Transforming World Bank, IMF and World Bank for Distributive Justice for Renewable Resources and Ecological Safety
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Transforming World Bank, IMF and World Bank for Distributive Justice for Renewable Resources and Ecological Safety

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Way back in 2006, I call for an end to ecologically hostile finance system with reasons and movements across the world for the same. Describing concrete examples, hurdles , there is called for......

Way back in 2006, I call for an end to ecologically hostile finance system with reasons and movements across the world for the same. Describing concrete examples, hurdles , there is called for respecting the inter-faith common commands against usury.

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  • 1. Interest free financing for MDGs and global ecological security Transforming World Bank, IMF and WTO for social equity, ecological safety and distributive justice for renewable resource based livelihoods Dr. Muhammad Mukhtar Alam Monday, March 06, 2006 The context Anti-globalization protest defines our times as much as there are endeavors for globalization of the movement of capital and technologies, labour and services, consumption and production patterns. Globalization of the non-renewable resource based consumption and production pattern has been indicted to be responsible for increase in the emission of green house gases. Millennium Development Goals has been signed along with several other documents that call for action for ensuring justice for all and ensuring an era of peace with justice. In India, Wada Na Todo Abhiyan (Keep the promises campaign) and a group of organisations organized a South Asia Peoples Summit Against Poverty in September 2005 where declarations reflected the demands of the people, marginalized all over the country. Special sessions were conducted on globalization that called for scrutiny of the foreign capital in the country while describing World Bank, WTO and IMF as part of the “unholy trinity” that is presiding over the misery of people and destruction of planet. Declarations of the People Summit Against Poverty have been shared with UN. Civil Society organizations have organized several events under Global Call to Action Against Poverty (GCAP). There is a global UN campaign for realizing millennium development goals with calls for debt cancellation and debt forgiveness for realizing millennium development goals. Events have been planned all over the world calling for debt cancellation. Oxfam has led a campaign for debt relief and trade justice. Some announcement for debt reliefs were made but then the same was proposed for deduction from the grants that were to be provided under the official development assistance. It can be seen that debt relief is not a sustainable solution as A note for GCAP and MDG campaign 1
  • 2. Interest free financing for MDGs and global ecological security there is no guarantee that unsustainable debts will not be created in the future. Therefore, there is a need to get beyond the call for debt cancellation and work for addressing the root cause of indebtedness within and among the nations and institutions. This paper will focus on the following:  Addressing the root cause of indebtedness  Establishing linkage of the usurious finance system with the ecologically hostile development paradigm promoted as part of globalization of the prescriptions of the economists of Washington consensus and protected through the formulation of security doctrines that does not care for the ecological implications of the globalization of unsustainable consumption and production patterns.  Protecting the ecologically sustainable livelihoods as part of poverty reduction  Establishing local and global solidarities of action for transforming the finance sector There are evidences supporting the case of the transforming the processes and redesigning the mechanisms that ensure freedom from indebtedness. It is important to seek redress of the root cause of the indebtedness. Forgiving the debts and transforming the debt to aid could be one time solution but ensuring protection of the local resources and revenue receipts from taxation in the highly indebtedness nations is critical for preventing the outflow of hard earned foreign exchanges. This can be done only through freeing the debt from interest as interest based debts will continue to be a reason for the outflow of the hard earned foreign exchanges and chronic indebtedness of the nations. Thus freedom from interest based debt and money is a critical step for addressing the root cause of indebtedness of the poor and developing countries that also form the group of highly indebted countries. It has been also established that continuation of interest bearing debt based financing is ecologically hostile. Creation of the infrastructure without having a guaranteed supply of the energy is also ecologically hostile. This makes it imperative that international and national finance sector is transformed. Considering the above, the paper will attempt to address the following questions: A note for GCAP and MDG campaign 2
