geert lovink on 13 Feb 2001 03:22:41 -0000

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<nettime> The Globalization Divide (transscript of videobridge between Porto Alegre and Davos)

The Globalization Divide
Porto Alegre (World Social Forum) - Davos (World Economic Forum) .

George Soros
I am George Soros, I am the semi-retired manager of an international hedge
fund. And I am also the founder of a network of foundations devoted to what
I call an open society.
And I am happy to participate in this debate because I am interested in
reforming but not destroying global capitalism.

Bjorn Edlund
Hello my name is Bjorn Edlund I work for a company called ABB, (INAUDIBLE)
we are present in a hundred and some countries around the world , with a
hundred and sixty thousand people,
of those, about 45000 work in the developing world. It is important for us
to understand the role that business can play constructively and making
globalization work and I think this dialogue is a very good place to start
to listening to the concerns of others.

John Ruggie
I am John Ruggie I work for Kofi Annan, the secretary general of the United
Nations. Congratulations for putting on this programme. I am very delighted
to be here. Let me challenge the promises that you stipulated at the outside
there are no enemies. We are all working for the same goal, and that is to
make the world economy work for all of the world people. A goal that we are
very much dedicated to at the United Nations, and dialogue is the first step
to world making any progress, and so we are very pleased to participate in
this bridge, building efforts. Thank you.

Mark Malloch Brown,
And I am Mark Malloch Brown, the administrator of the UN development
I am delighted to have a chance to participate. Because I would have liked
to have been in both places this week, I would have liked to have been in
Porto Alegre, as well as here. Because for a UN development program,
organisation, it's critical to have a foot in both worlds ; in the world of
economic globalisation as well as the world socil reaction to that. To
ensure that it is indeed a balance between two sets of goals that benefits
all. Thank you.

(Patrice Barrat)
So,during the course of this debate, more people on this side will have a
chance to express their views but now it's important that the people in
Porto Alegre introduce themselves too.

Bernard Cassen
Bonjour, je suis français. Je m'appelle Bernard Cassen. Je suis journaliste
et directeur général du Monde diplomatique et également Président de l'ATTAC
en France. Je suis ici à Porto Alegre au Forum social mondial avec tous nos
amis et camarades pour montrer qu'un autre monde est possible.

Diane Matte
Bonjour, je suis Diane Matte, de la Marche mondiale des femmes qui est un
réseau de femmes travaillant sur la mondialisation, et je suis ici
particulièrement pour parler de l'impact de cette mondialisation sur les
femmes du sud et du nord.

Walden BELLO
Hello, y name is Walden Bello and I'm the executive director of Focus on the
Global South based in Thailand. I'm a Philipine citizen. I'm in Porto Alegre
because Porto Alegre is the place to be and not Davos.

Aminata Traoré
Mon nom est Aminata Traoré. Je suis chercheur, auteur de L'étau, l'Afrique
dans un monde sans frontières. Je suis ici pour relier cette quête de la
jeunesse africaine qui demande aux gens de Davos de leur rendre leur avenir.

Odet Grajev
Meu nome é Odet Grajev eu sou cordenador da CIVIS (Associação Brasileira de
Empresários pela Cidadania) eu sou presidente do Instituto ETHOS de empresas
e responsabilidade Social e estou aqui no Forum Social Mundial para poder
alertar o mundo sobre os perigos que corremos se permanecermos nos mesmos
padrões de desenvolvimento e de consumo, e de produção de bens e de

Trevor Wanek
My name is Trevor Wanek. I'm from Soweto, Johanesburg, South Africa. I work
for the Alternative Information and Development Center, an NGO which works
closely in the antidebt campaign Jubile 2000. Like my colleague Walden here,
the only thing which connects me with the people in Davos is the satellite

Rafael Alegria
Me llamo Rafael Alegria, soy de Honduras, represento al Movimiento
Internacional de Campesinos sin Tierra, pequeños y medianos agricultores,
mujeres rurales, trabajadores agrícolas, pueblos indígenas. Todos los
aglutinamos en el Movimiento Via Campesina. Somos realmente uno de los
sectores más afectados de la globalización.

Sandra Cabral
Meu nome é Sandra Cabral, sou diretora da Central Única dos Trabalhadores,
Central Sindical a maior do Brasil e a 5ª maior do mundo, que reúne três mil
sindicatos filiados e representa mais ou menos 20 milhões de trabalhadores.
E estou aqui em Porto Alegre porque não só eu, mas toda a CUT, acredita num
mundo diferente deste mundo pensado em Davos, um mundo com equilibrio, com
justiça, sem violência ,um mundo de fato com distribuição de renda , onde
não haja a exclusão provocada por este pensamento que querem que seja único.
Não há um pensamento único com certeza.

Hebe de Bonafini
Soy Hebe de Bonafini, Presidenta de la Asociación de las Madres de la Plaza
de Mayo. Estoy aqui en Davos para denunciar que los gobiernos pagan la Deuda
Externa con vidas, y que Davos es el gran responsable de miles y miles de
niños que en este mismo momento están muriendo en el mundo de hambre y de
enfermedades de la pobreza.

Fred Azcarate
Hello, my name is Fred Azcarate. I'm the executive director of Job with
Justice in the USA. I'm here in Porto Alegre with my brothers and sisters
from all around the world because I think this debate is not just about the
kind of Globalization we want, but it's about the world we want. I think we
have some serious ideas that another kind of world is possible and we are
here to talk about them.

My name is NJOKI NJEHU. I'm Director of the "50 years is Enough" network
witch is a college in the USA, working for the profound transformation of
the World Bank, and the International Monetary Found. I'm from Kenya,
Africa. And I'm in Porto Alegre because it's not just about the Debate we
aregoing to have and what kind of world we want, but because I believe there
is a fundamental difference between what we are discussing here in Porto
Alegre and the kind of discussions and the visions that have been discussed
in Davos.

(Patrice Barrat)
Thank you, I think there are more people also in other side. I must say that
we have invited organizations like the World Bank, the International
Monetary Fund, the World Trade Organization, but they basically said they
had no time to come here because they had made other plans before. They said
they'd try to come. We have also invited other corporations like Vivendi
Universal, Coca-Cola, McDonald's, Microsoft, Hewlett Packard, but they
declined. So, thank you again for being here.
Just to set certain rules for the debate, we would really like this debate
to maybe lead somewhere. I want to share with you certain principles. First,
because of the satellite link, we should really listen to each other; often
in these debates, each side would rather speak than listen but, maybe not,
and we offer the chance to hear what the others have to say. So, please don'
t make long speeches that would create impatience. So, make sure that you
answer to each other, that you won't just say what you always wanted to say
on television, OK?
Now, as an introduction to the debate, a way to put the debate within a
certain context, we have prepared a 3-minute film to remind you how the
protest movement started and grew, first in the street of certain cities
around the world - Seattle, Washington, Bangkok, Prague and Nice - and this
is a report of 3 minutes by Ben Kajdan.


The Minister who was speaking in the story was from South Africa. Can we get
your reactions to the story on the Davos side?

(George Soros)
Well, I think it's fine to protest and actually the protests have done some
good in drawing attention that something is wrong. But if you only protest
and provoke violence because, after all, this is a challenge for the
security authority to defend the organizations, then you won't achieve very
much. So, I think, now that these protests have occurred, and they have
succeeded in drawing attention, I hope that we can start a dialogue and
really discuss what needs to be changed to make these institutions work

Another comment here or does Porto Alegre want to react?

