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Against Permanent Global War

An "unconditional debt cancellation" and reparation payments for the social and ecological consequences of exploitation over centuries are due to developing countries, proclaims the final declaration of Porto Alegre.
Against Permanent Global War

By Gerhard Dilger and Katharina Koufen

[This article originally published in: die tageszeitung, February 8, 2002 is translated from the German on the World Wide Web, www.taz.de/pt/.nf/spText.Name,neoliberalismus.idx,1.]

{The World Social Forum with 60,000 participants denounced the anti-terror campaign of the US and urged reparations for centuries-old exploitation of the countries of the South. The UN General Secretary praised the diversity of the globalization critics.]

Porto Alegre/ Berlin taz. The World Social Forum ended yesterday in Porto Alegre with a catalogue of demands to the governments of the industrial countries. An gunconditional debt cancellationh and reparation payments for the social and ecological consequences of exploitation over centuries are due to developing countries, proclaims the final declaration of 60,000 participants from 150 countries. Tax havens must be abolished and the Tobin tax introduced on capital exports.

The gneoliberal promises of growth and prosperityh were described as gliesh by the globalization critics who journeyed to the southern Brazilian seaport. Rather social expenditures were cut worldwide and worker rights undermined. The Argentinian crisis is a consequence of the failed neoliberal development model. In addition, the forum participants criticized the US and its allies for expanding the anti-terror campaign into a gpermanent global warh and exploiting it to dismantle civil rights.

150 German delegates arrived from unions, parties and development associations. Some participants criticized the absence of the Greens. Sven Giegold, a spokesperson of the Attac alliance, declared a gbroad social alliance of unions, churches and NGOsh must now be forged. The globalization critics had an gimportant education taskh in showing the diverse effects of neoliberal policy. The World Social Forum will be hosted in Porto Alegre next year and India in 2004.

On Monday a letter was read from the UN General secretary Kofi Annan to the participants. Annan praised the genormous breadthh of themes discussed in Porto Alegre by an gimpressive variety of groups from the civil societyh. Previously at the World Economic Forum in New York, Annan urged the assembled economic elite to invest more money in developing countries. He challenged members of government from the G7 countries to double the governmental economic aid. Technology and science should be mobilized against hunger, epidemics, destruction of the environment and political conflicts. The World Social Forum ended on Monday evening. Around 2700 advocates from politics and the economy had participated.

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