  • 3. Interest free financing for MDGs and global ecological security  Why there is a need to transform the finance sector and transform World Bank, IMF and WTO  What is being done at the global level towards transformation  What is being done at the national level  What can be done  How to strengthen the movements and get results Reasons for transforming the finance sector Evidences are mounting indicating the need to transform the finance sector radically though there is not much discussion in the civil society about the ways transformation can be effected. Even the left has no clue, as they are more content with demonizing the capitalist order. Based on the learnings from interaction with the e-forums and movements globally , I would like to cite the following reasons for transforming the World Bank, IMF and WTO. 1. Increasing demands on the state to ensure equity and ecological sustainability- Following the demands of the movements and scientific assessments ensuring ecological sustainability and global equity of the consumption and production processes has been accepted as a key consideration and sustainable development paradigm has been accepted to be part of the development policies of the nations that have signed the millennium development goals. Realization of the millennium development goals for sustainable consumption and production cannot be achieved without decelerating the consumption of fossil fuel based services and utilities. This is needed for meeting the challenges of the climate change and addressing the Kyoto Protocol emission targets. While technology transfer, clean development mechanisms can have impact, it is important to get the required reduction in the global emission of the green house gases through transforming the consumption, production, budgetary allocation and foreign direct investment (FDI) patterns. Eliminating generation of debt-based money is an important way to A note for GCAP and MDG campaign 3
  • 4. Interest free financing for MDGs and global ecological security minimize the flow of money in the economies of North and South. It is important to stabilize the currency values and ensure protection to the ecologically sustainable sources of livelihoods across the world. An unprecedented heating of economies is being offered as the vision for growing economies such as India and China without realizing the limits to the sustainability condition of the exhaustible resources. There is guarantee for ensuring sustainability of the GDP growth rates as there is no guarantee for the supplies of energy for fuelling the transportation systems based on fossil fuel based energy. 2. Increased debt service obligation due to the charging of the compound interests- debt service obligations of the nations in South and North need to be eliminated for ecologically sustainable growth and for liberating resources for ensuring access to basic services. Some years ago India had to pay more than 40% of the tax receipt for servicing the debt. The money could have been used for developing infrastructure for providing basic services. This is applicable to many nations of the South that are advised to reform their economies for attracting more and more FDIs while being compelled to the repay the debts through getting more loans under various stabilizing mechanisms. Charging of compound interest for both short tem and long term loans needs to be avoided as this is responsible for the outflow of the foreign currency and tax receipts /local resources that are vital for the ecologically sustainable development needs. 3. Creation of fiat money/ usurious money is accelerating globalization of non- renewable resource based consumption and production patterns. Profit motive being the key drives all the operations of the World Bank, IMF and other regional banks such as Asian Development Bank. Making profit from want is presented as a legitimate reason for charging of interest even for the creation of productive and ecologically sustainable capacities in the developing countries. It would be important to liberate banking and finance from usury and charging of the interests. This will have salutary effect on the movement of capital, as lots of capital will be lost due to A note for GCAP and MDG campaign 4
  • 5. Interest free financing for MDGs and global ecological security the deletion of usurious money from the books of the accounts. Banks will have no incentive for charging interest on the loans. 4. Globalization of the discontent due to the impacts of climate change- more and more people are suffering from the impact of climate change that has been induced by the emission of inequitable consumption of the fossil fuel based services and utilities across the cities that are experiencing various sorts of globalization. Differential responsibility for addressing the climate is a hurdle that needs to be addressed. Exclusion of China and India has been resented as the countries with higher emission levels are called for meeting the targets while the developing economies are provided time. Deletion of the usurious money from the system will have a significant impact on the development financing and analytic and advisory outputs will be geared for ensuring social equity and ecological sustainability while catalyzing civil society and political action for simultaneous adoption of consumption patterns that are ecological friendly and social equitable with focus on the ecologically sustainable livelihoods. John Bunzl www.simpol.org has been advocating the principle of simultaneity for meeting the global challenges and this is need for sharing of the interest free loans at interpersonal, national and global levels. 