4 Possibilities for practical action

4.1 Democracy and accountability

4.1.3 Sustainable development Just economic order

Representatives of the Christian churches stated that "economic systems exist for humankind and not the other way around" and that "the basic needs of a society and its people determine economic and political policies - and not the economic values and interests of transnational corporations and international monetary agencies such as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank". (World Convocation, Seoul 1990, Act of Covenanting, First Concretization, para. 1.1 and 1.11)

For the NGO community in Copenhagen unaccountable free market forces cannot help to a sustainable economy. "The dominant neo-liberal system as a universal model for development has failed. ... A system that places growth above all other goals, including human well-being, wrecks economies rather than regenerates them ... It creates incentives for capital to externalize social and environmental costs. It generates jobless growth, derogates the rights of workers, and undermindes the role of trade unions." In rejecting the prevailing global economic paradigm, however, the NGOs did not suggest the imposition of another universal model. They prefer more to build on innovating and devising local answers to community needs, promoting the skills and energy of women in full equality with men, and benefitting from valuable traditions, as well as from new technologies. (Copenhagen Alternative Declaration, 9.3.1995)

"The Bretton Woods institutions must be made transparent and accountable to civil society in both the South and North. Their policies and programmes should be made people-centered and participation of movements and citizens' organisations at all stages in the negotiation of agreements, project implementation and monitoring should be ensured." (Copenhagen Alternative Declaration, 9.3.1995)

"Global macro-economic policy should address the structure of poverty and stimulate the levels of real purchasing power. An alternative macro-economic policy will have to meaningfully address the distribution of income and wealth, both between and within countries, leading to a democratization of consumption. This policy would require curbing lavish luxury goods economies and redirecting resources towards the production of essential consumer goods and social services." (Copenhagen Alternative Declaration, 9.3.1995)


Taskforce on the Churches and Corporate Responsibility, United Church of Christ, 85 St. Claire Ave. East, CND- Toronto, Ontario, Canada M4T 1M8, Tel.: 001-416-9 25 59 31, Fax 001-416-9 25 33 94


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