60th anniversary mobilisation gathers momentum

3 February 2004

A call to action has been issued on the campaigning opportunity of the World Bank and IMF’s 60th anniversary. Because of the proximity of the US Presidential elections later in the year the Bank/Fund Spring Meetings in April have been designated the main moment for public campaigning, with other events such as speaking tours, film festivals, street theatre, and vigils also taking place on a decentralised basis in different countries throughout the year.

The main dates for activity in Washington D.C. will be April 22 – 25. The mobilisers are calling for all interested groups to “help end global economic injustice driven by the policies and programs of international financial institutions!” The institutions were created at a meeting in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, USA in July 1944. Supposed to oversee the reconstruction of post-war Europe, and the maintenance of a stable global economic regime, they have endlessly adapted and expanded their roles. Now – because of their financial resources they exert a very powerful influence over the policy direction of scores of developing countries.

The campaign orchestrators are emphasising the following major demands:

  • Open all World Bank and IMF meetings to the media and the public;
  • Cancel all impoverished country debt to the World Bank and IMF, using the institutions’ own resources;
  • End all World Bank and IMF policies that hinder people’s access to food, clean water, shelter, health care, education, and right to organize.
  • Stop all World Bank support for socially and environmentally destructive projects such as oil, gas, and mining activities, and all support for projects such as dams that include forced relocation of people;
  • Full funding for the Global Fund to Fight AIDs, Tuberculosis, and Malaria; and an end to support for trade initiatives that undermine access to lifesaving medications.

More details of events being planned for the 60th anniversary in different countries are being entered on an ongoing basis into the IFIwatchnet calendar, a collaboration of 50 organisations worldwide.