Tuesday, 18 December 2007

Open letter of social movements to the creation of the Bank of the South

(Eurodad) Coinciding with the signing on December 9, in Buenos Aires, of the South Bank's Founding Act, hundreds of social movements, networks, organizations and personalities from throughout Latin America and the world are presenting to the Presidents of Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Venezuela, an Open Letter expressing their expectation with regard to the creation of the new financial institution together with proposals intended to ensure that the Bank can indeed contribute to the integration of the region's peoples and the full enjoyment of human and environmental rights and the right to development.

The text manifests the movements' conviction that this South-South entity must break with the experience of existing multilateral organisms such as the World Bank, the IMF, the IDB, and the Andean Development Corporation (CAF), "which are widely recognized today for their non-democratic, non-transparent, regressive, and disaccredited operations". The South Bank must also contribute to overcoming "the negative experience of economic liberalization suffered by the region, with its consequences of ever more indebtedness and the constant draining of capital, deregulation, and the privatization of public patrimony and basic services”.

Among other key points, which build on the proposals presented in June of this year, this Second Open Letter highlights the importance of the South Bank forming an integral part of a new regional financial architecture, which would also include the creation of a South Fund - with the functions of a regional Central Bank, and a common monetary instrument. It also underscores the need for transparency and participation of the social movements in both the negotiating phase as well as the eventual operation of the institution and calls on the Presidents to inform and consult with society and incorporate clear mechanisms of citizen control in the Bank’s establishment.

Entitled For a South Bank Oriented to a Sovereign and Sustainable Development Matrix for the Integration of the Continent in Solidarity, the Open Letter further affirms the need for the new Bank to be an instrument "to safeguard and channel savings within the region, interrupting the recurrent cycles of exaction of national and regional efforts through manoeuvres and deals on the basis of public indebtedness and securities, the subsidization of privileged and/or corrupt local and international private economic and financial groups, and constant backing for speculative transborder capital flows."

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