5. Interest based debt financing with freedom for deregulated banking creating inequitable prosperity and unsustainable accumulation of wealth. Usurious finance system is responsible for over accumulation of wealth in some countries that are benefiting some of the corporations. Instances of distributive injustices galore and they fuel the call for ensuring the divide for the consumption pattern within and between the regions and populations groups. Debt relief has been accepted for some countries that are highly indebted. Uganda is an example where sustained growth has be projected with the freedom from debt service obligations. Accumulation becomes unsustainable as there are growing economic divide within the countries that protect usurious institutions. Also accumulation of nonrenewable resource based wealth is transitory. A note for GCAP and MDG campaign 5
  • 6. Interest free financing for MDGs and global ecological security 6. Dispossession of the poor due to non-payment of interest based loans within and between the nations- many among the poor and dalits have lost their small landholding for paying the usurious loans collected from the moneylenders in the rural areas. Situation in the urban area may be slightly different where access to public health services is relatively better. Shaheed a construction worker got a serious injury in the head and he succumbed to death as medical attention was not provided in time. Sajnu got his leg dismembered due to lack of medicine in right time for small wound in the leg. Bhikhan, the father of Sajnu in a village called Kishandaspur (Bihar) in Bhagalpur district and had to sell his land for meeting the medical costs for his son. There are many poor and dalits who are suffering and losing their smallholdings for meeting the medical costs in the various states of India. Arif a young boy is suffering from ulcer and his parents had to take a usurious loan of Rs.18,000,- for meeting the medical costs. Arif is suffering from peptic ulcer and his father has taken a usurious loan for meeting the medical cost. Aseer , the father of Aseer and Darudni his mother are working hard as sharecroppers for meeting the cost of his son and they are using the hard earned food grains to pay off the usurious loans .His parent may not be able to pay all the amount and his hard earned livelihood as a sharecropper will be needed to pay for the loan he incurred for meeting the medical costs .There are millions of such cases where poor and dalits are feeling the burnt of the privatization of the medical assistance services and lack of access to affordable medicine and public health delivery services. It is likely that millennium development goals for health may not be achieved if access to quality health care is not ensured and poor are not freed from pawning their meager resources. Farmers have committed suicides in the several states of India, as they have not been able to pay the usurious loans. Formation of the union of wives of such farmers named All India Widow and Destitute Women’s Movement is a testimony of the peoples suffering. They demonstrated in Delhi and met Sharad Pawar, the Union minister for Agriculture, Government of India. Indebtedness of A note for GCAP and MDG campaign 6
  • 7. Interest free financing for MDGs and global ecological security the nations similarly dispossesses and deprives the nations of the vital resources and tax receipts that could be used for providing basic services. 7. Ecologically hostile development paradigm is getting accelerated application eliminating renewable resource based livelihoods- Usurious finance system is responsible for the generation of fictitious money that is being pumped in the ecologically sustainable economies for projects that are ecologically not sustainable. This is being done through arguing for more foreign direct investment and then creating a better regulatory environment for investments. This has been part of most of the Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers that have been done for obviating the critique for the structural adjustment programmes that were launched in early 90s after collapse of Soviet Union. 8. Instituting interest free transactions across the world for ensuring environment sustainability and ecological safety – For those who have been convinced of the need to remove usury from the transaction of value at various levels, it is important to transform the institutions that are involved in shaping the investment patterns across the regions and continents. There is a need to communicate on the eliminating permission for private money lending through charging of usury. There is need to communicate that all men and women believing in God and the Day of Judgment must stop charging interest on the money that has been lent. There is need to educate the future generations through including this in the curricula at all levels. There is a need to eliminate usury and interest from the loans. This could be one of the major demands of GCAP as it is easier to convince for interest free loans then debt cancellation by all the nations that are highly indebted. Returning the principal amount is easier and more dignified. Even so, forgiving debt is itself a virtuous act. Actions at the global level A note for GCAP and MDG campaign 7
