APMDD Statement on International Youth Day, August 12 2022
The Asian Peoples’ Movement on Debt and Development stands in solidarity with the youth of Asia and the rest of the world who are engaged in many struggles to resist tyranny, end inequalities and fight for just, equitable, fair societies compatible with the health of the planet. Amidst the multiple crises of climate, economy, and health, young people across the globe demonstrate impassioned dedication to justice.
Climate Justice and Urgent Climate Action
Science tells a bleak story of the future of the Global South's youth: the world will be facing huge catastrophic climate change impacts if the world fails to undertake swift, ambitious, just and equitable climate actions. Climate-induced disasters and other impacts will continue to be stronger and more frequent for sometime to come before climate systems are stabilized with appropriate climate actions. Our already-limited access to food, land, and water resources will further be restricted, leading to further deepening of poverty, intensification of hunger.
Despite dramatic and recognized evidence that fossil fuel systems are not only a major cause of the climate crisis but also have immediate harmful effects on people and communities, governments and corporations are failing to stop building new fossil fuel projects and pursuing rapid phase out of existing ones and replacing them with clean and renewable energy. Some governments of the rich, industrialized countries have even been using the current energy crisis as justification for backtracking on their pledges, increasing the production and consumption of fossil fuels and building new fossil gas projects. They should instead speed up the shift away from expensive fossil fuel energy and accelerate the building of renewable energy systems that are not only healthier for people and planet but are also more cost-effective.
Every child deserves the right to live in a safe and healthy environment, with access to clean air and water. However, this isn’t the case for children in Bangladesh who have to grow up in the shadow of coal plants polluting their very air. This isn’t the case for children in the Philippines whose villages suffer due to the pollution carried by mining projects downstream. These conditions are true for many children in the rest of Asia and the world. Every time governments and corporations fund new fossil fuel projects, or engage in financially unsustainable loans, it signals to the people that they continue to ignore their mandate of caring for the present and for future generations.
Building peoples’ resilience to the impacts of the climate crisis, addressing loss and damage, and pursuing solutions to climate change require resources and bold, equitable, fairly shared and ambitious climate actions. The fair shares and obligations of governments, elites and corporations of rich, industrialized countries or the Global North - those who are mainly responsible for the climate crisis - include actions in their countries but also stopping their support for fossil fuels overseas and ensuring the delivery of climate finance for countries and peoples of the Global South. Their pledges and even more so their actions are, thus far, very short of what they must deliver. Instead of fulfilling their full obligations to deliver climate finance, Global North governments are providing very inadequate amounts which are mostly in the form of loans and other debt-creating instruments. They also deceive people and the whole world and create further harm with their push for false solutions. These false solutions are used as their excuse and cover for their unwillingness to pursue urgent and necessary immediate actions as well as the profound systemic transformation needed to solve the climate crisis.
Together with the youth of the Global South, we demand climate justice and strongly call for climate actions that are bold, ambitious, just, fair and equitable. We urgently call for governments and private corporations to stop funding all fossil fuel projects, domestic and overseas, and to call for a just, rapid, and equitable transition towards democratic renewable energy systems. We demand the full delivery of new, additional, non-debt-creating, public, and unconditional climate finance for the Global South for mitigation, adaptation, loss and damage. We demand a stop to profit-oriented false solutions that are unproven, unjust, and destructive. We demand ecological restoration and swift action to fulfill and defend peoples right to food, water, health and safety as the climate crisis and other crises place these rights at much greater risk.
Economic Justice in the face of Debt, Tax and Fiscal Challenges
The current financial and economic system that can only serve the elite has robbed peoples of much-needed funding for dealing with the multiple crises. It undermines the capacity of governments across Asia to generate resources for public services, and impedes decisive actions for people-centered socio-economic development.
This unjust system leaves the youth to inherit underfunded and deregulated social services as governments leave them almost entirely in the hands of the private sector. The lack of political will from governments – along with their continued reliance on neoliberal policies – have infringed on the rights of the youth to education, health, and dignity. It is the youth and their families who bear the brunt of governments’ neglect and inability to fund quality education and social services. As the youth enter the workforce, they also struggle to afford the basic costs of living, as prices continue to soar.
The COVID-19 pandemic further exposed the serious structural problems of education systems across the Global South. Growing inequality is accompanied by the rising inaccessibility of education, with 800 million students estimated to have dropped out of school in Asia alone in 2020. Countries of the South struggle even more to meet the long-standing recommendation of the United Nations to allocate 6% of GDP to deliver education for all, on top of the challenges in providing sufficient healthcare infrastructures and basic social services. Around 1 in 8 countries globally spends more on debt than on social services, according to UNICEF.
As the youth struggle with a perennial crisis in education and the multiple economic, health and climate crises, we join the call for systemic reforms in fiscal systems and demand that people be prioritized over profit. Systemic changes are urgently needed to build a more equitable and just society. Part and parcel of these changes must be the tranformation of economic systems that aid the development of the quality of life of peoples of the South.
