Cindy Gabriela Flores on Fri, 22 Mar 2002 19:48:35 +0100 (CET)

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Monterrey, NL, March 14th, 2002.


* Mary Robinson calls upon governments to fulfill
Millenium Summit goals

Representatives of nearly 700 non governmental
organizations rejected the “Monterrey Summit” document
because, they stated that simply, “it’s no good”, and
UN Human Rights High Commissioner Mary Robinson called
upon governments to fulfill the Millenium Summit

People’s human rights are not negotiable, Mary
Robinson said in a statement sent to the Global Forum:
Financing for the right to Sustainable and Equitable
Development that began today in the city of Monterrey.

The opinion of the United Nations representative is
that human rights must be the main issue at the
International Conference: Financing for Development
(FfD) that will congregate 53 heads of state and

She pointed out that sustainable development requires:
law enforcement, more access to commerce, and
attracting foreign investment, though she recognized
that national efforts have not been sufficient in this

We have only begun to scratch the surface in
contributing aid to poor countries, and narrowing the
technological gap, she said, so she called to business
people and academics to share their knowledge in order
to spread it throughout the developing world.

Laura Frade, of the Steering Committee, stated that
the final document of the FfD is confusing and does
not establish a commitment from the rich countries.

During the inauguration of the Global Forum in the
Coca-Cola auditorium, now renamed “Monterrey Steel”,
in Fundidora Park, Frade stated that the globalization
is a system of  “anarchic dictatorship” that has been
detrimental to women, children, and all human beings,
making the rich richer and the poor poorer.

Earlier, Paul Tennassee, representative of the World
Work Conference and member of the International
Committee for Aid to the Global Forum, said that civil
society is bewildered with the Monterrey Consensus
document because it does not offer any avenues for
reaching the goals of the Millenium Summit.

He referred both to the Mexican economic crisis in
1995 product of neoliberal politics and the mistrust
that exists towards the policies of multilateral
institutions such as the World Bank and the
International Monetary Fund.

When he declared his support for the cancellation of
external debt, Tennassee said that financing for
development must guarantee gender rights, democratic
development, and decent work, all of which are
challenges for the world’s governments, to whom he
warned “you can run but you cannot hide from those of
us who stand in resistance to the international global

In an impassioned and critical speech against the
neoliberal model Laura Frade, claimed that
globalization reinforces patriarchy and makes
governments obey commerce rules that lead to

They incorrectly refer to us as globaliphobics when in
reality we are nonconformists; “we speak for those who
have been subjugated.”  We are conscious that this
model doesn’t work, that it must change as it is a
system of suffocation,” she stated.

She added that because of the system of world
governance that multilateral institutions are
constructing, the commercial market is incapable of
eradicating poverty.

She also called to NGOs to continue denouncing,
criticizing, and formulating proposals that continue
the advancement of civil society's issues,
consolidating consensus in favor of a democratic and
sustainable development model.

Laura Frade stated that civil society is an advancing
not a regressing force in the world.   At her turn,
Lidice Ramos of the Secretarial Office of Monterrey
pleaded for a solid economy that does separate people.

In the opening ceremony of the global forum, Jesus
Medellin former worker of the Monterrey Steel Mill,
closed down as a result of neoliberal policies, asked
for a space to create a museum where workers from the
iron and steel factory who gave their lives in
numerous work related accidents can be honored. 



* Global Forum goal: a model of development where all
are included
-- Debt forgiveness one of the demands

* NGO make harsh critics on Monterrey Consensus
-- Official language is weak, they say

* Women participating in the Global Forum reject the
neoliberal model, war culture, and all forms of
violence against women

* Global Forum goal: a model of development where all
are included 

Debt forgiveness one of the demands

Monterrey, Mar. 14, 2002 (CIMAC)--Representatives of
the organizing committee of The Global Forum:
Financing the Right to Sustainable Equitable
Development welcomed this morning about 1000
participants and members of 700 NGOs gathered to find
alternatives to the neo-liberal model of development.

Paul Tennassee, representative of World Confederation
of Labor before the UN and member of the International
Support Committee expressed his displeasure with the
so-called Monterrey Consensus and the need to resist
the current unjust global order, promoting labor and
environmental standards, gender equality and human

The Forum´s goal is not only to influence the
Monterrey consensus, but to go further and propose an
alternate model of development where all are included,
said Laura Frade, a member of the Mexico Organizing
Committee and of the Women`s Eyes on the
Multinationals Latin American Campaign. 

Denouncing the market`s anarcho-dictatorship, Frade
rejected the "anti-globalization" label and said she
assumes the role of globalization critic. Civil
society is not against a globalization that is
inclusive, but against a globalization that
asphyxiates, she added. 

Debt forgiveness will be one of the Forum´s demands,
Tennassee said. Other demands include more aid to the
least developed countries. Aid is not alms and the
rich should give to the poor because they recognize
other people can help them become more humane, wrote
Helio Gallardo, professor of political philosophy in
Costa Rica in a message read to the audience. 

In another message read to the audience, UN High
Commissioner on Human Rights Mary Robinson recalled
that the right to development is a human right, and
she expressed her confidence that participants in the
Global Forum would defend it during the UN conference
on financing for development. 

