Subject: [fem-women2000 501] Millenium Summit: Globalization Statement for your consideration from WILPF
From: lalamaziwa <>
Date: Fri, 25 Aug 2000 10:57:24 +0900
Seq: 501

forwarding.. //lalamaziwa



Dear friends,

This statement to the Millennium Summit about the effects of 
globalisation has been forwarded to me from Geneva, in the hope that 
organisations based here will be willing to add their names.

The statement apparently very much resembles the first draft of an alternative
declaration which was to be made in Geneva at the Copenhagen +5.

Please email me if you wish to join it, and please do forward it to 
your networks of interested organisations.


felicity hill

To the United Nations Millennium  Summit

The undersigned non-governmental organizations wish to bring to the
attention of the participants in the Millennium Summit, 6 September 2000 in
New York, the following observations in the wake of the Special Session of
the United Nations General Assembly on the Implementation of the Outcome of
the World Summit for Social Development and Further Initiatives, Geneva,
26-30 June, 2000:

In Copenhagen, the vision of a more just and equitable world was
collectively painted by governments.  Beautiful words were said and
commitments were made to make this vision a reality. Everyone agreed that
urgent action and progress can be achieved, must be achieved, and will be

At the time, representatives of many NGOs and people's organizations and
movements warned in their Alternative Declaration that "over-reliance
placed on unaccountable 'open, free-market forces' as a basis for
organizing national and international economies aggravates, rather than
alleviates, the current global social crises. This false premise threatens
the realization of the stated goals of the social summit."

In the five years since Copenhagen, inequity within and between countries,
poverty, instability, insecurity, social exclusion, and environmental
degradation have worsened. The UN Secretary-General, in his report to the
Millennium Summit, states that in recent decades far more people have been
killed in civil wars, ethnic cleansing, and acts of genocide, fueled by
weapons widely available in the global arms bazaar.  There is also a
collapse of national economies and social disintegration.  Poverty has been
further exacerbated by the financial crisis in Asia, which spilled over to
Russia and Brazil. What happened in these past five years? Where have
governments and the international community failed? Where lies our hope
for a better world to come?

Many documents and declarations from gatherings of peoples' organizations
and campaigns, but also from official intergovernmental conferences have
diagnosed what has gone wrong. The Seattle debacle destroyed the myth that
globalization, led by the World Bank (WB), the World Trade Organization
(WTO), the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Organization of
Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) brings wealth and prosperity to
all countries. The further concentration of wealth and power in the hands
of fewer countries, corporations and individuals is being resisted on many
fronts. The southern governments' refusal to be bullied by the OECD
countries in Seattle was a defining  moment.

The consistent stand and campaigns of peoples' movements and the NGOs
against more globalization and liberalization debunked the myth of
globalization. the statement "WTO-Shrink or Sink" signed by many NGOs and
peoples' organizations captures the demands of millions on how the
international trading system should be restructured.

The financial crises have shown that unbridled speculative investments and
short term capital transactions by financial liberalization can destroy
national economies overnight and cause hundreds of thousands of people to
sink further into poverty. The proposals for currency transfer taxes is
gaining widespread support.

The peoples' campaign on debt cancellation, structural adjustment policies
(SAPs) and the democratization of the IMF has led the latter to undertake
some cosmetic changes such as the HIPC initiative (Heavily Indebted Poor
Countries) and the much touted New Financial Architecture. However, these
are highly inadequate and deceptive and do not in any way lead to changing
their undemocratic and un-transparent nature.

The UN Secretary-General's remarks during the NGO Millennium Forum that
there is poverty because of not enough globalization are disturbing. It was
even worse  to have launched during the 24th Special Session the joint
OECD, WB, IMF, UN document called "A Better World For All". The involvement
of the Secretary-General with this document distressed many NGOs there,
leading them to call on the UN to withdraw its endorsement of the document.

The results of the 24th Special Session are disappointing. The undersigned
NGOs wish to draw particular attention in regard to some of the Commitments
made in Copenhagen not met:

Commitment 1: Creating an economic, political, social, cultural and legal

The events in the past five years and the peoples' campaigns against the
WB, IMF and the WTO, and also against the Multilateral Agreement on
Investments (MAI) clearly demonstrate the culpability of these bodies and
of the OECD in creating a disabling, instead of an enabling, environment.
The OECD countries should admit to their part in creating  such a disabling
environment which directly impacts negatively on the South.

