Demonstration To Be Held Today At World Bank
TEXT FOLLOWS: Mobilization for Global Justice
Press Statement For Immediate release August 30, 2001
GLOBAL JUSTICE ACTIVISTS DENOUNCE WORLD BANK'S SHAM DISCLOSURE POLICY
DEMONSTRATION TO BE HELD TODAY AT WORLD BANK
Washington - Global justice activists today denounced an expected new World Bank "Information Disclosure Policy." The disclosure policy, which is itself still secret, is a sham attempt to address the demand of critics that World Bank decision-making be open to the scrutiny of the public and the news media.
The disclosure policy 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 policy specifies what the public is allowed to know and is not allowed to know about the operations of the World Bank.
According to World Bank documents leaked to 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."
Global justice activists and members of the Mobilization for Global Justice will hold an emergency demonstration at the World Bank's headquarters at 1818 H St NW at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 30.
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 265-7714.
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Robert Weissman (cell) 202-904-4068
David Levy (cell) 202-669-5929