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  • 17

    Ever Heard Of The Siena Declaration?
    Globalism; Posted on: 2008-04-23 17:34:25 [ Printer friendly / Instant flyer ]

    Clearly, the architects of the present crisis have not understood what they have wrought, or, if they have understood it, cannot afford to admit it.

    On the Crisis of Economic Globalization, Siena, Italy, September, 1998

    In the midst of the rapidly growing global financial crisis that has already reached unprecedented proportions, the following statement was prepared by the Board of Directors of the International Forum on Globalization (IFG), an alliance of leading scholars, activists, economists, researchers, and writers representing over 40 organizations in 20 countries. The meeting was held in Siena, Italy, in September 1998.

    1. The undersigned have long predicted that corporate-led economic globalization, as expressed and encouraged by the rules of global trade and investment, would lead to an extreme volatility in global financial markets and great vulnerability for all nations and people. These rules have been created and are enforced by the World Trade Organization (WTO), the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the Maastricht Agreement, the World Bank and other global bureaucracies that currently discipline governments in the area of trade and financial investment. This volatility is bringing massive economic breakdown in some nations, insecurity in all nations, unprecedented hardships for millions of people, growing unemployment and dislocation in all regions, direct assaults on environmental and labor conditions, loss of wilderness and biodiversity, massive population shifts, increased ethnic and racial tensions, and other disastrous results. Such dire outcomes are now becoming manifest throughout the world, and are increasing daily.

    2. The solutions to the crises that are currently being offered by the leadership of the above-named trade bureaucracies, and the leaders of most western industrialized states, as well as bankers, security analysts, corporate CEO's and economists - the main theoreticians, designers and promoters of the activities that have led us to this point - are little more than repetitions, even expansions, of the very formulas that have already proven socially, economically and environmentally disastrous. The experts who now propose solutions to the financial meltdown are the very ones who, only months ago, were celebrating Indonesia, Thailand, South Korea and other "Asian Tigers" as poster-children for the success of their designs. They later stated that the Asian crisis was fully contained. Notably, these experts have been wrong in nearly every predicted outcome of their policies.

    Now these "leaders" advocate that we solve the problem by further opening markets, further opening and liberalizing the rules of investment (as they promote such draconian formulas as the Multilateral Agreement on Investment, and expanded IMF powers), further suppressing the options of nation-states and communities to regulate commerce for the good of their own publics and environments, further discouragement of such models as "import substitution" that have the chance to enable nations to feed and care for themselves, and further centralization of control within the same governing bodies as at present. In other words, more of the same.

    According to these architects of globalization, it is only a matter of "fine tuning" or "first aid" while on the way to continued expansion of the same failed dream of theirs. They cite "cronyism" among the Third World's nations as contributing to the problem, but say nothing of the cronyism exhibited by the U.S. Treasury-Wall Street-IMF collaborations by which western bankers bail out other western bankers for their disastrous policies.

    Clearly, the architects of the present crisis have not understood what they have wrought, or, if they have understood it, cannot afford to admit it.


    News Source: twnside.org


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