(Mark Malloch)
I just want to say.. I mean.I think it's balanced, I mean, it shows both
sides of the piece in the sense that what was put in something that people
would think was of the Deputy Director of the International Monetary Fund
saying countries grow faster if they integrate into the world economy. I'm
afraid it's true. The issue, therefore, for the protests is either to
sacrifice certain opportunity of growth or to try to find ways of harnessing
that growth to a social agenda and to social priorities which do not
represent a risk. So, I think it is a very reasonable piece to set up the

I think Porto Alegre wants to say something. Walden Bello has the microphone
in his hands or someone else?

(Porto Alegre speaks)

Walden Bello:
Well, first of all we would like to say that, we would like to express, the
collective condemnation from all the groups here, of the repression that is
now being visited on legitimate and peaceful protesters by the swiss
authorities in order to defend Davos. And this is something that is
extremely perturbing to us. The second concern we would like to evoque here
is that we feel extreme lack of youngers sensitivity in having in quite all
men panel and I think you guys are trying to make a statement. And let me
say that I have been asked why I am here, and not in Davos. I'm here because
Porto Alegre is where the future is and Davos is where the past is, at this
point .I was in Davos last year and believe me it is not worth a second
visit.The second point there I'd just like to say here is that we are in two
differents planets OK? You guys, in Davos, are in the planet of the super
rich and I would just like to say ,what Heminway said ,that the riches are
different to you and me. We here in Porto Alegre are the planet of the poor,
the marginalized, the opressed. We, in Porto Alegre are now concerned, all
of us, in triyng to find ways to save the planet, to bring about social
justice. You in Davos are trying to find ways to continue to make things
corporate hegemony all over the world, and to think of ways of further
corporate (inaudible) Let me just, and here, by saying, that we are very
upset about what is happening in Davos at this point.And the best thing that
can happen to the world is for the corporate executive thousands of them in
Davos to be loaded in a spaceship and for that spaceship to take off and the
world will be a better place for all of us. Thank you.

(Davos speaks)

(John Ruggie)
I wonder if I could just say a few words. I am not here to discuss or to
debate the protest or the protestors. I do remind people that Khofi Annan
came to Davos in January '99, 10 months before Seattle. And in fact, he
warned global business leaders who were assembled (several ?) here that a
backlash against globalization was about to set in. And he posed the
formulation of the problem, which I think is still correct today.
Essentially, what he said was that largely through the expansion of
corporations in the drive of technology we have created a single global
economic space. But this global economic space does not have the social, the
environmental and the social justice pillars that are required to make any
kind of social system work. And unless we can work together to build up this
social infrastructure, to defend and promote human rights, to defend and
promote labor standards, to protect and preserve the environment for present
and future generations, there will be a backlash and, indeed, the global
economy as we know it and the open world economy that we've worked so hard
to construct since World War II will unravel. Now, the second part of his
argument I think also is true today and Mark has already alluded to it,
namely the unravelling of an open world economy would not be a good thing.
It would not be a good thing for the poor; it wouldn't be a good thing for
the rich; it wouldn't be a good thing for the social future of our planet.
We have been there before. We've been there in the 1930's. Turning our backs
on the open world economic systems in the past traditionally has led us to
all sorts of ugly things, including nationalism, xenophobia and all sorts of
other things we are very much opposed to. Our job, as we see it, is to make
the open world economy work for all the world's people and that requires
making progress, much better progress, much better progress than we've made
to date, in the area of human rights, in the area of labor standards, in the
area of environment and social justice, more partly.

It's really important that you look at each other to create a dialogue, OK?.
On the panel itself, I must say that there was a stage where we have three
people who accepted and they're all black men. That was the vice-president
of Coca-Cola, Thabo Mbeki from South Africa, and Pierre Sané from Amnesty
International. We also invited Klaus Schwab but today he refused the game.
So, maybe Porto Alegre should react before mister Edlun from ABB wants to
say something, as a chance...

(Porto Alegre speaks)

Aminata Traoré
La question que nous nous posons ici est quelle est l'image de, ou quelle
est la leçon de démocratie que vous êtes en train de nous donner? Une
minorité de nantis, de gagnants d'une certaine globalisation, réunis à
Davos, en train de dicter au reste du monde la manière dont les économies
devraient fonctionner. Vous n'écoutez pas. Alors, je pense aux chefs d'État
du monde entier, et plus particulièrement à ceux d'Afrique, que vous jugez,
vous estimez qu'ils sont corrompus, c'est des dictateurs. Et quelle est
cette dictature à l'échelle de la planète. Et des acteurs privilégiés qui n'
écoutent pas. Parce que nous ne pouvons pas vous croire sur parole. L'état
des lieux rend suffisamment compte du fait que ça ne marche pas, le modèle
ne marche pas. Alors ce qu'on vous demande, c'est de reconnaître l'échec du
modèle. En fait, le fait de vous pencher aujourd'hui sur les inégalités dans
le monde est un constat d'échec. Deuxièmement, en m'adressant maintenant à
M. Malloch Brown, est-ce que vous pensez que le développement humain durable
est conciliable avec la logique du marché, franchement ?

(Mark Malloch)
Let me just respond to that and say, you know, we want a good debate, and we
are here in Davos but as Walden Bello said, so was he last year, but he
knows such things, as the Davos' point of view to have a UN guest invited to
allow the private sector to hear the UN's view of the development goals. One
is a brilliantly successful businessman who runs foundations which probably
support many of you in Porto Alegre. And the other works for a corporation
which has made a big push on social responsibility. So, when you say you
understand that there is no Davos. It is a Davos which included Walden Bello
last year, and many other NGO leaders and UN leaders this year. But what we
are defending is the right for people to come together and discuss
economics. Every bit as much as we defend the right for you to come together
and debate these social issues and as a global solution we want to bring the
two together. Now on sustainable development: sustainable development has
several dimensions to it. It needs equity, it needs attention to its impact
on non-renewable resources, but it also needs growth. We have almost half
the world population living on less than 2 dollars a day. I don't need to
tell you that. And within the prescription for reducing poverty, there must
be proper attention to growth. So, yes, global integration under the right
terms is to me important and, working with Walden Bello and others, we are
trying to look how we can make international trade serve the goals of
development rather than the other way round at the moment, where too often
international trade destroys jobs and undermines economies. But to throw the
baby out with the bath water and say that to throw up protectionist barriers
and limit trade is the solution is to my mind as extreme statement as those
who say 'Leave it all to the market'. Surely, for both of us in Porto Alegre
or here the solution lies somewhere in the middle.