As such, we join the youth and peoples’ movements in Asia and across the world in fighting for the cancellation of unsustainable and illegitimate debts in order to free up funds for greater social spending. Participatory and transparent debt audits – by national governments and by citizens – must be conducted to thoroughly examine the realities of debt and debt servicing and its impacts on the youth and society.
We also call for an end to abusive tax practices and illicit financial flows and demand that governments adopt progressive tax policies to increase capacities for generating revenue. It is high time that governments stop depending on the elite to resolve public issues. Governments must take urgent and decisive actions for pro-youth and pro-people socio-economic development.
Governments all across Asia and the world promise to “build back better,” yet in the same breath, fail to fulfill their mandate of providing quality and accessible education for all. They continue to design and enact policies that ignore or worsen the crises of health, livelihoods and climate.
We will not stand idly by in the face of greater threats to our rights and our future.
Solidarity with the Women of Sri Lanka on Asian Women's Day 2022
READ THE FIRST ISSUE OF THE ASIA DEBT MONITOR HERE.
ADB Annual Meeting met by climate protesters: Activists call on ADB to stop funding gas, cancel public debts arising from ADB fossil fuel projects
APMDD's Statement on the 2022 IMF-WB Spring Meetings
APMDD's Message for International Women's Day 2022
Climate campaigners celebrate Tiger Lunar New Year by calling for a total exit from coal and the rapid development of renewable energy systems in Asia
PRESS RELEASE | January 30, 2022
Climate campaigners wearing colorful tiger masks held a flash mob at the Fil-Chinese Friendship Arch in Binondo Manila Sunday (January 30) to celebrate the Tiger Lunar New Year as the year of action for total coal phase out and rapid development of renewable energy systems in the Philippines and the rest of Asia.
A People’s Manifesto:
Tax the Rich, Not the Poor!
Make Taxes Work for People and the Planet!
21 January 2022
We, as members of civil society and mass organizations from different countries in Asia and other regions, come together in recognition of the urgency of transforming our tax and fiscal systems to make them ‘work for people and the planet.’ These have to be reoriented to turn away from blind subservience to corporate, profit-driven interests and towards the peoples’ agenda for economic justice and social transformation. At a critical time when tax revenues are gravely needed to fund essential public services and meet sustainable development targets, anti-poor tax policies and illicit financial flows have only deepened widespread inequalities within and among countries in the world
Tax the Rich, Not the Poor, and Build People's Recovery!
Global Protest to Fight Inequality 2022
On January 15-22, 2022, we join movements, people’s organizations and CSOs in over 30 countries around the world in the Fight Inequality Alliance (FIA) for a week of protest actions, demanding governments to Tax the Rich, Not the poor, and Build peoples’ Recovery! The Global Protest aims to demonstrate and strengthen our unity and draw attention to people’s demands to end inequalities everywhere.
The Asian Peoples’ Movement on Debt and Development (APMDD) enjoins members and partners in Asia to organize actions and activities around our common theme, and during the following dates:
• January 19: Asian Day of Protest to Fight Inequality where mobilizations and marches will take place
in cities and communities where it is safe and possible; and
• January 15-22: Week-long actions, including virtual media conferences and social media campaigns to call greater attention to issues of inequality in national and international media.
Nagbibingi-bingihan sa panaghoy ng mamamayang lugmok sa patung-patong na krisis ang mga gobyernong nakikinig lamang sa kapritso ng mga naghaharing-uri at mga korporasyong ganid sa yaman at tubo.
Kakarampot na nga ang mga programang inilunsad upang tugunan ang gutom, kawalan ng lupa, bahay at trabaho, karahasan at kawalang seguridad, kadalasan pang kapos at kulang sa pondo ang mga ito.
A victory for India's farmers, a victory for all!
Building our Collective Power for Immediate and Long-term Change: An Urgent Call to Scale Up in Scope, Speed and Intensity*
Lidy Nacpil, APMDD Coordinator
COVID19 brought staggering challenges to survival to people everywhere, most of whom have already been dealing with economic precariousness, impacts of an escalating climate crisis, and violence in many forms. This is especially true for women, for people of color, for indigenous peoples, migrants, farmers, workers and others who have had to grapple with additional layers of discrimination and marginalization.
To the participants of the 2021 Finance in Common Summit: move from commitments to action!
As a key milestone to COP 26 and avowed supporter of common action for climate, biodiversity and the UN Sustainable Development Goals, the #FinanceinCommonSummit2021 must ensure that public development banks and the governments that control them must commit to take bold, rapid and concrete steps in the right direction to address the multiple crises that the world, especially the Global South, continue to face.
We reiterate our calls to
-End public financing of fossil fuels now!
