WASHINGTON - August 29 -
The International Committee of the Green Party of the United States will introduce
a set of eight demands at the World Summit on Sustainable Development ("Earth
Summit") this week.
The eight demands, appended below, stress the need for wealthy nations to lead
the world in overturning policies that have led to a global climate crisis, fossil
fuel dependence, arms races and the threat of war, and an increasing gap between
rich and poor. The demands have been distributed to the major NGO groups officially
affiliated with the U.N. yesterday at the official site of the summit, the Sandton
Convention Center in Johannesburg, South Africa.
"The demands from the U.S. Green delegation address the ruin that trade
authorities such as the WTO, IMF, and the World Bank are causing worldwide,"
said Tim Harthan, Green Party candidate in Iowa for the U.S. Senate. "These
secretive, anti-democratic cabals wreak havoc on the environment, on human rights
and democracy, and on the health and local economies. They overrule local and
national environmental, health, and labor protections and force privatization
of public resources and services, all in the name of investment and the market.
It really means turning developing nations into feeding troughs for corporate
At the top of the list, say Greens, is fresh water, privatization of which
has caused economic hardship and disease around the world. In Cochabamba, Bolivia,
a World Bank mandate in 1999 to hand over the ownership of water to the California-based
Bechtel corporation meant that prices for fresh water rose to a quarter of monthly
earnings for many people. Privatization of water last year caused epidemics of
cholera and typhoid in Ghana.
"The attempt by multinational corporations to control water supplies is
yet another example of the need to reverse global warming and effect regulations
to prevent hardships among those too poor to afford the price of water,"
said Ted Glick, New Jersey candidate for the U.S. Senate, who noted that global
corporations already own or operate water systems that bring them profits of $200
billion a year and serve only 7% of the world's population. "Water, so necessary
to life's existence, should not be an item of trade for profit," Glick added.
Green International Committee co-chair Annie Goeke, in a speech at the People's
Forum for WEDO (Women's Environmental Development Organization) Women's Action
Tent on Monday, August 26, criticized the U.S.'s current military buildup, calling
it symptomatic of the Resource War syndrome. "This form of leadership under
the banner of 'War on Terrorism' has further allowed countries and in particular
'developing' nations to neglect the care for their people as they scramble to
arm themselves with the latest high tech warfare equipment," said Goeke.
Greens at the Earth Summit
will also introduce a petition calling for self-government in the form of statehood
for the District of Columbia. Organized by the D.C. Statehood Green Party, the
petition will be presented to the U.N. Commission on Human Rights.
"It's a disgrace that, in the capital of the free world, American citizens
are denied democracy and equal protection under the law," said Adam Eidinger,
Statehood Green Party candidate for 'Shadow' U.S. Representative for the District.
"The only solution to Congress's power to impose unwanted and destructive
policies on D.C. is political self-determination. It's no coincidence that the
majority of the District's population is African-American, so our situation here
is comparable to that of nonwhite developing nations throughout the world -- which
also suffer unwanted and destructive policies imposed by international trade institutions
acting on orders from the U.S. and other wealthy nations."
The Green Party of the United
National office: 1314 18th Street, NW Washington, DC 20036 202-296-7755, 866-41GREEN
Citizens Guide to the World Summit
Women's Environmental Development Organization
Petition to the U.N. Commission on Human Rights,
in demand for statehood and democracy for the
District of Columbia
Index of Green Party candidates in 2002
* * * * *
Demands for Johannesburg: Eight Key Steps to Global Renewal.
Looking Towards Johannesburg The Environment, Development, Security, and Democracy
Eight Steps to Global Renewal [International Committee of the Green Party of the
Introduction and Summary
The World Summit on Sustainable Development will occur in late August of this
year, in Johannesberg, South Africa on the 10th anniversary of the Earth Summit
held in Rio in 1992. The prospect facing the planet, its eco-systems and its peoples,
has not improved in spite of Rio¹s high hopes; indeed, they are arguably
in a much worse condition.
The gap between rich and poor, both within nations and among the nations of
the world, is greater than ever. Natural resources continue to be extracted without
sufficient attention to the impact on the environment or the long term impact
on the availability of resources for future generations. The planet's forests,
fish, and available water supplies are diminishing due to reckless exploitation
and mismanagement. Conditions for working people have become much worse. Climate
change, global warming, and poisonous air are by common consent now major catastrophes
in the making. Consumers are increasingly exposed to food and water and products
of all kinds that are inimical to their health. Communities everywhere are suffering
greater threats to neighborhood, family values, security of livelihood and physical
safety, often coupled with deadly threats to their eco-systems. The world is increasingly
wracked by a deadly arms race and a misguided war on terrorism. The leadership
of the most powerful countries is in the grip of an obsession for more fossil
fuels instead of making a necessary shift to renewable energy sources. The hopes
for greater democracy heralded by the Rio Summit have all but faded away.
This paper explores the global political context and proposes steps that can
be taken to transform global governance and policies vis-a-vis the environment,
development, and democracy. First, six steps, then a background analysis, and
Eight Steps to Global Renewal
1. Make the closed deliberations of the World Trade Organization (WTO) open
to NGO participation.
2. Require the WTO dispute resolution panels to give as much priority to environmental,
labor, and consumer standards as they do to standards of market fairness and freedom
of trade. In this regard, it must become the norm that the panels will give utmost
consideration to the Precautionary Principle in their deliberations and decisions.
3. Create a World Environmental Organization (WEO) as a partner in tandem with
the World Trade Organization (WTO).
4. Levy a small tax (often called the Tobin Tax) of 0.1% on foreign exchange
transactions, the proceeds -- estimated to be approximately $400 billion per year
-- to be dedicated primarily to drastically reducing the preventable death toll
annually of over 10 million children around the world and to the rapid development
of solar power worldwide.
5. Demand that the developed countries live up to their already existing commitment
to provide aid to developing countries in an amount not less than 0.7% of their
6. Require the IMF and the World Bank to shift their financial aid to developing
countries from loans to grants to a point where at least one half of the financial
outlay is in the form of grants.
7. Make a decision at Johannesberg to convene immediately a special world conference
to achieve a drastic reduction in the production and sale of arms in and among
8. Make a decision at Johannesberg to call upon all nations, including the
government of the United States, to approve the International Criminal Court.