Jubilee Iraq and Voices in the Wilderness
June 1, 2005
International social justice activists are gathering in Geneva, Switzerland from June 15 to June 30 to demand economic justice for Iraqi citizens, reports the London-based debt campaigner Jubilee Iraq.
The fast will precede and continue to the conclusion of the final meeting of the United Nations Compensation Commission (UNCC), which takes place from June 28 to June 30. UNCC will rule on the remaining $65 billion of reparations claims filed against Iraq. Activists are pressing for key demands to achieve economic justice for Iraq.
Fasters are demanding:
- An immediate moratorium on war reparations
payments and claims followed by a UN Security Council resolution canceling all reparations imposed against Iraq; The elimination of all odious debt incurred by Saddam Hussein’s regime as determined by an odious debt arbitration tribunal in which Iraq has full due process rights;
- That no economic conditions be imposed upon Iraq through such mechanisms as an International Monetary Fund (IMF) stand-by-agreement or otherwise, and Full funding for the reconstruction of Iraq in a manner which benefits the Iraqi people, is directed by the Iraqi people, and which does not come with any strings attached.
Meanwhile, the US special inspector-general for Iraq reconstruction issued a report indicating that auditors have been unable to account for $96 million earmarked for projects to rebuild Iraq. Islam Online reports economic observers have said the “prevailing corruption in state-run institutions and fraudulent American contractors have taken their toll on Iraq’s economy, scaring away many potential investors” and business
the country – suffering from a desperate lack of jobs, housing, health care and electricity – urgently needs.