(Porto Alegre speaks)

Rafael Alegria
Sí. Efectivamente en Porto Alegre hemos analizado y hemos coincidido todos y
todas de los desastres que ocasiona la Globalización y el Neoliberalismo.
Creo que es necesario actuar con responsabilidad. Por ejemplo, los efectos
en la economia para los grandes sectores de la sociedad civil, de
campesinos, obreros, trabajadores, es terrible. Por ejemplo, las
privatizaciones han desplazado a millones de trabajadores que realmente hoy
deambulan por las calles buscando un empleo y no lo encuentran. En el campo
hay una desatirculación total de los servicios estatales, en marcos
jurídicos que no les permiten a los campesinos acceder a la tierra. Porque
está privatizada, la tierra. E igualmente la tecnologia, los mercados. Nos
hablan de Libre Mercado, pero nosotros no entendemos ese Libre Mercado
porque los pequeños y medianos agricultores no entramos al mercado. Es un
mercado controlado y manejado por las grandes Multinacionales. Entonces, es
una situación trágica la que estamos viviendo. Millones y millones de
personas en el mundo cada día aguantan hambre y miséria. La misma FAO, en
1996 reportó 800 millones de personas hambrientas en el mundo, y ahora se
están reportando 845 millones. Eso significa que de no parar esta situación
del modelo Neoliberal el 2005 vamos a estar en una situación terriblemente
dificil para estas grandes mayorias. La pobreza se incrementa cada día más.
Se privatiza todo. No hay acceso para nada de los sectores populares como
tal. El Estado ahora es indiferente a los aspectos sociales como educación,
salúd, vivienda, infraestructura, porque, según los teóricos, en este caso
ustedes, creen y dicen de que eso lo va a resolver el mercado, el Libre
Mercado. Entonces el Estado ya no se interesa por estos problemas sociales
de su ciudadania. Entonces, señores, hay una situación muy dificil, trágica.
De no parar este modelo injusto, excluyente, antihumano, la situación va a
ser muy delicada. La inestabilidad social y política va a crecer. Seatle,
Bangkok, Washingtong, Praga, y ahora que estamos en Porto Alegre, es un
sentimiento total de repúdio y rechazo a estas políticas de exclusión del
modelo Neoliberal. Este mundo hay que cambiarlo. Hay que cambiar estas
políticas. Y el señor de Naciones Unidas, que está haí, deveria estar aquí,
con nosotros. Es decir, y no con ustedes. Naciones Unidas tiene que tener
una responsabilidad más grande de buscar un equilíbrio entre un mundo mejor
para estas grandes mayorias. De manera, señores, que es necesario cambiar.
Esos organismos internacionales como el Banco Mundial, Fondo Monetario
Internacional, Organización Mundial del Comércio, no tienen razón de ser.
Son ellos los responsables directos de que haya tanta pobreza y tanta
exclusión. Nunca habíamos estado en una situación tan dramática como ahora.
El mundo está dividido entre muchos, pero muchos que no tenemos nada,
pobres, millones de pobres, y pocos ricos que acumulan cada vez más
ganancias. Eso no puede ser, no puede ser. Definitivamente, nuestro llamado
es ferviente y firme, de que tenemos que cambiar esta situación o nos
exponemos a una confrontación. Que ya no será la Globalización de la
economia sino la confrontación global entre los pueblos y los que dirigen el
mundo como ustedes.

(Davos speaks)

(Bjog Edlung)
I would like to say a few words about what we, in business, possibly could
do to help. First, I think it is a question of examining our own behavior
because the only thing we can influence is the behavior of the people who
work for us. And the behavior of the people who depend on us, such as our
suppliers and, to a certain extent, our customers. For that we have to find
a framework of behavior that has been born with the UN Global compact which
includes sustainable development that is a balancing of the economic,
environmental and social responsibilities of an enterprise. The framework of
behavior is really a way to address the concerns and the real problems that
are out there partly through what business can do. Business cannot be
government business, cannot be more than mainly an economic player, but it
can play its role in a way to help others that depend on it. And this is, I
think, something that should be considered in the debate, and rather than
trying to heating each other we should find ways of working together,
because I think that mi amigo de Honduras que está ahí hablando tán fuerte
sobre la globalización tiene que escuchar también.

(P. B.)
Patrice Barrat introduit le film vidéo sur le Forum Social Mondial à Porto

May I just say that it was Bjorn Edlun, Vice President of ABB speaking,
(inaudible) self introduction at the beginning. And you'll all have a chance
to talk again but we'd like to show you, at this stage, another little film
showing what the Porto Alegre Forum looks like.
So, this is a film by Gonzalo Arijon and Laurence Jourdan that.
Porto Alegre, if you could please send that tape and then we'll continue
this debate and maybe Mr John Ruggie who wants to answer to what have been
said before.

They were not ready!

(Porto Alegre speaks)

Oded Grajew
Gostaria de fazer, uma colocação uma pergunta, para o senhor Soros...


Gostaria de fazer uma pergunta para o senhor Soros, primeiro gostaria de
ouvir os comentários do Senhor Soros sobre os seguintes dados : Em 1960 a
distancia entre os 20% mais ricos da humanidade e os 20% mais pobres era de
30 vezes .Em 1998 esta distância subiu para 84 vezes. Eu também gostaria de
fazer 3 perguntas para o senhor Soros. Em 1º lugar quanto dinheiro, quantos
dólares , quantos trilhões de dólares estão hoje girando no mercado
financeiro internacional ? A Segunda pergunta : Quantos dólares os países
subdensenvolvidos pagaram em juros da divida externa nos últimos 20 anos ? E
a última pergunta : Quantas crianças destes países subdesenvolvidos morrem
de fome a cada dia ? Gostaría se o Senhor soubesse me responder.

(Davos speaks)

(George Soros)
But certainly, the difference between rich and poor has greatly increased in
the last decade or two since we have had two globalizations in the sense of
global financial markets. And, I think that, probably, certainly there has
also been an increase in total value. A faster rate of growth than before,
but the differences have become much greater and not enough is done to
alleviate this increasing disparity. Just a sort of help to debate, I think
I should clarify that there is a Davos. But, I think that we are sitting
here perhaps not the best representatives of a Davos, because if we were, we
probably wouldn't be here. So, I think that all of us sitting here recognize
the problems that you are stating, and what we could talk about in order to
have a worldwide dialogue is 'what can we do to correct these social
injustices.?' I don't think that destroying the system is the best way
because it is a machine for creating wealth. The previous speaker mentioned
all the agriculture workers who lost their jobs, but I think that we have to
recognize that multinationals actually produce, that very few workers
produce more than the peasants on the land. So, we then have a problem of
how do we find jobs for the people who have been desplaced. And I would very
much like to hear your views on how could we change this, how could we
improve the situation.

(Porto Alegre speaks)

Se o Senhor responder as 3 perguntas que eu fiz talvez eu posso lhe dar uma
idéia. Quanto dinheiro circula no mercado finaceiro internacional ? Quantos
os países pagaram de júros nos últimos 20 anos, países subdesenvolvidos, e
quantas crianças nestes países morrem de fome a cada dia ? Se o senhor me
responder a essas 3 perguntas certamente nestas perguntas há já também as
respostas para essas perguntas.

(Davos speaks)

(George Soros)
There are trillions of dollars circulating every day and I'm sure that there
are millions of children dying. I don't know the exact number.

May I ask Mr. John Ruggie to answer the question that we had asked before:
Why is the UN not in Porto Alegre represented or is it?. I know that Khofi
Annan sent a message in writing to the World Social Forum few weeks ago. So,
why is he not in Porto Alegre?

(John Ruggie)
First of all, the UN (Mark can speak to this issue) is there because some of
his colleagues, in fact, are there. I think it's important to be clear about
the fact that there are many different social roles to be played and
improved in the world in which we live. Khofi Annan's visit here to Davos,
in part, was again to challenge the business leaders themselves who did have
an interest in improving the performance, the social justice, the
distribution of benefits of the global economy because if those things don't
improve they are going to be out of business because the system is not
sustainable. And he said that in a number of occasions. So, he's here
because this the best place to come to challenge the global business
leaders. But, if I may, could I make another point. We are meeting in a
small village in Switzerland. A century ago, Switzerland was a poor
agricultural country. Today, it's about as well integrated into the global
economy as any country can be, and yet Switzerland has transformed itself to
be extraordinarily successful in the distribution of wealth and in the
protection of minority rights. There is a dialect of German spoken in this
part of Switzerland which is archaic and which German speakers anywhere else
in the world don't understand. So, it is possible to be, if you will,
integrated into the global economy, and to be successful domestically as a
system of social justice, as a system that protects minority rights and
protects and sustains cultural differentiation. How and why? In part, in
large part, the issue is political and we have to devise a common political
agenda. Building social safety nets is a political process. Protecting human
rights is a political process. Now, I would like to discuss with our friends
in Porto Alegre what a political agenda should look like at the
international level as well as domestically. We are here to work with them
because that's what the UN does. We are here to fight poverty, to protect
human rights, to protect the environment. We want to work with them. Let's
talk about how to do these things, that we all agree need to be done.

