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Activists Create Space at Meetings

Posted on 13 October 2012 by json

TOKYO, Oct 13 (TerraViva) – Whether it is finding a venue to push their causes, debating with others or catching up with trends in the work of the IMF and WB, various activists say they have found the Annual Meetings useful.

“It is useful for us to participate in the civil society policy forum during the IMF-World Bank annual meetings because it gives us the chance to present the data and our critics,” said Zachary Hurwitz, policy coordinator for International Rivers based in California, United States.

“Yesterday I shared the seminar on the environmental flows and downstream impacts: The Bank’s Record and Lessons for the Safeguards Review, I was able to show many cases in Vietnam, Laos…South Africa,” he said, adding that he finally got positive feedback from the World Bank.

Jeroen Kwakkenbos, policy and advocacy officer for European Network on debt and development based in Brazil, said: “The most important thing that I am interested in is that (a lot of) African infrastructure development still need to be done,” he said.

But Geoffrey Chongo, programme manager of Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection (JCTR) in Zambia, said that the IMF and World Bank should be prescribing and undertaking reforms mainly for the interest of local people, and not just doing them in order to attract foreign investment.

Over the last few days, he said many discussions focused on reforming tax regulation, access to capital and so forth. “These are the crucial for foreign investors, but not the interest for local people,” he pointed out.  (Sam Rith)


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