Also included is the Multilateral Investment
Guaranty Agency (MIGA), which insures private investments in Southern
50 Years Is Enough Network
Campaign Against Neo-Liberalism in South Africa (CANSA) - Johannesburg,
Campaign for Labor Rights - Washington, DC
Ecumenical Support Services - Harare, Zimbabwe
Food First - Oakland, CA (USA)
Freedom from Debt Coalition - Manila, Philippines
Institute for Policy Studies
Global Economy Project - Washington, DC
Kenya Human Rights Commission - Nairobi, Kenya
LALIT - Port Louis, Mauritius
Nicaragua Network - Washington, DC (USA)
Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt & Development - Harare, Zimbabwe
IMF, World Bank, Structural