Treaty on Alternative Economic Models Preamble 1. Today, the world ...

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Treaty on Alternative Economic Models Preamble 1. Today, the world ...

ong>Treatyong> on Alternative Economic ModelsPreamble1. Today, the world is marked by an interrelated crisis of environment anddevelopment. This crisis is rooted in the dynamics of an economic model which iscentered on the pursuit of profits rather than the promotion of the welfare ofcommunities. This system assumes the consumption of infinite resources in a finiteplanet. This model of development is particularly manifested as follows:2. The free market/free trade model legitimizes an economic order in whichunbelievable affluence is the privilege of a few and globalized poverty becomes thecommon condition of humanity. It has led to destructive consequences such aspoverty, disease, the devastation of the environment and people's cultures, andspiritual misery.3. The social, cultural, political and economic injustices in the international system,support the elites of both North and the South, and widen the gaps among classes,races and sexes. 80% of the world's resources are consumed by 20% of the populationand 80% of global environmental degradation is created by the same 20%. Thedisparity in wealth, power and resources is also increasing. The concentration ofwealth within the richest 20% of the population has jumped from 70.2% in 1960 to82.7% in 1989.4. The neo-liberal State uses its power and violence to enforce and expand thisoppressive economic system under the coordination of the authoritarian BrettonWoods institutions, particularly the World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF)and the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), for the benefit oftransnational corporations' growing monopoly and their control over the worldresources. The Brundtland model of sustainable development will perpetuate thissituation.5. Present expansions of the free-market/free trade ideology undermine the power ofthe States to formulate policies for the protection of natural resources and humanlivelihoods and transforms social relationships and eco-cultural and grassrootscommunities into mere economic variables.6. The patriarchal nature of the dominant industrial system has the effect of increasingthe gap in power and income between men, on the one hand, and women and childrenon the other. For example, domestic work is not valued in the computation of GrossDomestic Product and data show a marked difference in the compensations of womenand men for the same work done.7. We, the non-government organizations (NGOs) and social movements have draftedthis treaty to define and establish alternatives to the dominant economic model and setforth the following principles, political commitment, action plan and follow-upmechanisms. In so doing, we declare our autonomy from both the market and thestate.Principles


8. Our vision of the alternatives to the current economic model is grounded on thefollowing principles:9. The fundamental purpose of economic organization is to provide for the basicneeds of a community, in terms of food, shelter, education, health, the enjoyment ofculture, as opposed to a concentration on the generation of profit and on the growth ofproduction for its own sake. Economic life must also be organized in such a way thatit enhances rather than destroys the environment and safeguards natural resources forthe use of future generations.10. An alternative to the current system must be based on indigenous, communitybased,people-empowering models that are rooted in peoples' experiences, history andeco-cultural reality. This implies incorporating diversity of alternative productionsystems, decision-making processes and technologies, especially those drawn fromindigenous peoples and peasant communities.11. An alternative economic model must recognize and institutionalize a central andequal role for women in shaping economic life.12. An alternative economic model should be based on the relative self-sufficiency ofcommunities, regions and nations, rather than on free trade, the world market andlarge domestic and transnational corporations as the central institutions that determineproduction and distribution.13. Economic life must be informed by bottom-up development strategies, in whichpeople and communities have the power to make economic decisions that affect theirlives, in contrast with the dominant model which marginalizes grassrootscommunities and fosters international economic relations in which the centersubjugates the periphery.14. One of the central ethical foundations of an alternative economic model is theinterdependence of all peoples and the interdependence of peoples and communitiesand the non-human material world. This interdependence demands a system ofsharing resources based on autonomy, equality, participatory democracy andsolidarity. As members of a community, individuals must also take responsibility forliving within the limits of the earth's resources, in contrast with the Northern model ofexcessive consumption.15. Human and economic development indicators should no longer exclusively orprincipally reflect material growth and technological advance but must take intoaccount individual, social and environmental well-being. Such indicators wouldinclude health, gender equalities, unpaid family work, equalization in the distributionof income, better care of children and the maximization of human happiness withminimal use of resources and minimal generation of waste.16. In an alternative economic system, the state will be transformed from beingchiefly a facilitating agent of the present economic system that is dominated bydomestic and transnational corporations, into a mechanism that genuinely representsand serves the people's will and promotes a strategy of relatively self-reliant,


