UK continues to exclude NGOs from G20 discussions

Bretton Woods Project has accreditation revoked at last minute

4 September 2009 | Press release

The Jubilee Debt Campaign and Bretton Woods Projects, NGOs that are part of the Put People First platform, had their accreditation for the G20 finance ministers’ meeting revoked by HM Treasury. The UK also barred two members of Put People First from attending the G20 London Summit in April with little notice.

Representatives of both organisations had received notification of accreditation on Friday, 28 August. Both received emails late on 2 September saying “Unfortunately your accreditation has been withdrawn by HM Treasury. Please be aware that you will not be permitted access to the meeting venue or any of the press facilities.” No further information or reason was given for the withdrawal of accreditation for the NGOs.

Nick Dearden, director of Jubilee Debt Campaign and one of those barred from the summit, said:

"It is outrageous that NGOs such as ours have again been banned again from attending G20 summits. The UK seems to be setting a precedent that it is acceptable to silence voices of dissent and prevent debate from being aired.

"We are demanding that the G20 finance ministers stop letting money rule the world and end the business as usual practices such as banks paying huge bonuses, this time with public money, while millions more people will be unemployed and the planet is condemned to devastating climate change.”

Peter Chowla, programme manager at the Bretton Woods Project and the other barred participant, said:

"The last minute barring of those of us that have been calling attention to the needed changes in the way the world works is simply shocking.  While the police have been trying to rehabilitate their image after the G20 in April, the government seems to have no remorse in attempting to silence critics.

“The G20 has simply not brought the kinds of changes needed to our economic systems, and instead empowered the very institutions and people that failed in preventing these financial and climate crises. Instead of owning up to these mistakes, the UK government is trying to muzzle the voices calling for fundamental change.”


Nick Dearden, Jubilee Debt Campaign, director (+44) (0)20 7324 4722 (+44) (0)7932 335464

Peter Chowla, Bretton Woods Project, programme manager (+44) (0)20 7561 7547 or (+44) (0)7877 596893