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World Bank Rejects Demand For Open Meetings

Mobilization for
Global Justice

Press Release
August 29, 2001

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

World Bank Rejects Protestors' Demand For Open Meetings
Critics denounce sham "disclosure policy"

Washington - Critics of the World Bank today denounced the expected approval by the World Bank of a "disclosure policy" that refuses critics' demand that World Bank decision-making be opened to the scrutiny of the public and the news media.

The disclosure policy, which is itself still secret, is expected to be approved by the World Bank Board of Directors on Thursday - in a meeting that will be closed to the public and to the news media. The Information Disclosure Policy specifies what the public is allowed to know and is not allowed to know about the operations of the World Bank.

According to leaked World Bank documents obtained by non-governmental organizations, under the "new" policy, meetings of the Board of Directors will continue to be closed to the public and the news media. Neither transcripts nor minutes of the meetings will be released. Documents on investments in projects such as dams, roads, oil and mining will only be released after project approval, thus blocking public input.

Robert Naiman, a member of the Mobilization for Global Justice, said today, “The World Bank's expected approval of this policy makes a mockery of its claims to be open to considering the demands of critics. The meeting where they will ratify the policy will be secret. The document is secret. Everything is secret. The World Bank seems to fear sunlight more than Dracula.”

The Mobilization for Global Justice will hold an emergency demonstration at the World Bank's headquarters at 1818 H St NW at 6pm on Thursday.

The Mobilization for Global Justice has demanded that all IMF and World Bank meetings should be open to the public and the news media and broadcast on C-SPAN. The MGJ has also demanded that the institutions cancel impoverished country debt, end policies that block access to education, health care, clean drinking water, and other human needs, and end support for environmentally and socially destructive projects, including oil, gas, mining, and dams.

For more information, see www.globalizethis.org or call the MGJ office at 265-7998.

Mobilization for Global Justice
contact: Robert Weissman (cell) 904-4068
Robert Naiman 293-5380 x212
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