In October 2011, global coalition of civil society groups Seattle to Brussels Network held an international week of action against bilateral investment treaties. Their final declaration calls the World Bank-housed International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) part of “an architecture of impunity for transnational corporations (TNCs) [which] undermines the sovereignty and constitutions of both developed and developing countries, democratic governance and peoples’ interests.” It calls for “the withdrawal of states from ICSID and other arbitration processes.” After five years of threats, Venezuela, which has almost 20 suits pending at ICSID, formally withdrew from the institution in January, claiming membership threatened “national sovereignty”.
IMF and World Bank policies and programmes work in tandem to expand and deepen financialisation, exacerbating the inequality crisis and harming human rights, financial stability and democratic governance
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Established in 1995, the Bretton Woods Project (BWP) is a civil society watchdog of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank. By monitoring the work of these institutions, supporting and connecting critical civil society communities, and advocating for transformational change, the Project challenges their power and fights for the development of policies that are gender transformative, equitable, environmentally sustainable and consistent with international human rights norms.