News Release

From Manhattan to Brazil: Major Economic Summits

On Jan. 31, the annual World Economic Forum — a gathering of the “1,000 most powerful corporations in the world” which has been held in Davos, Switzerland for three decades — will get underway in New York City. Meanwhile, the World Social Forum, bringing together tens of thousands of activists from human rights, environmental, labor and other organizations, will convene in Porto Alegre, Brazil. The following analysts are available for interviews:

EMILY LABARBARA-TWAROG
An organizer with Chicago Jobs with Justice, Labarbara-Twarog said today: “Trends in world economic policies have an impact not just in the global South, but the driving down of labor standards there is also driving down labor standards in the United States. We work not just to maintain labor standards in the U.S., but also to bring up standards globally. In Porto Alegre, we want to build sustainable, solid relationships with labor rights groups around the world.”
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MARTIN KHOR
Director of the Third World Network, a group of NGOs that deal with economic and environmental issues, Khor said today: “The global financial system is in crisis — Argentina is the latest sign of this. Poor people are the main victims. The world trading system is very unequal and, despite the image of a good outcome at the Doha conference of the World Trade Organization, it is a disastrous situation for poor countries. This means we are in for a lot of trouble as Third World societies disintegrate under the weight of these [trade and financial] systems.”

ERPAN FARYADI
Director of the Consortium for Agrarian Reform, Faryadi said today: “Indonesia is still an agrarian country, so land reform is the best tool to solve the social conflicts in Indonesia.”
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ALEJANDRO BENDANA
Director of the Center for International Studies based in Managua, Nicaragua and a member of the international coordinating committee of Jubilee South, Bendana said today: “The critical issue now is Argentina. A global movement is beginning to take place as that country is being pressured by the U.S. and the International Monetary Fund. Argentina and certainly its people should not be made to pay its enormous foreign debt…. You could have not only people, but also governments, contesting a global system that concentrates extreme wealth and power on one hand and mass misery and massive subjugation on the other. The World Social Forum is a quest not only for protest, but to bring forward proposals; for example, an international tribunal on illegitimate debt will be held.”

For more information on the World Social Forum, see: www.worldsocialforum.org

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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; David Zupan, (541) 484-9167