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Lima Declaraction after Annual Meetings of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund

Lima Declaraction after Annual Meetings of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund

This document brings together the contributions of all the movements and collectives that have joined this campaign for a more egalitarian and democratic model of development. We present below the Lima Declaration of the Alternative Platform Against the World Bank and International Monetary Fund. We are accepting sign-ons from all those who identify with its contents through the 6th of October.

Lima Declaration

On the occasion of the 2015 Annual Meetings of the IMF and World Bank

The below signing organizations, gathered in the social forum “Desmintiendo el Milagro Peruano (Exposing the Myth of the Peruvian Miracle)” organized by the Alternative Platform of the Annual Meetings of the World Bank Group (WBG) and International Monetary Fund (IMF), in the city of Lima, October 7-9, declare before the governors and other authorities of both international financial institutions, and before general public opinion, the following:

CONSIDERING,

  1. The governance system of the IMF and World Bank Group, two of the largest multilateral institutions of the current international finance system, is undemocratic. It continues to be based on the principle of “one dollar, one vote,” with which, the richest countries control the decision-making that impacts the entire world. All the reforms regarding voice and quota approved thus far have been purely cosmetic.
  2. Seventy years after its founding, the IMF with its technical assistance has not helped to maintain the stability of the global economy or prevent cyclical crises of capitalism (it neither avoided nor predicted the Asian Crisis of 1997, nor the Russian Crisis of 1998, nor the Argentine Crisis of 2001/2002, nor the subprime recession in the US in 2007, nor the crisis that Europe has been in since 2010, among others); nor has the World Bank succeeded in ending poverty, just the opposite – more than a billion people live in poverty with increasing inequality (around 1% of the global population possesses 50% of the wealth).
  3. The economic policy conditionalities of the loans that these institutions offer, together with functions as simple as indicating that countries should receive more or less financial resources from public and private sources, has allowed them to impose “Washington Consensus” structural adjustment programs and austerity policies to confront the present economic crisis that the world is experiencing, one which they failed to help prevent. This has been the real role served by these institutions.
  4. The application of the measures proposed by the so-called Washington Consensus generated the precariousness of the labor force, the loss of the right to universal access to basic health and education services, and prioritized market interests above people. This consensus, together with austerity policies, is responsible for the increase in exclusion and inequality at a global level, and especially in Latin America.
  5. The present mechanisms for debt forgiveness, promoted by the IMF, are not favorable for countries in crisis. The IMF has systematically ignored the work of the United Nations in this area.
  6. The World Bank in recent years has shown a tendency to flexibilize or weaken the social and environmental standards for its projects because it considers them an obstacle or bureaucratic requirement for investment. This has provoked social and environmental conflicts in many communities and social sectors, and has also influenced the politics of all the multilateral development banks as well as within States. The process of revision of the social and environmental standards of the World Bank Group is following in this path.
  7. The WBG and the IMF are subjects of international law and are obligated to fulfill and respect national and international human rights norms. In this sense, the application of social and environmental standards should not be left only in the hands of States, but rather the States should have an international benchmark set forward by the financial institutions like the WBG and IMF.
  8. Instead of promoting and financing the provision of essential services such as health, food, and education as a means of promoting and respecting human rights and as a condition for integral human development, they only see a business opportunity or a market niche to capture.
  9. While they recognize the relevance of gender equality for countries’ development and wellbeing, its contribution is considered only in an instrumental way in relation to economic growth.
  10. While there may be advances in the recognition of the human rights of indigenous peoples, the vulnerability of these communities requires an explicit recognition, clear and without exceptions, to their right to free, prior and informed consent, on the part of the WBG, IMF and all the institutions that form part of the global financial system.
  11. The World Bank continues promoting foreign investment in mega-projects in infrastructure with a focus on deepening the export-led model, and through Public-Private-Partnerships raises the cost of public services, generates risks of indebtedness, adverse social and environmental impacts, among other negative effects.
  12. The safeguard policies of the WBG still are not sufficient to protect the human rights of LGBTI persons, persons with disabilities, women, and other vulnerable groups affected by WBG projects. The legal protection of these sectors, in addition to being a matter of human rights, is also a matter of economic justice.
  13. The IMF and the WBG as well as all the multilateral institutions must fight against illicit financial flows (IFFs) stemming from elusionand tax evasion by transnational companies, money launderingand corruption. Millions and millions of dollars are drained each year from “developing” countries as IFF.
  14. The policies of the WBG and IMF promote the elevation of sales tax,while reducing income tax rates,sharpening the regressivity of taxation in many States.
  15. There are many examples globally like the one of the Peruvian mining company,where the International Finance Corporation of the WBG is a partner (Yanacocha, with 5% stock) and also has facilitated lines of finance, which has been denounced by civil society organizations for tax evasion. This same company was part of the company Off Shore “Peru Privatization Fund” (PPF), denounced by the Peruvian Congress from 2001-2006 as a case of corruption in the external debt of the 90s.
  16. The role of the WBG regarding forests is two-faced. On one hand, it is the fiduciary administrator of different funds for improving forest management and the reduction of emissions coming from deforestation in developing countries, and on the other hand it promotes activities that exercise great pressure on forests, such as the implementation of mega-infrastructure projects or the promotion of monocultures that generate forest degradation.
  17. In Peruthe recent regulatory measures (known as paquetazos) to combat economic downturn, such as the so-called “Ley Pulpín”, threatened to reduce to an absolute minimum worker’s rights and social benefits of younger and younger workers (this law was rejected by a great social mobilization this year), these measures fall within the focus of the World Bank on labor flexibilization. The process of the revision of WBG social and environmental safeguards also follows in this same path.
  18. Peru is one of the countries with the greatest labor flexibilization, with forty special regimes, some of them not found anywhere else in the world, like the non-traditional export regime that affects the textile and agroindustrial sectors, and is a product of structural adjustment promoted by the WBG and IMF. In this way, these labor policies donot promote “work with dignity” nor do they respect the standards and international conventions of the International Labor Organization (ILO) which constitute the fundamental rights of workers. In the same way, World Bank safeguards revision process any mention of these standards and conventions is avoided.And in the periodic Doing Business index, the same World Bank characterizes as positive those countries that have most deregulated and flexibilized their labor markets.
  19. In these Annual Meetings taking place in Lima, the IMF and WBG plan to hold up Peru as an example for other countries to follow. For this reason they say that Peru’s economic growth in recent years is related to policies recommended by these institutions, rather thanto the super cycle of high prices of metals. In addition to being false, seeing that all the countries in the region grew over this period without having to have to stick to the policies of the WB and IMF, this sends the wrong message if we hope to establish real measures to combat the crisis.
  20. It is possible that the countries can solve their own development needs and emerge from the crisis making use of their own resources without the chokehold of the austerity plans of the IMF, putting the popular will and the national economic sovereignty on the negotiation table.

