[OPE] "No we can't" : reports on UN Finance for Development Conference in Doha

From: Gerald Levy <jerry_levy@verizon.net>
Date: Thu Dec 04 2008 - 06:22:37 EST

I saw this on another list and decided to pass it on to you.
In solidarity, Jerry


 No we can’t

 Posted by David Ransom on Wednesday, December 3, 2008 Comment on this post

The UN Finance for Development conference in Doha has come and gone in
 a puff of hot air, unreported by the corporate media.

 The same irresponsible people who presided over the credit crunch, the
 financial meltdown, the grotesque inequities of human welfare and the
 prospect of an immanent climate catastrophe have sat on their hands -
 yet again.

 So here is a short but sharp list of what is urgent and vital but will
 not be done - even to achieve the meager goal of halving world poverty
 by 2015:

 NO immediate and unconditional write-off of the Global South's 'odious'
 financial debts to the North

 NO recognition of the Global North's historic environmental debt to the

 NO action to close down tax havens

 NO move towards 'innovative' sources of finance, such as a 'Tobin Tax'
 on currency speculation

 All that's suggested is that the UN should convene another conference at
 some unspecified date - even if the 'modalities' have to be agreed by
 March 2009.

 In principle, this could be a small step forward. The UN is the only
 halfway representative world body we have. If such a conference were to
 set about replacing the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and
 the World Trade Organization, which have fouled up so spectacularly,
 that would be another step forward.

 In practice, however, our feckless 'world leaders' are most likely to do
 what comes most naturally to them, and simply fail to turn up.

 To get some idea of how dreadful all this looks from the Global South,
 take a look at Jubilee South. Or, if you live within striking distance
 of London and are in search of positive inspiration, come to our Clean
 Start gathering on 15 December.


 A shameless betrayal

 Posted by David Ransom on Monday, December 1, 2008 Comment on this post

 Just a few weeks ago there was gridlock in Washington DC as rival
 motorcades bearing the world’s self-styled potentates barged their way
 to a snap 'G20' meeting on the economic crisis.

 Right now in Doha, Qatar, there's a 'G192' (all the members of the
 United Nations) conference on Finance for Development where heads of
 state have been ostentatiously ducked - even the bosses of the World
 Bank and IMF haven't bothered to show up.

 At the first, amid media hype, governments brandished trillions of
 dollars of public money at a private financial system that had just
 blown itself up in a cloud of candyfloss wealth and grotesque

 At the second, amid media silence, minor officials are struggling with
 their own impotence in the face of social and environmental collapse,
 oblivious to the solemn promises made by all the world's governments at
 the turn of the millennium to cut world poverty in half by 2015.

 Tomorrow we discover what the official outcome of the conference is to
 be. But today we know already how ill-served by our governments we truly
 are. If it doesn't, then it surely should go down as one of the most
 brazen and shameless betrayals of the new millennium so far.

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