past decade, through both Republican and Democratic administrations, the United States
government has promoted a model of free-market global capitalism that it claimed would
benefit the great majority of people both at home and abroad. This model has failed.
and over the mantra has been repeated that "there is no alternative" to this
deregulated global capitalism. But, from
debates the over NAFTA, Fast Track, WTO, MAI, and the IMF, and from scholars and activists
around the world, progressive alternatives have been emerging. Their aim is to build a new
global economy that benefits poor and working people and the environment around the world,
rather than despoiling the planet and its people to enrich a wealthy elite.
of progressive legislators, NGOs, trade unionists, and expert advisors have recently
helped draft the Global Sustainable Development Resolution, incorporating many ideas drawn
from this international dialogue. The
resolution lays out a path for reconstructing the global economy based on labor and human
rights, protection of the environment, and new initiatives to encourage socially and
environmentally sound national and local development.
Goals: Under the resolution, policy goals of the United
reducing the threat of financial
volatility and meltdown
democracy at every level from the local to
human rights for all people
environmental sustainability worldwide
economic advancement of the most oppressed
and exploited groups
Major recommendations of the
National Dialogue: The U.S. shall
establish a Commission on Globalization to develop the broadest possible dialogue by the
people of the United States on the future of the global economy.
Global Dialogue: The U.S. shall initiate
the establishment of a United Nations Commission on the Global Economy to initiate a
process of global dialogue on the future of the global economy. It will also create a Global Economy Truth
Commission to investigate abuses in the use of international funds and abuses of power by
international financial institutions.
Sustainable Development Agreement: A
series of Bretton Woods-type conferences, with representation of civil society, will make
recommendations for and initiate negotiation of a Global Sustainable Development
Sustainable Development Financial Strategy: Through
such negotiations, the United States will develop and implement a strategy to counter
those aspects of the global financial system that make it more difficult for communities,
regions, and countries to pursue sustainable development.
The purpose of this strategy is to restructure the international financial
system to avoid global recessions, protect the environment, ensure full employment,
reverse the polarization of wealth and poverty, and support the efforts of polities at all
levels to mobilize and coordinate their economic resources.
The financial strategy will provide an alternative
to the "new financial architecture" being proposed by the IMF, World Bank, G-7,
and U.S. Treasury. It will:
encourage economic policies based on domestic
economic growth and development, not domestic austerity in the interest of export-led
encourage the major industrial countries to
coordinate their economic policies to stimulate domestic demand and prevent global
help countries adjust currency exchange rates
without competitive devaluations.
develop means for assuring global liquidity,
such as an expansion of the system of Special Drawing Rights.
reduce the flows of destabilizing short-term
capital by the adoption of capital controls as necessary.
establish standards for and oversee the
regulation of banks and non-bank financial institutions by national and international
encourage the shift of financial resources from
speculation to sustainable development that is useful and environmentally positive, such
as community development and targeted investment for small- and medium-sized businesses
establish a tax on foreign currency transactions
— known as a "Tobin tax" — to reduce the volume of destabilizing short-term
cross-border financial flows and to provide pools of funds for investment in long-term
environmentally and socially sustainable development in poor communities and countries.
create public international investment funds to
meet human and environmental needs and ensure adequate global demand by channeling funds
into sustainable long-term investment.
develop international institutions to perform
functions of monetary regulation that are currently performed inadequately by national
central banks, such as a system of internationally coordinated minimum reserve
requirements on the consolidated global balance sheets of all financial firms.
International Financial Institutions: The
IMF the World Bank, and other International Financial Institutions will be required to
reorient their programs from the imposition of austerity and destructive forms of
development to support for labor rights, environmental protection, rising living
standards, and encouragement for small and medium-sized local enterprises. The IMF will terminate all activities except those
fulfilling its original mandate of addressing short-term external trade imbalances.
Reduction: The United States shall work
with others to write off the debts of the most impoverished countries by the end of the
year 2000. The U.S. will work with other
nations to establish a permanent insolvency mechanism for adjusting the debts of highly
Unaccountable Corporate Power: To help
establish public control and citizen sovereignty over global corporations and reduce their
ability to evade local, state, and national law, the United States shall enter into
negotiations to establish a binding Code of Conduct for Transnational Corporations which
includes regulation of labor, environmental, investment, and social behavior. In addition, corporations incorporated and/or
operating in the U.S. shall be held liable in U.S. courts for harms caused abroad.
International Trade Agreements: WTO,
NAFTA, and all other agreements regulating international trade will be renegotiated to
reorient trade and investment to be means to just and sustainable development.