IBON forum: Worsening global crises, social unrest in 2013

‘Global campaigns must give broader shape to people’s resistance worldwide’
QUEZON CITY, PHILIPPINES—“Even the United Nations now sees the risk of a synchronized global economic downturn in 2013-2014.” This was one of the more interesting messages presented at a recent forum on international trends and prospects at the College of Mass Communications Auditorium, University of the Philippines Diliman.
The January 16 whole-day event, organized by IBON International in cooperation with Philippine people’s organizations, consisted of several lectures followed by question-and-answer sessions. The lectures presented a sweeping bird’s-eye view of current global trends and policy environments, and triggered lively discussions among the audience of around 100, mostly representing people’s organizations and academic institutions.
IBON International’s Paul Quintos made the first presentation, which covered three major topics: (1) the nature of the current global protracted depression; (2) how the crisis is used to intensify class offensives; and (3) how the crisis bred several disparate protest movements worldwide. The vicious cycle of lending, financial speculation, bursting bubbles, bailouts, fiscal austerity, and other ineffective policy interventions done by States in conjunction with big businesses tends to worsen the global economic downturn, instead of improving financial capability of the people or stimulating the economy, Quintos said.
The second presentation by IBON International Director Antonio Tujan discussed the political implications of the global protracted depression, focusing on trends of further social unrest and instability, various challenges to US hegemony, and upcoming global people’s campaigns for 2013. Tujan stressed the need to develop international campaigns and struggles in light of the current reconfiguration of global power coupled with the subsequent failure of intergovernmental processes meant to address the lingering crisis. He also identified several global engagements and trends most likely to affect the international policy environment, such as the upcoming WTO Ministerial, the Campaign for People’s Goals in the context of post-2015 (post-MDG) processes, and the continuing food crisis.
The afternoon session began with Rey Claro Casambre of ILPS Philippines presenting a detailed overview of the recently announced U.S. “pivot to Asia” strategy. This was followed by a presentation and discussion, facilitated by IBON’s Quintos, on the upcoming WTO ministerial that is expected to seek a new agreement in pursuit of more trade liberalization after the failure of the Doha round. ###