The Global Compact launched by the UN Secretary General with the private
sector is being presented as a measure to get the support of corporations
in achieving the goals of the Summit.  However, it is heavily criticized
not only by many NGOs but also by developing  countries which urge the
cancellation of this initiative.

The HIPC initiative is promoted as being a solution to relieve the debt
burden of poor countries, but developing countries find it most inadequate.
We support the movement for the cancellation of the debts of all developing
countries that face repayment problems.

Commitment 2: Eradicating poverty in the world

The policy formulation on poverty eradication, which is the business of the
UN, has been shifted to the WB and the IMF. We are seriously concerned
about institutions that have further exacerbated poverty are being allowed
to be the ones to take charge of poverty eradication policies and
programmes.  The  Poverty Reduction Strategy Programme/Papers (PRSP) of the
IMF and the WB is a new conditionality that will underpin the relationship
of debtor countries with them and Overseas Development Assistance (DOA).

We call on the UN to take full responsibility for policy formulation on
poverty eradication and not surrender these to the market forces and
international financial institutions. We reiterate that poverty eradication
can only be achieved if the structural root causes of poverty are sincerely

Commitment 6: Universal and equitable access to quality education, physical
and mental health, and primary health care

Nearly one-third of the world's population lacks access to essential drugs.
Globalization and international trade rules may make the situation worse.
The Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights Agreement (TRIPS) of the WTO
which imposes global standards of intellectual property rights protection
will have adverse implications for public health and access to drugs.
Increased patent protection will lead to higher drug prices. It is also
expected that the number of patented drugs of importance from a public
health perspective will increase in the future. The scenario therefore is
one which sees the widening of the access gap between the rich and poor,
between developed and developing countries.

The TRIPS Agreement protects the interest of the private sector, by
securing its monopoly in the production, manufacturing and sale of
essential and life-saving medication. We therefore call on governments to
recognize the importance of protecting fundamental human rights to the
highest attainable standard of health care over and above the interests of
pharmaceutical corporations. The Group of 77 is right to demand the
exclusion of  essential and life-saving drugs from patentability in order
to ensure access to such medicines at affordable prices.

Many of us went to Geneva with the hope that governments honestly admit to
having failed to live up to the commitments they made in Copenhagen, and
together search for long lasting solutions that will fully involve those
who are excluded from social development.

It is high time to admit that globalization and reliance on the market is
not the path to social development. We protest against the increasing role
of institutions such as the WB, IMF and the WTO in defining social
development policies. These bodies remain undemocratic, un-transparent and
unaccountable.  They continue to act in the interests of the powerful and
mighty countries and corporations. We do not walk in the corridors of
power, but in those of the weak. We are not in the business of
accommodating vested interests but the interests of more than a billion
people living in poverty. We cannot ask those who are dying of starvation,
those who do not have access to basic social services and decent living
conditions, those who are deprived of their basic human rights to be
reasonable and patient.

Social development is about human rights and not about charity.  A world
without economic, social, environmental and cultural justice and equity
cannot be called democratic. The right to development is a fundamental and
integral part of the body of human rights.

We therefore commit ourselves to pursue the right to development of all
nations and peoples and to ensure that the United Nations takes its
responsibility in achieving this goal.

Signed by:

Europe-Third World Center (CETIM)
General Arab Women Federation
International Federation of Rural Adult Catholic Movements (FIMARC)
Indian Movement "Tupaj Amaru"
International Indian Treaty Council (IITC)
International League for the Rights and Liberation of Peoples (LIDLIP)
Movement Against Racism and for Friendship Among Peoples (MRAP)
North South XXI
Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF)
World Federation of Democratic Youth (WFDY)
World Movement of Mothers
World Muslim Congress
Pax Romana
World Peace Council (WPC)

*******       *******       *******       *******
Felicity Hill,
Director, United Nations Office
Women's International League for Peace and Freedom
777 UN Plaza, New York, NY 10017, USA

Ph:  1 212 682 1265
Fax: 1 212 286 8211

 _________________________________________________________________________ for Women 2000, UN Special Session on Beijing+5
 Searcheable Archive
 visit fem-net HomePage for other mailing lists

Return to Index
Return to fem-women2000 HOME