The Global Forum`s opening ceremony took place in the
Coca Cola Auditorium of the Fundidora Park, where
former workers of the now-closed Fundidora steel
company were invited to participate in the renaming
ceremony of the auditorium. Instead of bearing the
name of a multinational, it should carry the name of
Monterrey´s steel, said former-worker Jesus Medellin. 

The ceremony concluded with the installation of a
Peace Post. This symbol is important, according to
Patricia Hume, a member of the Mexico Organizing
Committee, to avoid that financing for development be
used in the war against terrorism, as some officials
have started to do in the last few days, arguing that
terrorism is a consequence of poverty. 


* NGO make harsh critics on Monterrey Consensus
-- Official language is weak, they say

Monterrey, Mar. 14, 2002 (CIMAC)—NGOs representatives
invited to evaluate the chapter on systemic issues of
the Monterrey Consensus during the Global Forum this
afternoon expressed their concern about its lack of
firm language on many issues NGOs consider important.

Even though for the first time ever NGO were invited
to make proposals during the preparation of the
Monterrey Consensus, their proposals have hardly been
taken into account in the final document, said Gemma
Adaba, UN representative of the International
Confederation of Free Trade Unions. The question is
not so much what NGOs have to propose, but how they
manage to push their proposals forward, she added.

Among these proposals were the need for an effective
tax system at the national level, because poor
countries do not necessarily lack resources, but they
lack a process of redistribution of these resources,
said Adaba.

Another important recommendation pushed forward by
NGOs that was almost dropped in the final document is
the implementation of the commitment by industrialized
countries to dedicate 0.7 percent of their GDP to
assist the poorest countries, said Adaba.

Adaba also expressed her disappointment regarding the
weakness of the language used in the consensus when
referring to human rights and workers´ rights.

Martha Arias, political advisor at Oxfam, stressed
that two other proposals that were left out of the
consensus were the mention of the need to analyze the
impact on development of the liberalization of
capitals, as well as the necessity to realize an
external and independent evaluation of the work of
international financial institutions.

Both speakers regretted that the only part of the
document where strong language is used is the
reference to fighting financing for terrorism,
whereas, according to Adaba, the document reveals no
such sense of urgency concerning issues such as the
crisis in Argentina or the HIV-AIDS pandemics.

Despite these limitations, both Adaba and Arias said
they wouldn´t reject the consensus, but rather accept
it while making public their disappointment and
stressing that they´re staying engaged.

* Women participating in the Global Forum reject the
neoliberal model, war culture, and all forms of
violence against women

Monterrey, MAR 14 2002 (CIMAC). Women participating in
the Global Forum: Financing the Right to Sustainable
and Equitable Development, rejected the neoliberal
model, the war culture and all forms of violence
against women, and demanded the total eradication of 
foreign debt for highly indebted countries.

On the first day of work at the NGOs Forum preceding
the International Conference: Financing for
Development (FfD) women proposed putting forth an
agenda for a just peace in the world, a non monolithic
worldwide political organization given a say in
economics and that enjoys equal representation and a
participatory democracy among the worlds countries.

In the text of the Women’s Declaration the activists
recommended the establishment of a tax on foreign
financial transactions the percentage of which is
raised in times of crisis to avoid capital flight,
specifically speculative capital, that also provides a
a way of regulating the flows of international

They also asked for a raise in the resources for
Official Aid for Development and the elimination of
conditional clauses. As well as fulfilling in the
agreement that developed countries destine 0.7 of
their Gross National Product to the OAD.

They also demanded eliminating conditional clauses in
structural adjustment programs promoted by the World
Bank, the Internation Monetary Fund, and international

As for foreign debt, they recommended a re-examination
of current criteria and the adoption of a human
development focus. All of this in order to measure
sustainability which they believe should not be gauged
in accordance with what a country can pay or in
accordance with the agreement previously acquired, but
in accordance with its needs to reach sustainable and
equitable gender human development.

They also demanded the establishment of a transparent
system of arbitration on external debt with a
democratic process in the decision making because as
it stands lending countries carry enormous weight in
deciding which countries can go into the renegotiating
process like the Initiative of condemnation of highly
indebted countries.

The activists pleaded for the democratization of
decision making processes within international
financial institutions so that of free trade and
investments respect the sovereignty of various peoples
and that they comply with the objectives of
development from the Millenium Meeting.

The women stated that the United Nations must take on
a leading role in economic and social development
through the fulfillment of the UN final document the
“Consensus of Monterrey” so that the World Bank and
the International Monetary Fund’s actions and accounts
are submitted for review to the Social and Economic
Counsel and are in compliance with international human
rights regulations.


Comité Organizador México
Foro Global: Financiación para el Derecho al
Desarrollo Sustentable con Equidad
Enlace con medios: Comunicación e Información de la
Mujer, Asociación Civil
+ 52 (55) 5510-0085/5510-0023/5512-5796
Cindy Gabriela Flores, Coordinación de Prensa,

Cindy Gabriela Flores
Coordinadora de Prensa
Agencia de Noticias CIMAC
+52 (55) 5510-0085/5510-2033/5512-5796

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