I think that Bernard Cassen, President of ATTAC, want to say something.

(Porto Alegre speaks)

Bernard Cassen :
Je suis quand même surpris par le caractère incantatoire que revètent
certains discours. Vous répétez global economy, économie globale, économie
globale, économie globale, alors que plusieurs arguments qui vous ont été
donnés, vous reconnaissez vous même M. Soros que les inégalités n'ont fait
qu'augmenter. On vous a posé des questions mais on comprend bien que tout le
monde n'ait pas les réponses sur lui sur le montant des capitaux spéculatifs
qui circulent chaque jour dans le monde, sur le nombre d'enfants qui meurent
chaque jour, qui est de l'ordre de plus de 20 000, et le représentant des
Nations Unies nous dit "cette économie globale, elle n'est pas encore assez
globale". Donc vous ne tirez aucune conséquence de l'échec total de vos
politiques, qui d'ailleurs est présent dans vos rapports, vous ne lisez même
pas vos propres rapports, des organismes de la famille des Nations Unies, ou
même de la Banque mondiale. Donc je crois qu'il est significatif que M.
Soros nous ait dit que maintenant qu'il y a eu des manifestations, il a
compris qu'il y avait de la pauvreté. Mais dans quelle planète vivez-vous
pour ne pas avoir remarqué ce phénomène bien antérieurement? Je crois qu'il
est important que vous quittiez cette planète, ce trône où vous vous situez,
que vous quittiez les lunettes, dans le cas de M. Soros, du mégaspéculateur,
et pour revenir, en quelque sorte, sur terre. Visiblement nous ne vivons pas
dans le même monde. Alors vous nous demandez s'il y a un agenda alternatif,
s'il y a des mesures à prendre. Bien oui, nous pouvons dès à présent vous
répondre, avant même la fin du Forum social mondial, et vous serez heureux d
'ailleurs d'avoir le point de vue de la table de Davos sur ce sujet. Par
exemple, nous disons, il faut taxer très lourdement la spéculation
financière, sur les monnaies, il faut mettre en place une Taxe Tobin, de
manière non seulement à diminuer l'instabilité financière, je suis désolé
pour vous, M. Soros, ça vous retirera du travail, mais également pour
produire des sommes qui serviront à satisfaire des besoins sociaux dont nous
avons parlés. Deuxième idée que nous vous suggérons, c'est la remise, l'
annulation complète de la dette publique du Tiers Monde, tout simplement
parce que cette dette publique a déjà été payée plusieurs fois. Alors, voilà
deux mesures très simples, est-ce que vous êtes prêts à, Davos, à franchir
cette nuit du 4 août de la Révolution française, à redescendre sur terre, à
vous placer non plus du point de vue de la finance et des multinationales,
mais du point de vue des sociétés, nous vous demandons simplement de
redescendre sur terre, de revenir avec nous, dans la société, et non pas de
continuer à voir la société comme une ressource pour vous, pour vos
spéculations, pour vos profits.

(Davos speaks)

(George Soros)
It may surprise you that I am actually in favor of Tobin Tax. So, this is
one issue that we could discuss and I think that there are some problems
with it, technical difficulties, but I think it could be very useful in
providing income to the international institution that is concerned with
providing global public goods, that is to say, alleviating or fighting
infectious diseases, providing funds for universal primary education and so
on. So, it happens to be against my personal interest as a speculator, but I
think it would be in the common interest to have such a tax.

Anybody else in favor? You? You know what the "Tobin Tax" is?

(Mark Malloch)
The reference was made that we don't read our own reports. It's well known
that the first promotion internationally of the Tobin Tax was in the UNDP
Human Development Report. It is also the UNDP Human Development Report which
has been quoted about this new level of inequality. I think we've got to say
it again: it may be convenient for you to try make George Soros so this
panel character two versions of international capitalism. We can't say how
much we would like to be with you in Porto Alegre. We made it clear I have
colleagues there in Porto Alegre. We came to discuss what changes could we
make together to make the world a better place. Clearly, there is an
intellectual political difference of view about open economies and where do
they lead to open societies. But there is no difference of view that people
are getting poorer, that there needs to be a new political agenda, a new
social agenda. And I would urge you not to fall into the trap of those you'
re attacking and caricature you opponents and pretend that anybody who wants
to take a few hours out there at Davos took the schedule to try to hear your
views in Porto Alegre. By doing that is some champion of global capitalism.
I'm sure that if Wolden had been here this year he would be here listening
to what you have to say. We want to hear your views. We are not here to
fight with you. We are here to try to find solutions.

(Porto Alegre speaks)

Hebe de Bonafini
Señores, ustedes ya luchan contra nosotros. Señores, ustedes son nuestros
enemigos. Son hipócritas en sus respuestas. Contesten cuantos niños matan
por día con sus planes. Respondan ! Cuantas madres tenemos que seguir
aguantando la muerte por la Globalización o el Capitalismo o el nombre que
ustedes le quieran poner. Respondan señores ! Son como monstros que se comen
todo, que tienen cabeza y barriga pero no corazón ! Como madre les pregunto:
cuantos niños matan por día ?! Señor Soros, con esa cara de hipócrita,
sonriente, muriendose de risa ante la muerte de millones de niños por
hambre! Conteste, señor Soros ! Míreme a la cara si se anima !

(Davos speaks)

George Soros
I am looking at your face and I am smiling because that's the only thing I
can do. I'm trying to have a dialogue with you but you don't seem to want to
have any dialogue with me. So we can as well stop talking.

(John Ruggie)
I think that in the interest of keeping the dialogue going, one of my
friends in Porto Alegre was talking before about the landless farmers and
the plight that they face. There is an international agenda to be pursued
here which I ask again to work with us. For example, we, the EU has an
extensive agricultural subsidy program. Something like $350 billion dollars
a year. What are some of the consequences for third world agricultural
exports? They are severe. One of my colleagues made a calculation not long
ago that we could put every cow in the EU into first class flying around the
world. That's how much money is being spent in agricultural subsidies in the
EU. We must ensure market access for agricultural exports from developing
countries. That's a major, major contribution to ending poverty in
developing countries. Similarly, with regard to such exports is textiles. A
commitment was made in the most recent round of trade negotiation to
dismantle the multifiber agreement. To this date, most of the industrialized
countries have done nothing to implement that. And Third World textile
exports are still subject to protectionism and to quotas. We must fight to
end those. Because, as Mark said before, development does require growth and
growth requires exports in areas that developing countries can export, and
textiles and agriculture certainly are among those. We also need to fight
hard to ensure much greater corporate social responsibility. I know that our
friend Grajet is sitting on the other side and I am very glad to see you. We
are very happy to work with Instituto ETHOS in Brazil to bring greater
social responsibility into the corporate sector because that too is an
important step to take. So, there are many many things that we can do to
work together to advance the cause of the poor, to advance social justice in
this world. But, I'm afraid George Soros is correct: that we are going to
make very little progress if we shout across each other, shout at each other
across this space bridge that is designed to enhance dialogue.

