'Market forces' or greed?
The economic and financial indicators published in the reports of all the relevant ianternational multilateral institutions point incontrovertibly to the increasingly unconscionable inequities in the global human community. What stares us in the face is a world in which the material overabundance enjoyed by a small percentage of this community exists and continues to grow side by side with the deprivation and exclusion of many.
Even in the developed countries themselves, the free reign of 'market forces' leads to glaring injustices and growing gaps. One only need take the common example of corporate practice, in which, in the name of such forces, thousands of workers are laid off, the already excessive remuneration of top executives is simultaneously increased, and the stock market value of the company automatically goes up. The growing power and reach of global financial markets pose an even greater threat to equitable development.
The engine driving these forces - from Enron to Argentina - must be named for what it is: outright greed. How can we rely on such a dysfunctional engine to take us toward sustainable development?
The debt burden of developing countries remains a fundamental obstacle to poverty eradication and human development for all within just and sustainable communities. All the conventional debt relief initiatives proposed so far by bilaterial and multilateral creditors, including HIPC, have failed to adequately address the moral and financial crisis faced by people in low-income countries. Likewise, the FfD process has failed to give due recognition to the urgency of finding a comprehensive and lasting solution to the debt crisis if any real progress is to be made in achieving the Millennium Development Goals.
Justice demands the outright cancellation of all illegitimate debts and the elimination of Structual Adjustment Programs. The root causes of injustice and inequality underlying the debt crisis must be addressed. The credibility of the Northern countries' commitment to financing for development in the post-Monterrey countext hinges in a fundamental way on their willingness to take up this challenge.
The Ecumenical Team advocates the Jubilee principle of a fair start, to include:
Ecumenical Team by Accredited Organisation to Monterrey, Mexico, March 2002
ANGLICAN COMMUNICON OFFICE TO THE UNITED NATIONS
Faga MATALAVEA (Samoa)
Fiu Mataese ELISARA-Laulu (Samoa)
COMMISSION OF THE CHURCHES ON INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS
WORLD COUNCIL OF CHURCHES (CCIA/WCC)
INTERNATIONAL SHINTO FOUNDATION INC,
Hiroko SUGIMOTO (Japan)|
LATIN AMERICAN COUNCIL OF CHURCHES
SISTERS OF MERCY
UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST
UNITED METHODIST CHURCH - GLOBAL BOARD OF GLOBAL MINISTRIES