community-centered development.Political Commitment17. Based on the above strategic vision, we the under-signed representatives of NGOsand social movements at the NGO Forum of the June 1992 Global Forum, commitourselves to:a. Return to and identify ourselves with our grassroots communities in order to realizecommunity collective self-reliance and establish alternative community-basedeconomic models.b. Build mutually empowering mechanisms and institutions to establish the alternativeeconomic order.c. Participate in building a people's environment and development movement, startingfrom bio-regional networks' alliances to a global solidarity.Action Plan. We will:18. Mobilize to counter and make democratically accountable the operations of theBretton Woods institutions and the so-called "economic development models"dominated by transnational corporations. This includes the Brundtland model ofsustainable development.19. Work to eliminate existing international debt and to dismantle the unjust systemthat perpetuates international debt creation.20. Reject the transfer of outdated technology and industrial complexes, as well asagricultural export projects which entail high environment and social costs. Wedemand the payment of the environmental debt which the rich countries have incurredwith the poor countries. This payment will ensure that all society benefits from clean,environmentally sound technologies, to support ecological industrial transitionpolicies for both the north and south, readdressing the existing industrial economicmodel.21. Pressure our governments to restructure and redirect the GATT to work towardcreating a global trading system that is fair and serves the interests of all people, aswell as promoting local self reliance and community-based enterprises.22. Mobilize for the reduction of military budgets in all countries, and for theabolition of the international sale of military weapons, and to transfer these budgetaryresources into socially and environmentally appropriate purposes in both the Northand the South.23. Work to establish a carbon emission tax in all nations where the average emissionis one ton or more per person and apply the tax revenues to a fund for thedevelopment of alternative technologies to be shared worldwide.24. Mobilize for drastic reductions in energy consumption and excessive consumer


lifestyles, while encouraging local-regional maintenance economies, centered onsufficiency and frugality.25. Work to develop new socio-economic relationships that are non-exploitative andthat regenerate cooperative customs which protect communities and theirenvironments. These customs and institutions will be supported by the mobilization ofvoluntary exchange programs at all levels.26. Work to develop alliances that build and strengthen solidarity with and amongworkers (e.g. for better salaries and working conditions), urban poor (e.g. for drinkingwater and sewage facilities), rural laborers (e.g. land reform), women (e.g. equity andpolitical participation) and indigenous communities which are threatened withdisplacement.27. Work in our respective communities to advocate for a development fund for theSouth in which Southern nations and people play a central role.28. Mobilize to make transparent all information about development projects anddecision making processes that select and evaluate technologies.Follow-up Mechanisms29. The NGOs and Social Movements will organize in a decentralized, horizontal anddemocratic way at all levels: local, national, regional and international, wherecoordination should develop in the context of actions.30. Although the alternative models will be autonomous and self regulating at alllevels, networking structures as suggested below are imperative to insureaccountability and transformative impact and coordination with other treaty networks.31. Because the Alternative Economic Models ong>Treatyong> process incorporates thealternative development model, it is important that the treaty be given a central placein the entire Global Forum alternative treaties follow-up process.32. The follow-up process for alternative economic models will be an open andporous networking which will:a. identify innovative experiences of developing alternative economic models,networks and networks of networksb. convene, in cooperation with these existing networks, working groups that pursuealternative experiential and theoretical models that can be diffused to and evaluatedby community based groupsc. sponsor, in cooperation with any interested group, national, regional andinternational forums, which promote, refine and actualize the Alternative EconomicModels ong>Treatyong>.33. In order to continuously represent the evolving alternative economic model treatyprocess at the international inter-treaty level, we need to develop mechanisms that

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