At this stage of the debate, may I ask to the Porto Alegre panelists, since
the goal of the World Social Forum is, to say that,'another world is
possible', do as Bernard Cassen did, that is, to suggest certain things that
the gentlemen here might accept as new steps towards another globalization.

(Porto Alegre speaks)

Sandra Cabral
Eu gostaría de propor uma nova agenda, que o que me antecedeu em Davos
pedía. Esta nova agenda só é possivel primeiro: se a gente aprender o que é
diálogo. Diálogo não presupõe concordância com tudo, presupõe inclusive ter
a paciência de ouvir inclusive aquilo que se julga agressão. Primeira coisa,
ou não se pode continuar dorando a pilula. Segundo, é a mudança da agenda.
Eu acho que não há paz nem equilíbrio suficiente no mundo para que Davos
possa se dar ao luxo de descutir as questões sociais, de melhorar a
Globalização. Nós, aqui em Porto Alegre, no Brasil, e no 3º mundo e nos
países emergentes, nós discutimos economia, sim ! Nós
defendemos,diagnosticamos, sabemos quantas crianças morrem, sabemos quantos
trilhões circulam por dia, nós fazemos os diagnósticos, mas nós discutimos
economia, sim !E esta economia, esta nova agenda, pressupõe discutir um novo
modelo econômico. Um novo modelo econômico onde os organismos internacionais
não imponhãm as regras dos ditos países pobres e os obriguem a fazer os
ajustes extamente nas políticas que os senhores agora dizem defender. Eu
acho que é essa a hipocrisia que a companheira da Plaza de Mayo se referia,
e diálogo pressupõe discussões fortes, sim !! É preciso que nós
estabeleçamos essa nova agenda. Nós aqui em Porto Alegre, assim como disse o
nosso companheiro da ATTAC, não só apartir de Porto Alegre, há tempos temos
contruído, temos elaborado, temos colocado à disposição dos senhores novas
alternativas, um novo modelo econômico. Só que é um dialogo de surdo, a
gente fala, fala, fala, e vocês respondem com repressão,vocês respondem com
ironía , com hipocrisía. Esta nova agenda só é possível se houver de fato
respeito. Aí sim, nós poderemos estar virando de ponta à cabeça .Aí sim, nós
poderemos estar construído o equilíbrio, com paz, com harmonia, se houver
uma sociedade com distribuição de renda, uma sociedade, que de fato, coloque
a distribuição da riqueza feita pela humanidade nas mãos da maioria.

(Davos speaks)

(Bjorg Edlung)
I think I would like to say a few things that are important. I'm here
because I think we can only find solutions if we work together. I totally
agree with what you say. I'm also here and I would like to explain to you
why I think that we belong together and to give you a personal anecdote,
which is more than an anecdote; it is a very sad and terrible truth. My
son-in-law who comes from Argentina lost his father in the military
dictatorship when he was 4 years old. So, I understand the anger that some
of you feel in the situation where you're in, but we are here and I am here
as a representative of business because we see that something is lacking in
maintaining a sound balance or creating a sound balance in our world. There'
s a globalized and opened and I don't think we can do much about it becoming
even more globalized. And I think we have found the way forward. That's
working together, finding ways to integrate, a dialogue with all different
stakeholders in the society, business, organizations, such as UN development
found, local governments and talk about real concrete situations on the
ground: where a factory is being built, where a road is being built, where a
power line is being built, where somebody may want to build a dam or not to
create economic development through electricity. Whatever the situation is.
It's only by sitting down and blowing off some steam like this for a couple
of hours before we start to getting into the project. But in the end, we
have to agree with something that we can achieve together. We have to decide
whether we want to make a difference or whether we want to make a point. The
point has been made. Let's start to make a difference.

(Porto Alegre speaks)

Njoki Njehu
I think that it is important to start by responding to a couple of the
things that I have been saying before the last speaker, before going on to
some of the proposals that we have, which are not new, and too very simple
and very direct to say, but this is not about letting off steam, let's be
very clear about that. This is not about acquiring your understanding. This
is about making or tracking a new path, saying that we have been doing
enough talking, that has been enough talking. We know where the problem is,
we need to address it. The first question I would like to ask is: 'The UN
has had a UN special structure adjustment program. Is the UN willing to make
a statement and say: "Right, millions of people in the global South have
been saying: 'stop structure adjustment immediately'".
Second question on debt cancellation: "Not debt relief, not debt management.
Like the Epic initiative. Is the UN really to say and to put its political
power behind it, debt cancellation, talk about debt cancellation without
structure adjustment programs again? Is the UN willing to say that the UN
Global Contact is highly, highly and fatally flawed because it gives blue
washes. Multinationals corporations like Nike and Shell, organizations
multinational corporations that are being forced by some of the minorities
that are representatives from the UN talk about having the interests and the
rights protected, the case of Algoni in Nigeria is very well known. Other UN
agencies, like the UNEP (United Nations Environmental Program), around the
environmental protection, not management, not cable trading, not all of
those processes and not all of those techniques that we have been hearing
about. There is a question here for me about the intent of multinational
corporations, of the UN versus the outcome. The outcome is that in Africa,
19 thousand children, according to the UN, are dying every single day
because of debt 19000 children. This is genocide. More children are dying
each year in Africa than died in the holocaust. We have to talk about these
facts and to really ask directly. That's not talk around. Those are very
specific questions. Are there actions coming from the UN or more talk? Thank

(Davos speaks)

Mark Malloch
Let's take the two issues. My colleague John will talk about the Global
Compact, but let me talk about debt and economic policies. The UN has
repeatedly been on record most recently in the Millennium Declaration that
the needs to be more debt relief, than under the Epic initiative. We are
pressing for more radical deeper debt relief. However, it's not the UN
management which has the last word on it, but it is the governmental
process. And governments are willing through the UN to press for more debt
relief. They are not willing to press for all debt being retained off
because, you know the argument, they believe that there must be a
relationship between debt and performance. In other words, countries which
perform well, which spend money on education and health should get a greater
debt relief than those which don't. But we all agree that we've got to lift
the burden of debt of the poor in Africa. Children have been dying
tragically in Africa for many years. It did not stop with the debt. It did
not stop with globalization. It belongs in the horrors of poverty, conflict
and broken down healthcare systems. Those problems have not been solved by
globalization but they were not created by globalization. And whether it is
in trying to attract more development systems, trying to get more growth and
investment, we are struggling to end the cause of those children's death,
which is poverty. It is not debt relief. Debt relief is part of the
solution. But it is giving them and their parents a decent living, and that
cannot be reduced to just very simplistic slogans.

(John Ruggie)
On the Global Compact, I could just follow up with a few remarks. The
initiative of the Secretary General announced here in Davos a couple of
years ago on the Global Compact is an attempt to bring together all of the
relevant stakeholders in society around the issue of corporate social
responsibility and to get corporations to enact in their own corporate
spheres principles that we've drawn from the Universal Declaration of Human
Rights, the ILO Labor Standards and the Real Principles on Environment and
Development. We, in fact, like to believe that it is a microcosm of a
desirable model of global governance. Why? Because it involves governments
that define the principles; it involves corporations whose behavior we want
to change; it involves international labor; the International Confederation
of Free Trade Unions. Labor are the people in whose hands the concrete
process of global production takes place. It involves civil society
organizations representing the wider community of stakeholders and it
involves the United Nations as a facilitator, as a convener, and as an
arbiter, if you will. It fully a multistakeholder process. It does not
certify companies, it does not reward companies, and there is very little
opportunity for blue wash, as you call it, and you cannot cite a single
example of a corporation being cited by the UN in any kind of bluewash
sense. Our sole purpose is to identify good practices and to promote them
and to work with all of the other stakeholders to do that. We think it is an
example of progressive change. We believe it is an example of how one can
make a difference even if only in small steps. But I believe it was chairman
Mao who said that every long march begins with a small step.

