"Strengthening Global Social and Economic Policies for Sustainable Human Development". Recommendations of the Forum on the meeting of the heads of G8 countries in St. Petersburg in July 2006
July, 3-4, 2006
We recommend that the G8 give greater attention to the problems of development and poverty eradication all over the world. It is unacceptable that 15,000 people are dying every day in a world with so much wealth.
We are concerned that current global economic system is contributing to social inequality within and between countries as well as to environmental degradation.
We recommend that the G8 seize the opportunity of the current crisis in the international economic institutions, especially World Bank, IMF and the WTO, and initiate a participatory process to either “sink” or “shrink” these institutions. That is, unless these institutions are radically reformed, the WTO should revert to its trade mandate (rather than addressing non-trade issues). All countries, when negotiating their WTO membership, should not be charged with WTO-plus obligations or other non-favorable for national development conditions.
The IMF should revert to its original mandate of helping governments maintain a sustainable balance of payments and the World Bank should facilitate the financing of government-designated projects.
The governance of the institutions should be representative of the global community, especially the poorest countries. As it is, when the international financial institutions induce countries to unilaterally liberalize trade (including trade in essential services) which deprives developing countries of their bargaining power in trade negotiations.
Commercial functions of these institutions must be subordinated to human rights laws, which protect the rights of indigenous peoples, guarantee freedoms of association and speech, and guarantee access to basic services (education, health, water, energy and housing). Privatization of services is depriving vulnerable people of these services that are essential to their livelihoods.
Trade and finance are not ends in themselves, but rather means to uphold sustainable human development as pursued by democratic and participatory civil societies, national parliaments and all countries of the world. Through such means, the global system can provide protection to of small farmers and producers in developing countries and economies in transition.
G8 governments can address energy security by abandoning the World Trade Organization’s proposed Energy Services agenda because it could restrain all governments from democratically deciding their own energy policies at a time when more public control is needed over public energy resources.
To facilitate achievement of the above-mentioned goals, we urge the G8 to:
– ensure delivery of an extra $50 billion by 2010, 50% of which must be directed to Africa.
– reach a binding timetable to extend official aid to 0l.7% of
GNP by the developed countries by 2010.
– Extend debt cancellation up to 100% for 60 countries, which should include debt cancellation for the poorest CIS countries. And
– stop counting debt cancellation as aid.
G8 should also support initiatives for innovative financing such as the IFF, the tax on the air tickets and the regulation of money transfer agencies.