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Background on World Economic Forum

7 Sept. 2000

Background on World Economic Forum

1. The World Economic Forum is the driving force behind globalisation, and a principal reason why corporate money-making takes priority internationally over human rights and the environment.

2. WEF summits such as the one in Melbourne next week allow the most powerful firms to mingle with trade ministers and make deals to determine political and economic policies.

3. Members include 1000 CEOs from multinational corporations, academics, trade ministers and heads of state. Hand-picked elite media attend as guests.

4. The WEF does not factor climate change and the need to address it into its global economy philosophies. It promotes boosted energy use, over-production and the transporting of goods further and further from where they are produced.

5. Monsanto and some tobacco companies are members, which is one reason why health lobbyists find it difficult to moderate the promotion of genetically engineered food and cigarettes in third world countries.

6. In Parliament yesterday Finance Minister Dr Michael Cullen dismissed those involved in alternative WEF meetings and protests in Melbourne as "hairy persons somewhat unkempt and unwashed". In fact many mainstream environmental groups, Churches, farming organisations and advocates for third world countries are involved.

7. Australian Green MPs will also be involved, and New Zealand's two MPs will be joining forces with their Australian counterparts in many of the "alternative" meetings and at certain protests. (see Australian Greens release attached.)

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