Declaration of the People's Conference against Imperialist Globalization
Quezon City, Philippines, 21–23 November 1996
We, participants in the People's Conference Against Imperialist Globalization, representing people's organizations, nongovernmental organizations, solidarity groups, movements, networks and individuals from 34 countries in Asia-Pacific, Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, North America and Europe, have come together to confront a common danger and respond to a common challenge.
Monopoly capitalists, frontlined by multinational/trans- national corporations (MNCs/TNCs) backed by their respective states, are in haste to expand and tighten their rule in the world. They have created the bandwagon of “globalization” with its three elements: trade and investment liberalization, deregulation and privatization. These monopoly capitalists, invariably called modern-day imperialists or neocolonial powers, use globalization to extricate themselves from three decades of recurring prolonged recessions induced by the international debt crisis and the crisis of overproduction.
In the post-Cold War era, the traditional imperialist powers that have long divided the world among themselves—the United States, the leading states of the European Union, and Japan — are colluding more than ever. They connive, using their MNCs/TNCs, to exploit and oppress the peoples of the Third World and of the former Soviet bloc, and their own workers too. But in the inevitably intensifying rivalry, each power plots to penetrate and take over the other's domains and redivide the world.
Thus, the promised “new world economic order” of prosperity and peace is far from coming. Emerging instead is a new world disorder far more destructive of the lives of billions of peoples, in industrial and non-industrial countries alike. The prescribed path, free trade, is not free at all.
To advance their unified goal, the major imperialist powers have harnessed various instrumentalities. Chief of these are the United Nations Security Council, the International Monetary Fund- World Bank tandem and its nefarious structural adjustment programs, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, lately restructured as the World Trade Organization (WTO), as well as international, regional and bilateral military alliances and agreements. Reactionary regimes, particularly of imperialist client-states in the Third World, have conspired with imperialism to further this goal.
The major and minor imperialist powers are using regional free trade blocs—principally the European Union, the North American Free Trade Area (NAFTA), and the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC)—to speed up the WTO trade and investments liberalization timetable. Meantime, they secure their national and regional markets. With NAFTA in its tight grip, the US has seized the initiative in APEC to regain economic preeminence over Japan in Asia-Pacific, check China's growing influence, and consolidate American geopolitical hegemony in the region.
In face of this situation, we, participants in the People's Conference Against Imperialist Globalization hereby resolve collectively to oppose globalization in every way and by every means possible in our respective countries and worldwide.
We denounce and oppose the subservient client-states for selling out their peoples' interests. They connive with imperialism in promoting distorted concepts of “democratization,” “civil society empowerment,” and “sustainable development” in a bid to disarm the people and co-opt their organizations into the imperialist strategem.
We oppose imperialist globalization because the schemes it promotes worsen the uneven development among and within nations, intensify the exploitation of peoples, and deepen inequality and social polarization. They accelerate the concentration of wealth in the handful of imperialist states, their MNCs/TNCs and the billionaire-owners, and drive the majority of nations into deeper impoverishment. These schemes also foster mindless consumerism and trash Western culture that warp, marginalize or efface the cultures of Third World peoples and debase their humanity.
Globalization schemes are wiping out jobs and livelihoods in industry and agriculture, both in industrial and non-industrial countries. Evidence we have seen undoubtedly show that globalization is causing mass layoff of workers via “downsizing,” “labor flexibilization,” “labor-only contracting” and other management designs; massive landlessness and worsening forms of feudal and capitalist exploitation of peasants and farm workers; displacement, commodification and modern-day slavery of women; eviction of the urban poor; deprivation of indigenous peoples of their ancestral lands and patenting of their human genes; wanton human rights violations and political repression; commodification of migration; razing of the environment; de-industrialization and bankruptcy of small and medium enterprises; cutdown or total absence of state social services; rising costs of consumer goods and services and declining levels of income and standards of living of the majority of the people. They also aim to deprive the toiling masses of their capacity to organize and effectively fight for their rights and survival and to resist imperialist domination.
No wonder workers and peasants of many countries, men and women alike, have raised their banners in defiance. They and their fellow oppressed represented in this conference—indigenous peoples, women, youths and students, intellectuals, the middle classes, among others—are determined to shatter the myths and expose the false promises of globalization by showing its all-too-real adverse impacts on peoples'lives and environments. More than that, they are waging varied forms of struggles to frustrate globalization.
By its own rapacity and cupidity, monopoly capital is fast bringing together the world's exploited and oppressed peoples to share their common pains as well as their common struggles and aspirations. In more and more countries, they are developing new means of struggle or taking up proven ones, including the revolutionary recourse to armed struggle. Having resisted and survived state reaction and brutal repression, the people are resolved to win.
We hereby resolve to carry out the following actions:
* Fully expose and vigorously oppose the deceptive slogan, destructive schemes, and the programs and policies of globalization in our own countries and worldwide;
* Junk APEC, NAFTA, the European Union and the WTO as imperialist instruments to further subjugate and exploit the toiling masses and peoples of the world;
* Fight for the dismantling of imperialist military alliances, the abrogation of Cold-War vintage security agreements, and the withdrawal of overseas US military bases and troop deployments.
* Struggle to establish a social, economic, political and cultural order in our countries that shall ensure freedom from foreign domination and domestic exploitation and oppression. Develop our natural and human resources for our peoples' well-being. Foster international cooperation based on equality, mutual respect and mutual benefit.
* Resist imperialist economic, political, military and cultural aggression, political repression by reactionary states. Campaign for the freedom of all political prisoners, and demand justice for the victims of all human rights violations;
* Strengthen our anti-imperialist solidarity, perseveringly build our national organizations and alliances and enhance our capacities to carry out both independent and coordinated action programs. Forge strong solidarity links among ourselves and with other anti-imperialist and progressive organizations to further advance the world's anti-imperialist movement.
(Approved and adopted in plenary session by the participants, People's Conference Against Imperialist Globalization, November 23, 1995.)
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