(George Soros)
Let me differ from you a little bit on the Global Compact. I think it is
well intended, but it does have an element of white wash or blue wash in it.
I know that you are full of good will and I recognize your sincerity. But it
's very hard for business to sort of step out of its skin. Business is
basically run for profit and it's, of course, desirable that business should
have a greater social consciousness. It's good, but to think that this could
change the world, that this could bring about enough change that is needed,
I think I cannot go along with that.

P. B.
Mr Soros, are you trying to get yourself invited to Porto Alegre next year?

(George Soros)
You know, I can understand the anger, but let, let.
It is actually in my book. So, I'm public with this.

P. B.
Yes, Mr Bello.

(Porto Alegre speaks)

W. Bello
Yes. Hello, Davos. This is really quite absurd. We had 4 interventions in
the row in your side all saying the same thing, all saying the same slogans,
OK? You are the guys who are not listening. You don't want to dialogue. You
want to monologue. We want to change the rules of the game. We want more
speakers on our side to speak on a more continuous fashion because we feel
that you are unfairly taking advantage of this format and that's so typical
of the Davos mentality. So Trevor, please.

Trevor M.
Yeah. And I think that I had someone complaining that had some black people
to lined up to join the Davos panel. I'm not surprised that they're not
there because I think they're ashamed to be seen with the delights of George
Soros. They know that they were elected by millions of people in their
respective countries. I come from South Africa. We still had a hope that
liberation, freedom would bring houses, would bring jobs, would bring good
education for our people. But since the World Bank, since our governments
got closer to people like George Soros, we have lost a million jobs, as I am
talking now, we had an outbreak of cholera because the government was forced
by the likes of Soros to introduce privatization of basic services like
water and electricity. So as far as I am concerned, the gentlemen in Davos
are in the minority in the world today. I think the future is beginning
today here in Porto Alegre and I think the fact that we chose Porto Alegre
is a clear indication of things to come. The Workers' Party of Brazil
controlling this State and this city is showing through processes like the
people's budget that we want an economy run by the people which is
responsive to the needs of the people. Thank you.

Merci. Je voudrais enchaîner. Vous savez, l'Afrique, c'est tellement la
région du monde qui souffre le plus de cette fameuse globalisation. Je ne
vais pas m'attarder sur l'état des lieux. L'Afrique est en train d'exploser.
Vous faites partie de ces instances qui donnaient des instructions quand aux
élections, nous passons d'élection en élection. Je voudrais poser la
question suivante: est-ce que vous n'avez pas l'impression qu'il y a un lien
absolument étroit entre la nature des réformes économiques qui sont imposées
à nos pays, et les guerres civiles ? Ça c'est une question. Moi je crois que
ceux qui sont à Davos aujourd'hui, nous ne les avons pas élus. Nous ne vous
avons pas donné le mandat de décider pour nos pays. Et je crois que l'un d'
entre vous nous posait des questions sur la question des droits de l'homme.
Impunité pour impunité, qui va punir ? Ceux qui confisquent le pouvoir que
nous avons confié à nos élus.

Je pense que, effectivement, on est au coeur un peu du questionnement de la
difficulté du dialogue, vous nous présentez l'économie de marché comme une
fatalité. La marche mondiale des femmes a voulu effectivement mener des
actions au delà de 161 pays pour amener justement ce questionnement sur l'
économie de marché, ses impacts sur les femmes, ses impacts économiques mais
ses impacts sociaux aussi. Je pense que le dialogue est très difficile à
partir du moment où vous le prenez de cette façon là, et qu'on ne questionne
pas effectivement le besoin à une échelle globale de parler du modèle
économique. Je pense aussi que l'on doit regarder les effets multiples, on a
parlé de l'effet de l'impact des guerres civiles en Afrique, je pourrais
parler aussi du trafic sexuel des femmes, de l'esclavage des femmes. Dans un
rapport récent du PNUD, on parle d'une augmentation, d'une réalité où au
delà de 4 millions de femmes sont vendues, c'est-à-dire femmes et fillettes,
sont vendues par année. Vendues pour du travail domestique, des mariages
forcés, du trafic sexuel. Et quand on analyse un peu plus d'où viennent ces
femmes vendues là, on voit que ce sont des femmes du sud qui sont vendues
vers le nord, la même direction dans laquelle la dette est due. Et pour
nous, c'est des questions qu'on voulait discuter, on a même demandé et
obtenu des rendez-vous avec la Banque mondiale, le Fond monétaire
international, avec le Secrétaire général des Nations unies. À la Banque
mondiale, tout ce à quoi nous avons eu droit, c'est une petite leçon de
"allez donc lire les programmes que la Banque mondiale offre aux femmes".
Aux Nations Unies, on a eu malheureusement le discours que la mondialisation
a ses bons côtés et c'est une fatalité, nous devons faire avec. Et je pense
que le Forum social mondial et le mouvement des femmes qui est présent ici,
au Forum Social Mondial vous dit, cette fatalité là, on n'y croit pas, et on
pense qu'il y a urgence pour l'ensemble de la planète, et les hommes et les
femmes de discuter des fondements de votre projet à Davos. Je voudrais aussi
savoir, M. Soros, je suis contente de savoir que vous êtes prêt à perdre de
l'argent, avec en autre la taxe Tobin, je voudrais savoir, est-ce qu'à
Davos, vous faites avancer cette idée là auprès de vos collègues ?

(Davos speaks)

At this stage, does Porto Alegre want to continue speaking now? We have 20
minutes left. So, maybe... OK! Go ahead.

(Porto Alegre speaks)

Fred (Job for justice)
Gentlemen, I think you hear a righteous anger amongst my brothers and
sisters sitting around this room with me, and we need you there to do
something for us. You are there with corporate leaders, with business
leaders, world economic leaders at the World Economic Forum, we need you to
help us relay that this anger that we saw in Seattle, that we saw in D.C.,
that we saw in Prague, that we saw in Bangkok, is still out there. Nothing
has been done to mitigate this anger, there has been no movement to oppose
what the people have made the Tobin tax, or the elimination of debt of the
poorest country of the world. Folks will be out there, whether it is in
April in Quebec city, whether it is in Genoa over the summer, whether it is
in Washington DC again this fall. There is a movement that is growing not
just here in Porto Alegre, but around the world of people that wanto to talk
about solutions, but are angry when their solutions are not heard, are angry
when movement isn´t made, are angry about what is happening day to day in
each of our countries. So please, gentlemen, send that message to your
colleagues there in Davos.

So, before we try to reach some conclusions, just let me introduce an NGO
which was in the World Economic Forum : (inaudible) who is next to me and
explain why...

Hello, I'm here because I have to choose between being in Brazil and here.
It seems to me that I would be more comfortable to be in Brazil and it would
be the hard work to be in Davos. I think I could do something more useful to
be in Davos, being able to take some of the society's questions to the
people here, and there is 2 days left off the Davos meeting, so, are there
any specific projects, small practical particular things that you could say,
mention or suggest to these people here in Davos so that we could serve as a
bridge here?

