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Statement from Zimbabwean civil society organisations and social movements on the outcomes of the G8 summit
Global Call to Action Against Poverty (GCAP)
July 15, 2005

As the G8 Summit concludes, we the Zimbabwean organisations and national networks, bringing together women’s organisations, labour, researchers, development and advocacy NGOs across the country, meeting under the auspices of the Global Call to Action Against Poverty, would like to express our disappointment at the outcomes of the Summit.

The outcome of the G8 Summit is disappointing in the sense that Zimbabwe will not directly benefit from the Summit’s key provisions. It is lamentable that governance and human rights issues have been used to overshadow Zimbabwe’s legitimate claims to debt cancellation as an issue of social justice and as a condition sin qua non for Zimbabwe to effectively meet the socio-economic development needs of its people. The Highly Indebted Poor Countries conditionalities used to identify the beneficiaries of debt cancellation is at once restrictive and unsuitable for Zimbabwe and other African countries as it only serves to maintain the G8’s guardianship over the economies of debtor countries.

The Summit has simply reaffirmed existing decisions on debt cancellation and doubling of aid. The debt package provides only 10% of the relief required and affects only one third of the countries that need it. While recognising US$500 million in new aid monies, the majority of the US$50 billion pledged is drawn from existing obligations and will not be available until 2010. Further, both packages are still attached to harmful policy conditionalities. The G8 missed a historic opportunity to write off the debt of over 62 least developing countries.

In light of the Summit’s outcomes, we would like to reiterate that:

  • It is immoral for the Zimbabwean government to heed calls for honouring unjust and odious external debt repayments when research has shown that the country’s human development indicators have dropped significantly and basic needs cannot be met.
  • The Government of Zimbabwe should stop all foreign debt repayments and instead utilise the resources it has to address the social and economic crisis affecting the country.
  • The G8 Ambassadors and representatives of institutions like the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, should consider that debt repayment must not be a priority for Zimbabwe and other countries faced with humanitarian crises and severely shrinking economic bases that cannot sustain the basic livelihoods of their populations.
  • The government of Zimbabwe should fully exercise its right top protect our economy and essential health and education services.

Over the next six months, we shall intensify our campaigns for:

  1.   Total and unconditional debt write-off for all of Africa failing which, debt repudiation becomes the logical conclusion for African Governments.
  2. The G8 to meet the 0.7% GNI target for international development assistance and front load those commitments without donor imposed policy conditionality.
  3. The WTO to recognise the right of African states to redress and to protect their fragile economies without losing their right to access industrialised countries markets.
  4.  The removal of OECD market access constraints and an end to subsidies that lead to dumping of products on Africa markets and the crowding out of African producers.
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