  • 8. Interest free financing for MDGs and global ecological security 1. Global Justice Movement www.globaljusticemovement.net argues that usury is not necessary. They have based their conclusions on the need to generate interest free loans for productive capacities. Rodney Shakespeare and Robert Ashford base their conclusions on the work on binary economics. Dr. Muhammad Mukhtar Alam has argued for the need to adopt monotheistic framework for resolving the disputes and creating a global consensus for transforming banking and money where charging interests is considered a non- negotiable foundation. Norman Kurland through advocacy of the Third Way is calling for the elimination if usurious finance. 2. American Monetary Institute www.monetary.org is seeking reform in USA . Stephen Zarlenga concluding a recent conference in Washington called for the need for wider acceptance of the need to reform the monetary system. Currently he is organizing second conference for this in the city of Los Angels. Details can be seen at www.monetary.org 3. Local exchange trading system LETS promoting barter followed by hundreds of groups across Europe www.letslink.org . There is recognition of the need to promote exchange of commodities and services in real terms rather than through using paper currency. People are already exchanging services and commodities in LETS network. More than 250 networks have been formed across Europe recognizing the evils of the paper currency and eliminating usury. 4. JAK bank (Sweden) calls itself first interest free bank. They are running the bank based on the principle of cooperation without charging interest. All those participating in the bank are stakeholders and they are running the bank through recognizing the peoples need for transaction of value rather than for being part of the enterprise where peoples need are exploited for generating usurious profit for some of the stakeholders. A note for GCAP and MDG campaign 8
  • 9. Interest free financing for MDGs and global ecological security 5. Islamic banking (banks following the commands against the usury) is based on sharing of the losses and sharing of the profits and Muslims globally are interested in freedom from the usurious finance system. Allah commands all to forgive debts if possible and stop charging usury. There are several verses in Qur’an to this effect. There are commands in the Bible and Sanskrit texts as well. Muslims feel that Christians and Jews should follow the commands of God in Bible and they should join their forces for liberating banking from usury. Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs , Jains following the commands need to oppose partaking of the food obtained through usurious money. Thus all of us with various religious identities need to say No to usury. Saying No to usury thus is not only pleasing for God but also for establishing fair deals for fellow human beings in need. Globalisation of the usurious finance system is responsible for the ecologically hostile and socially inequitable distribution, consumption and production patterns. Thus abolition of the ususry from the loans is part of the negations that are ecological imperative. In Dubai, Islamic Mint www.islamicmint.com produces e-dinars and it is selling its e-gold products following the Islamic standards. The e-dinars are produced for fulfilling the religious obligation of paying zakat better. 6. In London, a campaign called Campaign for Interest free money has been launched www.interestfreemoney.org for making money and banking interest free. This indicates the fact that more and more people are joining the crusade against exploitative usurious finance system. There are more and more reasons to attend to the call of the movements and call for the need to transform the institutions and transform the individual mindsets that are supportive of the usurious finance system. 7. Bernard Laitier conceived EURO and defined the exchange mechanisms. He has called for the rethinking money in an article that was published in the Ecologist. He has proposed “terra” to be the global stable currency. A note for GCAP and MDG campaign 9
  • 10. Interest free financing for MDGs and global ecological security 8. David Korten , the author of “When Corporations Rule the World” changed his thesis for pointing out that it is the finance system that is responsible for the over accumulation of wealth, unstable security environment and accelerating ecological degradation. In his powerful article once posted at http://intraforum.com/money, he has called for interest free money. David Korten has led the anti-globalization movements. 9. www.seektoknow.net/money contains an article produced by Samita Barua. She has built on the writings of Buckminister Fuller and argues for interest free banking and money. She writes from a Buddhist perspective. 10.Brettonwoods project is keeping a watch on World Bank, IMF and WTO and their projects and programmes. There are several movements that are weary of the machinations of the Bank and Fund though they are not exactly proposing what the Fund and Bank should. This paper contains the ideas for seeking a change in the operational principles of banking and finance. Transforming money/finance in India 1. Bharat Jan Andolan has launched national Movement for the eradication of usury under the overall guidance of BD Sharma. BD Sharma has extensively worked on the state of farmers and agricultural credit details the history of dilution of laws preventing usury in Bihar and other states. He has spoken in the various forums and has called for national mobilization for liberating the debtors from compound interest. 2. South Asian People Summit Against Poverty called for transformation of the “unholy” trinity of World Bank, IMF and WTO – Peoples Summit Against Poverty was organized on 3-4 September and there was a special session on globalisation. Prof. Babu Mathew had drafted the concept paper with the input from the people’s movements. Recommendations included scrutiny of the foreign capital, transformation of the policies of World Bank, WTO and IMF. A note for GCAP and MDG campaign 10