WE DECLARE,

  1. It is urgent and necessary that the IMF and the WBG democratize, putting an end first to the “Gentlemen’s Agreement” through which, regardless of which candidates are presented to lead these organisms, it is always Europe and the United States which end up imposing their candidates, and bringing about a true reform of these institutions through substantive changes in the representation of “developing” countries.
  2. Both the IMF and the WBG as institutions with a development mandate must be accountable at all times to the citizens of countries of their operations. The voices of society must have a relevant place in these institutions and not only in the annual meetings.
  3. It is urgent and necessary that the IMF and WBG respect and comply with the nine basic principles of sovereign debt restructuration adopted by the Resolution A/RES/69/319 of the United Nations General Assembly in September of 2015 in order to putan end to vulture funds, especially where it states that “A Sovereign State has the right, in the exercise of its discretion, to design its macroeconomic policy, including restructuring its sovereign debt, which should not be frustrated or impeded by any abusive measures. Restructuring should be done as the last resort and preserving at the outset creditors’ rights.”
  4. It is urgent that the IMF and WBG assume their responsibility in the fight against illicit financial flows, promoting transparency mechanisms for transnational corporations so that they pay their due taxes in the territories where they generate profits. The extractive policy of foreign investment should not be supported through incentives and tax breaks.
  5. It is urgent that the WBG study the case of tax evasion of the Yanacocha mining company where the International Finance Corporation of the WBG is partner, and evaluate the role of the company in the PPF case.
  6. Gender equality should be considered as a principle for the realization of the human rights of women and girls, including reproductive and sexual rights and rights to economic autonomy, in all the policies and mechanisms of the financial institutions.
  7. The WBG and IMF in their interventions must respect and consider community monitoring of investments, as well as promote that countries who receive loans provide legal protection to sexual orientation, gender identity, and other sectors of the population in vulnerable situations. The WBG and IMF should include an explicit reference to gender identity and expression as well as sexual orientation (as cross-cutting) in their operational policies.
  8. The WBG must reduce the pressure that threatens forests and the people who depend on them, as well as biodiversity and carbon stocks. Instead, it should increase its coherent role in the fight against climate change, especially in forested areas, which implies that the existing funds which it administers must have greater coordination and not duplicate efforts. At the same time, we believe it is important that the WBG assures better energy planning, wherein it finances in a clear and opportune way renewable energy and reduction in subsidies for fossil fuels.
  9. The WBG and IMF must stop promoting the privatization of public services and the flexibilizationor weakening of social and environmental laws across the world. PPPs must be studied case by case and not put forth as a dogma, evaluating the costs for the public sector, the impacts that will be generated, and establishing mechanisms for transparency in contracts to facilitate citizen monitoring.
  10. The flexibilization of social and environmental laws that the WBG and IMF drive with the change of their social and environmental standards for public and private investmentin turn drive social and environmental conflicts, like those recently experienced in the region, especially in Peru in mining projects like the Project Las Bambas, where they are applying instruments of environmental management and citizen participation (for example, ITS).
  11. Considering this national (and international) tendency it is important for the WBG to strengthen and develop clear procedures for the evaluation of social and environmental risks within its projects and not to leave these processes only in the hands of States.
  12. The WBG and IMF must respect and comply in all their operations and policy recommendations with the conventions and recommendations of theInternational Labor Organization, especially with regards to the promotion of dignified and decent work.

