The Financing for Development Conference has just ended in Monterrey, Mexico, and to most nothing happened since nothing of great substance was reported. Yet nothing could be further from the truth! Before we take a look at some of the ideas, thoughts and concepts which were discussed, unveiled and decided upon, let us understand several underlying truths.
The first is that this conference was an apex of all the other mega-conferences, dating back to 1972 when the environment was first discussed at the global level in Stockholm. There the foundation was laid for the radical environmental agenda, which in 1992 at the Rio Earth Summit, was embodied in the conference document now known as Agenda 21.
Second, this conference brought corporate CEOs to the global political table where they debated sustainable development as equals with foreign delegates. The fact that multinational corporations are now working in partnership with government represents a seismic shift in the concept, form and governing powers of government. Public private partnerships were always envisioned, even in Rio, but the United Nations did not make them public until 1996 when it was unveiled openly at Habitat II in Istanbul.
Third, this conference will generate its own permanent commission that will follow its progress and plan for future meetings as a way to continue momentum. Here at this conference, an increase in Official Development Assistance, which comes directly from our tax dollars, was the primary goal. While the Tobin Tax or currency transition tax, as it is also called, was not on the agenda, there is great momentum behind the scenes for its passage in future years. The U.N. is never at a loss for ideas in order to further their goals of wealth redistribution, and is using the poor and currency volatility as reasons why a global tax is needed.
With regard to the poor, most underdeveloped countries can point to failed World Bank projects as the beginning of their sorrows. If it was not for all of the financial planning by the World Bank to get them to build nuclear power plants, dams and other types of high-capital-intensive schemes, they would not be straddled with anywhere near the amount of debt which is choking them. If it were not for the poor, the U.N. would not be able to float ideas for confiscation of wealth.
Of the countries slated for debt relief through the Highly Indebted Poor Countries initiative, half of them are gold producers. Of the gold being mined in Mali, 272 percent of its value is what they owe in outstanding debt, while Ghana owes 97 percent and Zimbabwe owes 45 percent according to 1998 figures from the World Gold Council. If gold drops below $260 an oz., it is too expensive to mine. One of the reasons why gold has remained under $300 an oz. for such a long period of time is that the central banks of the world have been selling up to 50 percent of their gold reserves.
Then, to help ensure poverty, there is currency volatility. While part of the currency volatility may be a result of poor economic policies and underdevelopment, I studied the Asian currency crisis in depth and concluded that it was a result of central bank selling of key currencies at the same time that created the appearance of volatility. It is the central banks or private corporations that control the monetary system of the country they are in. Therefore, if word goes out to sell a country’s currency, all central banks will sell it.
In July 1997, nearly 100 countries agreed to open their financial markets, including banks, insurance companies and brokerage firms to foreign banks as part of the World Trade Organization Financial Services Agreement. There were four countries which were not willing to give up the last vestiges of economic sovereignty: Thailand, Malaysia, Korea and to some extent, Japan. Exacerbating their financial problems were the severe demands by the International Monetary Fund that ended up lending them money to help them through the severe currency problems. When I asked a Malaysian official a question at an IMF workshop in 1998 – if coming into compliance with the Financial Services Agreement helped them back to health – they did not answer. After the meeting, I was complimented by a key official for my insight.
Over the years, I have made it a point to talk with various African delegations about the severe financial and economic damage the IMF-World Bank has perpetrated on them. I usually get the same reaction when I ask why they haven’t pulled out of these international financial organizations: “We can’t, they will destroy us by putting economic sanctions on us.”
If all of this were not enough, in 1995, I was talking to a senior financial executive who owned a major international mutual fund company. I was mentioning a very well-known developing-markets portfolio manager. He looked at me with dismay and said, “Well you know what he does don’t you? When he goes to invest in a Third World company, he makes them jump through all of his hoops – which means spending a lot of money, invests with them until the stock runs up, and then pulls his millions, leaves the company flat and goes to another company in another country. He then brags about his financial genius.” Foreign Direct Investment is when mutual funds, trust funds and pension plans invest in companies overseas. This is a key component in helping to create jobs overseas. However, it can wreak havoc when international portfolio managers see themselves as taskmasters instead of investors.
It has taken time, but the United Nations has created the framework of poverty from which to build a platform for global taxation and to change the structure of government to public-private partnership.
Skimming off the top through global taxation is a marvelous and ingenious way to squeeze the “global turnip” which is what the world is in the process of becoming. Think of the thievery – with so much being skimmed off the top, who would know? Two British groups, War on Want and The New Economics Foundation, held a workshop on “The Robin Hood Tax”. They put forth a legal framework for how the tax could be implemented on a global level as well as a structure of the proposed “Global Development Commission” which would basically act as an international treasury.
The CEOs of multinational corporations submitted “11 Business-Driven Proposals on Financing for Development.” They include “Establishing a Global Information Clearinghouse,” “Investment Guidelines for Least Developed Countries,” “Establishment of a World Development Corporation to Fund Regionally-Based Operating Companies,” “Increasing the Number of Viable Water Projects in Developing Countries” and “Making Public-Private Partnerships Work with Business Management and Oversight.”
In conclusion, you and I have become nothing more than a means to an end. In short, feudalism has returned with a vengeance. Unfortunately the United Nations could not accomplish anywhere near what it has if it was not for the support of the United States. Based on the miserable failures of this organization, the whole organization should be disbanded. In 1941, it was President Franklin D. Roosevelt who named the new global body the “United Nations.” You now know the rest of the story.
Joan Veon has done extensive research on the United Nations and their agenda and has attended dozens of U.N. conferences.