(Porto Alegre speaks)

Njoki Njehu
May I say, may I take the stage and say you don´t represent us, we will not
use you as our messenger, there have been hundreds of sessions where people
have been talking about the alternatives, the initiatives that are coming
from all over the global south that are innovative, that are trying to not
only chart a new future, but also deal with the the crisis that we face. And
I want to correct your mistaken impression that being in Porto Alegre is no
hard work. The people who are here have been working hard not just at this
conference, but all their lives, and they will continue to work. So, please
do not insult us by assuming that you know what is going on here.

(Davos speaks)

It is not an insult, in your film Maria, you said that it was fun to be with
people who are more like the people I am used to working with, my brothers
and sisters in that sense. I would have found it fun. Many of the people I
know are already there and I would love to be with you. That's all I
mentioned, that's not an insult.

Now we have about 15 minutes left. Do you want to continue arguing or some
of you want to suggest that this dialogue could lead somewhere. Maybe...
Yes, in Porto Alegre.

(Porto Alegre speaks)

R. Alegria
Hace ya ratos, con los organismos financieros internacionales, con los
empresarios, entre nosotros hablamos de la pobreza, y hablamos y hablamos.
Creo que ahora hay que hablar de la distribución de la riqueza. Ése es el
punto clave. Por ejemplo, volver a los proceso de reforma agraria,
distribuir la tierra para los campesinos que no la tienen. De esa forma se
puede combatir la probreza, definitivamente. Pero, estas políticas
globalizantes, lo que hacen es concentrar más la tierra en pocas manos,
entre las transnacionales y desplazar a los campesinos. El Sr. de las
Naciones Unidas sabe que en la Unión Europea, apesar de destinar muchos
recursos para la agricultura, los beneficios sólo son para los grandes
productores, y que en Europa 250 mil pequeños agricultores ya no pueden
vivir en el campo y tienen que abandonar sus parcelas. Los subsídios,
generalmente, en la Unión Europea están para los grandes y para fomentar la
agricultura industrializada de agro-exportación, que genera damping en los
mercados nuestros, que destruyen nuestros mercados. Hay que cambiar,
también, esa política de ese famoso Libre Mercado. Hay que fortalecer los
mercados internos para los pequeños y medianos agricultores. De manera que
hay que democratizar el acceso a los recursos naturales. Además de la
tierra, los bosques. Pero, los bosques, como riqueza natural, están también
concentrados en empresas grandes, como multinacionales. Entonces, señores,
hay que hablar de distribución de riquezas. No hay que tenerle miedo a las
Reformas Agrárias. Esa política del Banco Mundial de acceso a la tierra no
tiene éxito. Definitivamente no tiene éxito. Hay que destinar recursos para
un verdadero desarrollo rural integrado. Así como están las políticas, lo
que se está generando es más pobreza. Y seria muy importante que ustedes en
vés de imponer políticas en los gobiernos, seria más bién apoyar políticas
nacionales, de los Estados, en función a las realidades de nuestros pueblos.
Definitivamente, ahora lo que hay son políticas dictadas desde afuera para
favorecer intereses, como por ejemplo el pago de la Deuda Externa, y no
interesa el beneficio social y economico de estas grandes mayorias. Yo creo
que es necesario estructurar esa Agenda, pero orientada a distribuir
riqueza. Nuestros paises son ricos en recursos naturales, muchos paises son
ricos en recursos naturales pero tienen una población tremendamente
empobrecida. Entonces, lo que significa es que hay una injusta distribución
de la riqueza. Yo creo que, ahora, devemos tomar medidas en función al
combate a la pobreza, pero distribuyendo riqueza.

Bernard Cassen
Vous avez appelé au dialogue, nous l'avons engagé. Mais il faut bien se
rendre compte que nous connaissons parfaitement vos positions. Nous lisons
vos livres, M. Soros, nous lisons les rapports des Nations Unies. Vous
connaissez, je l'imagine, vous pouvez connaître parfaitement nos positions,
donc ça peut être un dialogue de sourds si on continue comme ça. Il vous
reste encore une journée à Davos, puisque le Forum économique mondial doit
se terminer comme le nôtre demain 30 janvier. Donc, il vous reste encore
tout le temps, par exemple, de faire signer, excusez-moi d'utiliser une
méthode qui nous est familière, une pétition, je demande donc à M. Soros, je
demande aux représentants des Nations unies, de rédiger un texte, si vous en
avez besoin, on pourra vous le rédiger, demandant l'annulation de la dette
publique du Tiers monde, premièrement. Deuxièmement, la mise en place de la
Taxe Tobin. Troisièmement, l'interdiction totale des paradis fiscaux, que
vous connaissez fort bien M. Soros, j'en suis persuadé, et vous pourrez d'
ailleurs nous donner des conseils pour cette mesure. Rédigez ces pétitions,
soumettez-les à vos collègues, patrons de transnationales, grands
financiers, hommes politiques qui sont venus vous rendre hommage, et puis on
verra à la fin de la journée de demain,30 janvier, combien de signatures il
y a, et si vous arrivez à avoir un nombre conséquent de signatures, nous
considérons que ce dialogue est fructueux. Sinon, et bien, nous serons
obligés d'employer d'autres moyens, des moyens démocratiques évidemment,
pour créer un nouveau rapport de forces qui vous fera réfléchir un peu plus
et qui vous permettra, à votre seconde tournée de signatures, d'en avoir
davantage. Voilà ce que nous vous proposons, et à travers vous, à tout le
Forum économique mondial de Davos.

(Davos speaks)

George Soros
We would probably not collect too many signatures. We can talk about it, but
I don't think, we are not representatives of Davos here. So, I don't think
it will be too successful in getting signatures. Yet, I would like to appeal
to you that I see that you are angry and I think that you have reasons to be
angry, but anger can be a very bad counselor sometimes. And it can often
hurt your own interests. I suggest to you that your anger is misdirected
when your are attacking the international institutions because the
international institution like the World Bank actually has as its mission to
alleviate poverty. It's a bureaucratic institution it is an
intergovernmental institution and because of that it does not work very
well. So, it does need to be changed. But, I think it's the governments that
need to be persuaded through their electors. And I think that a lot of the
poverty actually originates at home. I mean, Africa is a rich continent but
it has got really rotten governments. And the only difference I can see
between a resource-rich country and a resource-poor country is that the
resource-rich country has a more corrupt government than the resource-poor

(Bjorg Edlung)
I would like to try to bring back to the level...

(Porto Alegre speaks)

François Houtard
Je voudrais dire aussi quelque chose : j'ai l'impression que Mr Soros est un
excellent spéculateur. M. Soros est certainement un très bon spéculateur,
mais je lui donnerais tout à fait zéro en sciences politiques et en analyses
sociales. Il n'a véritablement pas la possibilité de faire une véritable
analyse sociale des rapports de forces qui existent dans le monde. De savoir
comment le capital agit vis-à-vis du travail, de savoir comment se construit
la richesse, à quel prix, d'un point de vue social. Et en ignorant tout
cela, en faisant le mort devant des situations comme celles-là, on peut donc
tenir un discours purement théorique, qui paraît tout à fait rationnel et
qui n'a rien à voir avec la réalité.

H. de Bonafini
Bueno, yo quiero decir que el señor sólo sabe cuánto dinero circula, pero no
sabe cuántos niños matan con sus políticas tan represoras y tan asesinas.
Quisiera que este señor, cuando se mire al espejo y se le rompa, vea los
millones y millones de niños que por la política ésta de globalización están
muriendo en el mundo. En nombre de esos niños y de esas madres que no saben
leer ni escribir, que no saben que existe Davos, que no saben que existe
Porto Alegre, pero sí saben que todos los días uno de sus hijos va a morir.
Por su culpa, señores, por la culpa de ustedes, por la hipocresia, por la
mentira, y sí tenemos rabia convertida en ódio. Pero es un sentimiento y hay
que ponerlo en lo que corresponde. Los odiamos señores, porque son la muerte
para los pueblos. Los odiamos.

