CADTM Summary of the Rostock Summit

Jun 08, 2007

The Comité pour l’annulation de la dette du Tiers Monde is a radical Brussels based anti debt campaign with branches in many different countries, north and south. At the Rostock G8 protests some of their activists were arrested having not committed any crime. CADTM has been a leading light in the global justice movement and at the radical end of the organisation of the World Social Forum. Here is their take on the G8′s announcement at the end of the Rostock summit.

9 June 2007

CADTM finds the G8 announcements pathetic and denounces the fierce repression peaceful demonstrators fell victims too.

Year after year the G8 has been content with empty announcements those countries have no intention to put into practice while displaying fierce repression against peaceful demonstrators. Nine members of CADTM France and of CADTM Belgium were detained for over 48 hours, without any valid reason.
Regarding aid to Africa, the G8 again formulates a promise that hardly costs anything. The promise made at Gleneagles in 2005 was repeated, namely that aid subsidies would double by 2010, but the latest figures are disastrous: according to the OECD and the World Bank, aid to Africa irrespective of debt relief had fallen in 2006. On the other hand the 60 billions dollars that have been promised to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, without any specific deadline, had already partly been announced over the past months, this is thus hardly anything new. Simultaneously the health sector is severely deteriorating in Africa and the number of starving people is steadily rising. Let us remember too that as soon as 1970 rich countries had committed themselves to spending 0.7 % of their GNI to development aid. Nearly 40 years later, the percentage G7 countries actually spend is only 0.26%.
On the climate issue, the G8 was content with saving face without facing up to what is actually at stake for the environment in the coming decades. Acknowledging the need to substantially reduce greenhouse gas emission is the least they could do, but cannot have any effect since the eight countries did not specify any common specific objective even though they are responsible for most emissions while people in developing countries suffer the consequences.
The present G8 summit was also marked by a resumed arms race prompted by the United States. Global military spending were estimated at USD 1,000 billions in 1990 and 1,200 billions in 2006; they are likely to soar to 1,500 billions in 2007. The US alone spend over 500 billions every year. CADTM considers that the demand for general disarmament must be met and cannot be negotiated.
As to the resumption of the Doha Round within the WTO, the G8 claims it is necessary for the development of poor countries whereas the logic of these negotiations, in perfect accordance with the structural adjustment policies that had been enforced since the 1980s, is deeply harmful to poor people in developing countries.
On the other topics that were discussed the G8 kept to a strict minimum that will not even be met, or made vain announcements that can fool none.
For CADTM, it is pitiful to see eight heads of state secluded in an overprotected place with impressive armed forces officially flouting citizens’ freedom of movement and right to peaceful protest pretending they rejoice in non-existent advances.
CADTM considers that the G8 is illegitimate. Like the WB, the IMF or the WTO, the G8 is currently facing a severe legitimacy crisis. We at CADTM consider that we have to build asap an alternative based on a UN development funds and integrated in a network of Banks of the South, the absolute priority of which would be to guarantee fundamental human rights.
Eric Toussaint, author of many books about world trade and debt is a leading activist with CADTM.

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