-Stop public financing of industrialized agricultural systems!
-Cancel unsustainable and illegitimate debts of developing countries!
An Open Letter to Asian Governments:
Reject the Tax Deal of the Rich
As peoples and organizations committed to the transparent, accountable, and just restructuring of tax systems, we call on governments to take urgent measures to make tax and fiscal policies more responsive to the needs of people and the planet and reject policies and initiatives that will exacerbate inequalities within countries and across countries such as the OECD-G7-G20 Tax Deal.
The COVID-19 pandemic and its impacts on our citizens present a historic opportunity to transform tax systems. Given the urgency of providing solutions to these pressing needs, it is lamentable that proposals by the world’s richest nations fail to address fundamental inequities in our global tax architecture.
Tax "Deal of the Rich" will not benefit the
The COVID-19 pandemic and its impacts present a historical opportunity to reform global corporate taxation and transform our tax systems to make them more responsive to the needs of people and the planet. It is unconscionable that the solutions offered by the world’s elite countries only serve to reinforce inequalities in the global tax regime that have long excluded the voice and interests of developing countries and peoples in the Global South.
The Global Alliance for Tax Justice and many in the tax justice movement were critical regarding the leadership role of the OECD, which is a club of the rich, to reform international tax rules. To give its leadership the veil of legitimacy it created an Inclusive Framework (IF), which has so far barely gone beyond rubber stamping the Group of Seven (G7) “deal of the rich”. The proposals in the OECD-led Inclusive Framework’s statement on July 1 for new global tax rules, do not address the fundamental problems of the current international tax architecture. It is designed to accommodate the recent deal of the G7 on a global minimum corporate tax rate of 15%, and disregards the suggestions, proposals and reservations that a number of developing countries have put forward throughout many years of work.
Amidst the multiple crises in health, the economy, and the climate, peoples in Asia continue to bear
the social and economic costs of fundamental flaws in national and international tax systems.
Illicit financial flows continue to strip away potential revenues critical for financing health and social services most needed for our survival, safety, healing and rebuilding. Tax competition, wide-ranging corporate tax incentives, and barriers to taxation of extractives and digital services remain rife
in the region. The escalating race to the bottom in corporate income tax regimes combined
with corruption, weak transparency frameworks and regulatory mechanisms have enabled
multinational corporations and domestic elites to siphon hundreds of billions out of our countries.
Hollow Pillars on Unequal Grounds
How the OECD/G20 Tax Deal Upholds the Inequality and Exclusivity of the Global Tax System
On July 10 2021, the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors concluded their third meeting with a resounding endorsement of the unambitious and undemocratic two-pillar solution of the G7 and the OECD. The G20 endorsement is the latest rubber stamp to the agenda dominated and led by the Global North to redefine global tax rules exclusively for their own benefit. While painting the illusion of plugging foregone revenues, the G20 and the OECD’S two-pillar proposal is a false solution that opens more loopholes for tax abuses than it closes. The consequence of the OECD/G20 agreement is strikingly simple – it undermines the calls of peoples from the Global South for a comprehensive, democratic, and just system of global corporate taxation.
Briefs on Energy and Energy Finance
of Selected Asian Countries
The G7 Summit will be held this weekend
- a regular meeting of the governments
of the richest, industrialized countries
in the world - the US, UK, Germany,
France, Italy, Canada and Japan.
This year’s meeting’s supposed objective
is “to unite leading democracies to help
the world build back better from
the COVID-19 pandemic and create
a greener, more prosperous future.”
Asian Movements and Citizens Groups Reject “Inequitable, Undemocratic”
15% G7 Global Tax Deal As the G7 Finance Ministers’ Meeting in London concluded with exalted acclaim from its member
states on the “groundbreaking overhaul”
of global tax rules, movements raised alarm bells against the impact of the G7 commitment
to a 15% minimum global corporate tax rate.
Finance Ministers of the Group of 7 (G7) –
composed of Canada, France, Germany, Italy,
Japan, the United Kingdom and the United
States – meet annually ahead of the G7 Summit attended by heads of state.
We Stand with Palestine!
Statement on the Israeli invasion
of Gaza and the Israel-Hamas Truce
The Asian Peoples’ Movement
on Debt and Development
welcomes the ceasefire between Israel
and Hamas after 11 days of fierce fighting,
the most intense conflict between
the two parties since 2014.
The ceasefire provides relief from military
violence and better conditions to ensure
that humanitarian assistance is delivered
to the affected communities.
But the roots of the conflict run deep –
for so long as the root causes
are not addressed, peace for the people
of Palestine remains fragile if not elusive.
Following the IFF Trail
The report of the High-Level Panel
on International Financial
and Integrity for Achieving
the 2030 Agenda or FACTI Panel
underscores the urgent need
to address the systemic problem
of illicit financial flows (IFF) which,
if left unabated, will continue
to widen inequalities.