Aminata Traoré
M. Soros, en tant qu'Africaine, je suis désolée. Je crois que ce que vous
venez de dire est une insulte à l'Afrique. Vous nous avez toujours mis dos à
dos avec les gouvernants. Ils sont certainement corrompus, ils ont leurs
défauts, mais vous continuez à nous donner l'impression que le problème est
en Afrique et la solution est ailleurs. Je voulais tout simplement vous dire
que le problème aujourd'hui est ailleurs, la solution en Afrique.

N. Njehu
I would like to add that I think, this kind of characterization ignores the
rule of the very international agencies that you were talking about, Mr.
Soros, the complicity of the World Bank and the IMF we can name country
after country: Zaire, my home country Kenya, South Africa, the Apartheid,
Liberia, Somalia, all these countries where, yes we have our problems, but
those problems are compounded by the complicity of both the International
Community including the World Bank and the IMF. We've talked about and we
have a proposal I'll be putting forward to these institutions, including the
United Nations, to implement a UN truth commission on debt and structural
adjustment looking at where the money went for debt that is now being
demanded from African governments as debt payment. Who was loaned that money
and who knew it and what they did with it. Yes, we have corrupt people, but
that money is not in the banks in Nairobi or Kinshasa. It's actually in
Switzerland, in London, in New York. I think we need to be very honest and
to point the finger where it is and also to point the finger at the people
who are collaborating; the people and institutions, the agents and agencies
that facilitated that corruption. Mobutu would not have taken billions of
dollars, or Somoza in Nicaragua, or Marcos in the Philippines if the World
Bank and the IMF had not really given them that money.

At this stage, Mr Bello, just, I want to say, we need to make some
conclusions, so you are welcome to start but we've only less than 10 minutes
left, so if you can each of you can make a conclusion or suggest something
he has on mind to create conditions to a better dialogue maybe, so, Mr
Bello, please.

(Porto Alegre speaks)

Well, let me just make a statement, because the delegate have to make a
conclusion. I'm very disturbed by the fact that corporations in Davos are
having themselves face us represented by two members of the UN. I think this
is a terrible prostitution of the UN and I think this shows that under the
leadership of Khofi Annan in whom we have so much hope, the UN has no linked
itself solidly to the movements and interests of transnational corporations.
The only thing that I would like to say is that Davos was founded in the
1970. It has been 30 years and poverty has increased, inequality has
increased, environmental disequilibria has increased so that we can say that
Davos and the (inaudible) I'd like to say. That I think I speak for many
people throughout the world, if we say that we join our brothers and sisters
in Davos and the streets of Davos who are saying that now it's the time to
shut down the world economic forum. It has outlive its time like the IMF and
the World Band and the WTO and is a jurassic institution and needs to be
given a burial at this point.

(Davos speaks)

(Mark Malloch)
Look, Walden, I really, I know better than you've just said about the UN
representing Davos. We were invited by the organizers of this debate to come
and dialogue with you about solutions to the problem of poverty. We were not
asked to come here and represent Davos. Davos, as you heard at the
beginning, refused to be represented at this Forum. You won't eat up anyone
who is put in front of you. One of your colleagues from an NGO movement
offers a quite observation that you subscribed to one short year ago that it
was worth trying to come and take these arguments to the leaders at Davos.
Now you put her in the dark and accuse her of not representing your views
and the views of those in Porto Alegre. Listen to yourselves. We came here
tonight to reach out to you. That is the job of the UN. It is not to take,
to promote the position of Davos or of the World Bank or of the IMF. And I
see sniggering behind raised hands. Fine. The UN's job is to listen and to
try to find solutions to world poverty that all people can support and I am
amazed that our attempt to hear the voice of Porto Alegre as well as Davos
is turned back on us that we are somehow here representing or championing
the capitalism of Davos. We are not.

Since we are represented by business, Bjorg Edlung, would you like to
comment or conclude?

(Bjorg Edlung)
I don't want to conclude because I don't think the voice of business would
be the last voice you hear here. But, certainly, there are some of my
observations. There is a fundamental misunderstanding, I think, also in the
way we are talking to each other here. We come here because we meet people.
This is not the world economic government. This a forum for dialogue between
people of different opinions, from different parts of the society. That's
number 1 about Davos itself. Number 2: if there isn't a way forward under a
framework such as the UN is proposing, what is the way forward? I hear
nationalism mixed with fairly absurd economic notions. Absurd because you
have to create wealth before you can distribute it. It is not that the money
is sitting somewhere in a big box and someone can decide to take that money
and distribute in a different way. It would be naive to think that, and I am
sorry to be so brutal in my language. Coming back to what business can do,
we can try to be a constructive player together with other groups in society
to find a better way forward. I would like to invite the participants in
Porto Alegre to take part in local versions of the Global Compact when we
come around to try to throw the stone in the pond to see the rings spread. I
don't think it's a solution for everything, but it would be a way to do
something together on the ground where it matters.

So, please, in Porto Alegre, can you answer to this and conclude on your
side and then we'll finish this program?

(Porto Alegre speaks)

Sure! I am the person who responded to the NGO representative. I don't know
her and there are some people there in Davos that I know and I tell them the
same thing. We have been talking about democratic principles. I don't think
any of us was consulted what NGO representatives were going to be present in
Davos. So, that statement stands that I am not represented and I don't think
the organization that I work for is represented. On the UN and its presence
in Davos, yes listening but chose to send the highest representatives with
Davos and I don't know what people within the UN system were sent to Porto
Alegre. Certainly, they have not been very visible to me in the workshops
and plenaries that I attended. If it's about listening to economic ideas and
alternatives, there are plenty of them in Porto Alegre and I invite all of
you to come next time to Porto Alegre and work as hard as we have in all of
these workshops and hear some of these ideas. It's familiar to hear that
kinds of lines that we have heard from many people from the panelists about
not having the power to change anything willing to listen, not being the
right agency, not being the right governant, and the rest of it, and I have
to say that I've never heard anyone who took responsibility for the system,
even those who participate in it at different levels. At the IMF and the
World Bank, we are told that they do debating of the G-7 and sometimes of
the US Treasury or someone else,.

Please, we are going to loose. We are going to loose the satellite link, so.

. and we are saying that we are the people, whether it's our governments or
the governments of the world, we are the people, we elected them and,
therefore, they need to be listening and you need to be sending them back to
us to listen to us as we demand justice. Not pity, not just more aid, but
solidarity and opportunity to have lives of dignity and lives of justice.
Thank you.

(Davos speaks)

Thank you. Please, just to conclude this program, could someone answer to
Porto Alegre. Will any of you go to Porto Alegre next year?

- No one invited me!

(Mark Malloch)
Yes. We clearly have to go. And I want to make sure that you know will take
to all people we see here the message of just how angry you are. We have to
find ways to overcome this. This is not healthy what we've heard tonight.

(George Soros)
And I would like to say that I might have gone to Porto Alegre next year,
but I don't feel like going now.

OK Porto Alegre. Well, I want to thank everybody for taking part in this
dialogue. It's the first try. I'm not sure that television can solve all
those problems, but at least you started a dialogue. So, maybe you can
continue by going to Porto Alegre or we can organize something similar at
another time. So thank you everybody and enjoy the rest of your Forums and
try to carry the messages in both places, OK? Thank you. This is the end.

(c)Article Z 2001

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