  • 11. Interest free financing for MDGs and global ecological security 3. Arundhati Roy has been writing extensively on the need to transform institutions through exposing the working of World Bank. Her writings and participation in the movements of the oppressed and displaced are part of the expressions of the strong opposition to the globalisation of the ecologically unsustainable development policies across the world. What can be done 1. Build solidarities of action and communication for transforming the finance sector – Considering the criticality of the millennium development goals , it is important to free the resources for investment is sustainable social development projects that help men and women in preserving ecologically sustainable livelihoods across the nations and regions. Governments, networks, civil society organisations, movements, citizen groups and clubs all need to call for action against usurious transaction. A Global March/Movement for Transforming Finance Sector is proposed for discussing suitable actions all over the world. 2. Call for transforming functioning and principles of banking and money- It is important to call for transforming World Bank, IMF and WTO and make them ecological friendly and socially responsive. Considering the call for elimination of usury from the transactions across the religions, it can be seen that responses are for the pleasure of God as well and thus in the best interests of all. 3. Seek consensus for the unified proposal for World Bank, IMF and other key banker of bankers-Islamic movements, liberals, democrats, Muslims, Greens, Left, faith leaders and all need to unite for generating the mass movement for a unified proposal for transforming institutions. As per the established procedures, first and foremost is to generate acceptance for the proposals that are ecologically sound and that serve the best interests of future A note for GCAP and MDG campaign 11
  • 12. Interest free financing for MDGs and global ecological security generations. The consensus can be generated for liberating debts from simple and compound interest. God fearing men and women leading the governments and organization will have not difficulty in accepting the proposal. Those who do not believe in the merit of abolishing usury can be persuaded for abolishing usury considering the ecological limits to globalization of non-renewable resource based consumption, production and urban planning patterns. 4. Include the demand for transforming money and banking in all the communications related to poverty reduction- Millennium Development Campaign has been focusing on the goals 1-7 and call to the funding consortiums have been made for increasing aid for the nations as part of goal number 8. It is extremely unlikely that goal number 7 for ensuring environment sustainability will be met unless there is a global adoption of interest free banks and debts. 5. Combine the learning of secular and faith based perspectives for making money and banking interest free-The work of Rodney Shakespeare and Robert Ashford on binary economic analysis has proved the need to get rid of usury. Global Justice Movement recognizes the importance of Islam-submitting to the commands of Allah. Binary economic analysis is a secular analysis and it has been concluded that interest is not necessary. Muslims will be the happiest if they have to deal with usury free local/regional/national/international transaction neighborhood. It is only men and women who have not faith in the commands of Allah who will resist the communication based on the need to seek best here and in hereafter through eliminating usury from the transactions. Pious Jews, Christians, Hindus, Sikhs, Zoroastrians, Buddhists and Jain are equally cognizant of the commands against charging interest for loans in the related Sanskrit texts. Following the dictum of not loving things that one does not like for oneself, ones own relatives and dears one , it is likely that all of us following various religions will stand up against the usury and call for abolition from our own transactions and from the transaction of institutions. A note for GCAP and MDG campaign 12
