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Activists Walk from World Bank; Bank Also Enumerates Failing States (There’s More!)

In Culture of Corruption, Economic Justice, HIV/SIDA, Immigration, International politics, International Public Health, International Trade, Labor, Misc., US Politics on September 15, 2006 at 12:17 pm

What better place to get info on fair trade activism than the laissez-faire WSJ, and who better for Wolfowitz to blame than Singapore (it sure ain’t his fault!):

Antipoverty activists announce a boycott of the International Monetary Fund/World Bank annual meetings to protest Singapore’s refusal to let some of them enter the country.

After massive antiglobalization demonstrations over the last decade, the international lenders have tried to incorporate nongovernmental organizations into their decision-making. But the relationship isn’t always smooth.

Now 163 such groups say they won’t participate in official events in Singapore. They had planned to raise concerns about the often-austere economic policies the IMF urges its 184 member nations to implement, as well as the environmental impact of dams and other big World Bank projects.

World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz condemned Singapore’s “authoritarian” actions. “The one thing I think I would say is that a lot of that damage has been done to Singapore and it’s self-inflicted,” Wolfowitz told activists at a roundtable, before they walked out. “It is unacceptable.”

An IMF spokesman said of the activist groups: “We have been having productive discussions, and we expect them to continue.”

The letter reads in part:

“In solidarity with those denied entry into Singapore and denied the exercise of their expression, we will stay away from meetings and seminars in Singapore,” the organisations said in a statement.

“We call on all social movements, civil society organisations and networks and individuals to uphold rights of peoples to freedom of expression and association, and to honour this boycott by staying away from official meetings in Singapore.”

The World Bank also enumerated the numebr of “failing/fragile states” in the world this week. I’d say this is the foremost fronteir in the Global War on Terror, but what do I know…

The latest World Bank study on failed and failing states (now called “fragile states”) shows just how rapidly the global situation is deteriorating. As reported in the Washington Post by Karen DeYoung, the number of states that could provide logistical bases and ungoverned spaces for terrorists, transnational criminal organizations and other armed non-state groups has jumped from 17 in 2003 to 26 this year.

The growth of “black holes” and stateless regions is even more alarming when compared to a similar study done by the Bank in 1996, when only 11 states fell into the category of failed states. [more]

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  1. […] and Canada, which will send representatives to the conference. World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz [1] [2] will preside over the talks. The bank aims to make the insurance available for the upcoming […]

  2. As I reported, the UK bank B&B was being taken over and HSBC was one of three contenders to buy the assets after HSBC just laid off 1,100 American workers. Should Americans take all their deposit money out of HSBC? They need to decide for sure. See: http://victory1project.wordpress.com/

    World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz. How has this picture affected American bank situations given political persuasions?

    Detective Krum

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