50 Years Is Enough



1994 marked the 50th anniversary of the founding of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), institutions which have been promoting and financing inequitable and unsustainable development overseas that create poverty while destroying the environment. These organizations are also profoundly undemocratic in that they have consistently denied citizens information about, and involvement in, major decisions affecting their respective societies.

For more than a decade, citizens' groups in the United States, in collaboration with partner organizations in the Third World and Eastern Europe, have lobbied the IMF and the World Bank, as well as the U.S. government, for reforms in the operations and policies of these institutions. Despite these efforts and the growing chorus of criticism from the U.S. Congress, governments and U.N. agencies, the IMF and World Bank continue to resist fundamental and meaningful change.

To mark the 50th anniversary of the Bretton Woods conference at which these institutions were founded, a diverse group of U.S. organizations established the 50 Years Is Enough Campaign. (Now the 50 Years Is Enough: U.S. Network for Global Economic Justice). "50 Years Is Enough" was chosen as the slogan to express the strongly held belief by growing numbers of people around the globe that the type of development that the World Bank and IMF promote could not be allowed to continue.

Above all, the Network calls for the full participation of affected women and men in all aspects of World Bank and IMF projects, policies and programs. This requires far-reaching changes in the lending policies, internal processes and structure of the World Bank and the IMF. Only when these reforms are implemented will these institutions be able to play a positive role in support of equitable and sustainable development. This will require the following:

1 - Openness and full public accountability of the Bretton Woods institutions and the systematic integration of affected women and men in the formulation, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of Worid Bank and IMF projects and policies;

2 - A major reorientation of World Bank- and IMF-financed economic policy reforms to promote more equitable development based upon the perspectives, analysis and development priorities of women and men affected by those policies;

3 - An end to environmentally destructive lending and support for more self-reliant, resource conserving development;

4 The scaling back of the financing, operations, role and, hence, power of the World Bank and the IMF and the rechanneling of financial resources thereby made avaiiable to a variety of development assistance alternatives; and

5 - A reduction in multilateral debt to free up additional capital for sustainable development.

50 Years Is Enough