  • 13. Interest free financing for MDGs and global ecological security Strengthening movements safeguarding futures 1. Environmental sustainability is linked with the development model – globalization of fossil fuel based consumption and production pattern is proving deadly for ecological safety. There are many evidences for the same. Increased intensity of the cyclones are linked with global warming that is directly related with increased emission of green house gases. Globalization of ecologically hostile development paradigm supported through usurious finance system has to be halted, as it is responsible for creating socially inequity in the consumption and production patterns at the global scale. Delhi is an example of a city that is experiencing the same. Metro project has consumed lot of space that had trees while there is no guarantee for the supplies of energy in the future. India has been forced to vote for an immoral position on Iran for securing nuclear energy with the assistance of the US and other countries controlling the supplies of Uranium. One the one hand, tribal and forest dwellers are being relocated for industrial development and defense related projects, on the other hand they are being relocated for the protecting the wild species. Such policy moves are depriving millions from access to ecologically sustainable livelihoods that had been available for millions of years. Apparently globalization of non-renewable resource based consumption and production is being sought without recognizing the facts that fossil fuels and such other treasures gifted by God is exhaustible. Dean Steele supporting the globalization of hydrogen fuelled vehicles calls for preservation of the hydrocarbons for essential need and not for leisure and pleasure. 2. Movements and institutions need to understand the linkage and call for transforming the finance sector and transforming consumption pattern as a global imperative- There is need to understand this linkage and disseminate across the movements and CSOs. Making loans wipes out the fictitious money. Transforming consumption pattern through adopting alternative measures for A note for GCAP and MDG campaign 13
  • 14. Interest free financing for MDGs and global ecological security leisure helps in the deceleration of the consumption of the fossil fuel based energy intensive utilities. GCAP must not promote energy intensive poverty concerts as that is an ecologically hostile activity. Several organisations and movements boycotted th same in New Delhi on 4 September. Such events are hurdles in realizing the MDGs for environment sustainability and they are part of the copycat atheistic neo-liberal globalisation of leisure use patterns that include use of energy intensive modes of peoples assemblies for communication and entertainment. 3. Global call to action against poverty should consider this as part of consistent communication strategy- GCAP and Millennium Development Campaign ought to consider the need to free resources for social development across the regions through abolishing interest based loans and minimizing budgetary allocation for defense. The Global Compact for realizing the millennium development goals needs to consider the need to transform financing for developing through calling for interest free money and debt both for ecological justice and social justice. Large sums of money for serving the debt must stop for ensuring ecologically sustainable development across the world. Money freed can be used for realizing the MDGs 1-7 while ensuring global partnership and meeting the MDG 8 for a just and ecologically sustainable world. 4. Creating synergy through making this a cross cutting concern- There is a need to have a united recognition of the need to transforming operational principles of banking for meeting and there is need to create global mobilization of people for the same. We can see that interest free loans are good for all. We will not have to reckon with the violent armed struggles that are responsible for the loss of lives, We will have ecologically sane development across the world .We may have an utopia realized here in now that is responsive to the concerns of collective human security, ecological safety, social justice, global compact for A note for GCAP and MDG campaign 14
  • 15. Interest free financing for MDGs and global ecological security MDGs. We would be ready to meet the interspecies justice and secure an ecologically sustainable, social just future for future generations and ourselves. Hurdles UN system has been advised to identify hurdles in realizing the MDG. It can be seen that usurious finance system is single most important hurdle along with exhibitionist consumption patterns that is propelled by the globalization of atheistic neo-liberal political and cultural ideology. 1. Economists and corporations who are interested in preserving the status quo- Economists associated with the Washington Consensus process are known to be forwarding the idea that has been captured by some as market fundamentalism. Some Greens also think that privatization of all the services will permit incorporation of the ecological costs as corporations can not run without the support of the consumers who respond to prices for their consumption patterns. Even so, we can consider the amount of ecological rucksacks and footprints that will have to be mitigated if there is no conscious global action for transforming the World Bank and other bankers. Application of atheistic social Darwinism for access to the nonrenewable resource based consumption patterns and status markers will be extremely dangerous in a world where politics of identity is being played at the global level through subjugating the class and religion based discourses for local and global governance. 2. Men and women who wish to continue the enterprise of discontent without finding solutions through organizing ecologically hostile conferences –This is being said considering some patterns across the conferences that are organized for meeting the global challenges and for solving the global problems. The work on AIDS can be seen as an example where a faith A note for GCAP and MDG campaign 15