Lima, October7, 2015

  • ActionPaysanneContre la Faim – APCF (República Democrática del Congo).
  • Centro de investigación social y educación popular.
  • AlyansaTigil Mina – Alliance AgainstMining (Filipinas).
  • APPU-HUAYHUASH. Asociación Peruana de Proteccion, Defensa y Desarrollo de la Cordillera Huayhuash.
  • Asociación Ambiente y Sociedad – AAS (Colombia).
  • Asociación Arariwa.
  • Asociación Nacional de Centros – ANC.
  • Asociación Pro Derechos Humanos – APRODEH.
  • Comunicación Estratégica y Desarrollo.
  • CEDAL- Centro de Derechos y Desarrollo.
  • Center for Bangladesh Studies (Bangladesh).
  • Central Única Nacional de Rondas Campesinas – CUNARC.
  • Centro de Estudios y Promoción del Desarrollo – DESCO.
  • Centro de Investigación, Capacitación, Asesoría y Promoción – CICAP.
  • Centro de la Mujer Peruana Flora Tristan.
  • Centro LABOR.
  • Centro de Culturas Indígenas del Perú.
  • Comité de Mujeres de Izquierda.
  • CommunityPolicingPartnersforJustice, Security and DemocraticReforms – COMPPART (Nigeria).
  • Confederación Campesina del Perú – CCP.
  • Confederación General de Trabajadores del Perú – CGTP.
  • Confederación Intersectorial de Trabajadores Estatales – CITE.
  • Confederación Nacional Agraria – CNA.
  • Conferencia Nacional de Desarrollo social – CONADES.
  • CooperAcción. Acción Solidaria para el Desarrollo.
  • Cumbre de los Pueblos frente al Cambio Climático.
  • Derecho, Ambiente y Recursos Naturales – DAR (Perú)
  • EarthRights International.
  • Em defesa da vida (Brasil).
  • EgyptianInitiativefor Personal Rights – EIPR (Egipto).
  • Federación de Estudiantes del Perú- FEP.
  • FORO (Ecuador).
  • Foro Ciudadano de Participacion por la Justicia y los Derechos Humanos – FOCO (Argentina).
  • Fórum da Amazônia Oriental – FAOR (Brasil).
  • Forum Solidaridad – Perú.
  • Fomento de la Vida.
  • Fundación Ambiente y Recursos Naturales – FARN (Agentina)
  • Fundación Ecuménica para el Desarrollo y la Paz – FEDEPAZ.
  • FUNDAR, Centro de Análisis e Investigación.
  • FUNDEPS – Fundación para el Desarrollo de Políticas Sustentables (Argentina).
  • Grupo de Trabajo Contra la Corrupción (GTCC).
  • Grupo de Trabajo sobre Pueblos Indígenas de la Coordinadora Nacional de Derechos Humanos.
  • Grupo Nacional de Presupuesto Público – GNPP.
  • Instituto de Defensa Legal del Ambiente y Desarrollo Sostenible – IDLADS.
  • Instituto del Bien Común – IBC.
  • Instituto Latinoamericano para una Sociedad y un Derecho Alternativo – ILSA (Colombia).
  • International Rivers – IR (Brasil).
  • JamaaResourceInitiatives (Kenya).
  • LumiereSynergieDeveloppement (Senegal).
  • Movimiento Ciudadano frente al Cambio Climático – MOCICC.
  • Movimiento de Mujeres “Nuevo Amanecer”.
  • Movimiento Manuela Ramos.
  • MUQUI – Red de Propuesta y Acción (Perú).
  • NGO Forumon ADB (Philippines).
  • NGO Forumon ADB.
  • Organización Comunidades Campesinas y Urbanas Solidarias COMCAUSA (México).
  • Organización Nacional de Mujeres Indígenas Andinas y Amazónicas del Perú – ONAMIAP.
  • Organización Nacional de Mujeres Indígenas Andinas y Amazónicas del Perú – ONAMIAP.
  • Pacto de Unidad de Organizaciones Indígenas del Perú.
  • Phenix Center forEconomic and InformaticsStudiezss (Jordania).
  • Red Juridica Amazónica – RAMA (Colombia)
  • Red Latinoamericana de Industrias Extractivas – RLIE.
  • Red Latinoamericana sobre Deuda, Desarrollo y Derechos – Latindadd.
  • RéseauCamerounais des Organisations des Droits de l’Homme – RECODH (Camerún).
  • Salud Preventiva Andina.
  • Sindicato Unitario de Trabajadores en la Educación del Perú – SUTEP.
  • TierrActiva Perú (Perú).
  • UNIONLINE (UK).
  • 11.11- Coalition of theFlemish North-South Movement (Bélgica).

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