  • 16. Interest free financing for MDGs and global ecological security based communications is prohibited recognizing the need to protect a privileged position for the adulterers. Meetings of the financing for development have been organized while recognizing the fact that some issues are not practical. It is likely that the propositions contained in this paper are described utopian. That is why, it is important to expand the knowledge base and seek radical solutions. Organisations such as Action Aid promoting radical solutions are expected to take the proposal for transforming the fundamental principle of banking and money for ensuring global stability and ecological safety. It is expected that GCAP will seize the historic opportunity for advocating and changing the financing for development through making it interest free. We may have a better scenario for poverty in the year 2015, if we could ensure that financing for MDGs is debt free. 3. Political parties that are not aware of the long-term needs – Green Parties across the world though with a following of the minority are cognizant of the need to address the ecological challenges. Left do not appear to be arguing specifically for meeting the ecological challenges as they still appear not to be distinguishing between the call for distributive justice for nonrenewable and renewable resource based livelihoods. Even so, outcome of their resistance for halting the march of atheistic neo-liberal capitalism are eco friendly. They need recognize the contribution of the faith based political parties such as Christian democrats, PAS , Hamas and others across who recognize the importance of seeking eternal well-being for all through promoting the use of faith based measures. Use of violence by some groups can be seen in the specific social, political and cultural context. Maoists in Nepal seek establishing of constitutional democracy (The Hindu, Feb 9-10 2006) with or without the monarchy. They have been calling for an end to the monarchy for promoting competitive democracy and seek the change though violent actions if required. There is need for all the political parties to understand the collective challenges .It would be useful for colleagues in GCAP and MDG campaign if the conferences were A note for GCAP and MDG campaign 16
  • 17. Interest free financing for MDGs and global ecological security organized for educating the political leaders across the world. It is possible to generate agreement on the commons for transforming the finance sector as the call is being made utilizing both secular and faith based arguments. Government and corporate sector could also organize meetings and discussion for establishing the argument for transforming the finance sector and consumption patterns. Governments are responding to the same and the pace can be accelerated with the formulation of key propositions that are addressing for eliminating the crosscutting hurdles. 4. Lack of education on the faith-based alternatives- there is significant absence of education on faith-based alternatives for addressing the issue of poverty, indebtedness, and development and there are strong resistances globally for the faith-based alternatives. Author has grown to believe that adoption of the commands of God noted in the texts of various religious traditions is needed for facilitating decisions against usurious finance system. There are call for resisting and opposing the globalisation of the economic system but then there does not exist articulation and discussion on the faith based alternatives as that is associated with Samuel Huntington’s thesis on clash of civilizations. There are assessments of the “postmodern” condition without any prescription for an alternative form of economic, political, cultural and global governance. Solutions 1. Institutionalization of the discourse on transforming the finance sector – This is being proposed considering the need to educate for global action, as we may not get the results quickly. The ICT enabled communication; capacity building and dissemination packages will be able to quickly transmit the key arguments with local actions across the world. Inclusion of the interest free banking as a theory and practice is an urgent academic innovation that needs inclusion in the teaching of economics across the world. As of now, there does A note for GCAP and MDG campaign 17
  • 18. Interest free financing for MDGs and global ecological security not exist arguments for interest free banking derived from the faith based communications as they have been ignored by the atheistic rationalists. Already there are associations of ecological economists who have been arguing for rethinking progress. Richard B Norgaard has called for the same through exposing the myths around the definition of progress. Pavel Kasyanov , the president of Ecological Economists Association in Russia had been part of alternative draft of WSSD in 2002 along with the author of this note and Michael Ellis. 2. Mass mobilization for abolishing usury from interpersonal and institution transactions –Mass mobilization is need for creating a global consensus for calling World Bank and other banks for eliminating usury and interest from the transactions. God fearing men and women will be most forthcoming is supporting the move as they would not be able to say Yes to usury fearing the destiny on the Day on Judgment. There are clear commands. More awareness and communication on the issue will be required for social groups where even faith- based communication against usury is low. For atheistic rationalists, it would not be possible to deny the ecological impact of the globalization of non-renewable resource based consumption pattern. Greens all over the world cannot deny. Atheistic communists cannot fail in recognizing usury to be the important of part of capitalism. Buddhists and Jains would not be able to deny considering the injunctions and exhortations for choosing the right livelihood. Hindus would not refuse the precepts of dhammapada. (Please refere the article on The History of Interest at www.monetary.org that has cited commands in the sacred texts across the religions). It can be seen that with such an understanding , it would not be possible to refuse the arguments. I think, this ought to be key proposition for the action plan of GCAP till 7 July 2007. We could demand all the financing for development to be interest. Make developing financing interest free for MDGs and poverty reduction globally and locally. A note for GCAP and MDG campaign 18
  • 19. Interest free financing for MDGs and global ecological security 3. Review of the monotheistic perspective for united endeavor at all levels- This is being suggested considering the appropriateness of the monotheistic framework for generating united power for transforming financing for development and then for transforming consumption patterns. Induction of the standards of piety all in the civil society movements with adoption of prayer and meditation 5 times is a powerful tool for transforming behavior, decision and consumption patterns across the world. Promotion of interest free loans saves lots of poor in India who are approaching the moneylenders for meeting medical assistance, buying inputs for agriculture and other. Freedom from debt service obligations provides a lot of resources that can be used for providing vital medical assistance to the poor who are being left at the mercy of the market forces. A church movement called Sojourners in US www.sojourners.com is calling for application of the communications of Jesus Christ (Peace be upon him) for transforming foreign policy and social security establishment in US. 4. Discussions with the World Bank, IMF and other institutions- there is need to initiate discussions with the World Bank while seeking global application of UNDP promoted Sustainability Index for investments in general and FDIs in particular. There is a need to point out the need for the adoption of internal coherence in pursuing the development policies. Use of environment impact assessments needs to be informed more stringently considering the frequency of natural disasters that are more man made. Ecological audits1 are be made compulsory each year for the institutions and governments. 5. International meet on the solutions- It is possible for GCAP to decide for regional conferences for discussing the solutions. UN may be requested to consider an international meet for transforming the finance sector and consumption pattern for social justice and collective ecological safety. 1 The proposal for conducting Ecological Audit had been proposed by the author in the meeting of Wada Na Todo Abhiyan in January 2006 and the author of this note is in the process of developing the operational procedures for conducting the same. A note for GCAP and MDG campaign 19
  • 20. Interest free financing for MDGs and global ecological security Governments may be requested to consider the need to present memorandums to the World Banks for transforming the finance sector. 6. Inclusion in the MDGs- This note has been developed considering the inclusion of debt relief in the millennium development goals while recognizing that the relief is a temporary measure. There is need to call for debt free financing and interest free debts for the realization of millennium development as inequities can not be addressed without addressing the underlying reason for equity. There is a need to eradicate the reason for indebtedness within and between the nations and eliminate the morally abominable, socially inequitable and ecologically hostile practice charging interest on the loans. Recognizing the criticality of MDGs, there is need to suggest transforming finance sector and financing for MDGs at least by 7-7-2007 when globally we will be mobilizing for assessing the achievement of MDGs. Reference: 1. Human Development Report 2003, Millennium Development Goals: A Compact Among Nations to End Human Poverty UNDP 2. Global Justice Movement www.globaljusticemovement.net 3. Islamic Mint www.islamicmint.com 4. American Monetary Institute www.monetary.org 5. Social Watch India: Citizens Report on Governance and Development 2004, National Social Watch Coalition 6. Interviews with Prachanda, the leader of Maoists in Nepal ,The Hindu, February 9-11,2006 A note for GCAP and MDG campaign 20