PUBLICACION DEL INFORME BRANDT
La Comisión Independiente sobre Asuntos de Desarrollo Internacional publica “Norte-Sur un programa para la supervivencia” (el Informe Brandt). Pide que se re-evalúe la noción del desarrollo y llama a una nueva relación económica entre el Norte y el Sur.
La Comisión Brandt "NORTE SUR: UN PROGRAMA PARA LA SUPERVIVENCIA" estaba explícitamente basado en la interdependencia de los países del mundo. El dialogo N-S, que fue iniciado con mucho esfuerzo por un grupo de connotados políticos europeos con consultas a otros connotados del tercer mundo, pronto llegó a punto muerto, si bien dejó en claro la posibilidad y la necesidad de una conversación seria y en iguales términos entre los países del Norte, los más ricos, y los países del hemisferio Sur, los más pobres.
Los países ricos predicaron el tema de la interdependencia y destino común de la humanidad en una serie de encuentros entre países desarrollados y no desarrollados al comienzo de la década de los años
70, produciendo ciertas conclusiones en torno a la nueva situación económica mundial, que fueron conocidas como el Nuevo Orden Económico Mundial (NOEM). La filosofía del NOEM permeaba todo el Informe Brandt.
En términos de estrategia de desarrollo el Informe Brandt o "Dialogo N-
S" articula una solución keinesiana a la pobreza mundial, proponiendo una transferencia masiva de recursos. De acuerdo con esta teoría, los países pobres del mundo tendrían que funcionar como los desempleados del sistema keinesiano. Es decir, en la medida que ellos hacen uso de los recursos financieros puestos a su disposición por los países ricos (petrodólares en particular), para comprar bienes producidos por los países industrializados (bienes que les sirven a su propia industrialización, se entiende), los problemas económicos de los países pobres se solucionarían también, a la par que los países ricos saldrían del estancamiento económico de esos años 70.
Los países ricos y pobres tendrían que avanzar juntos, en vez de tener que darles a los países pobres solamente, beneficiándolos de los países ricos.- Esta respuesta, que paradojalmente fue acusada como una política económica monetaria neo-liberal fue ensayada en el escenario doméstico en varios países del Atlántico Norte, por ejemplo, Gran Bretaña.
El Informe de la Comisión Brandt fue redactado por la Comisión Brandt en 1980. Maitreya inspiró la Comisión Brandt en noviembre de 1977. Fue su primera labor a nivel político. Se acercó a Willy Brandt y le pidió que formara una comisión de representantes de las distintas vertientes económicas de pensamiento en todo el mundo. Todas las opiniones económicas fueron convocadas. Brandt logró reunir a un grupo muy numeroso de más de cuarenta personas. De ese grupo que iba desde la extrema derecha a la extrema izquierda, se formó la comisión, aunando sus distintas opiniones sobre cómo deberían resolverse los problemas económicos del mundo. Analizaron todas las tendencias globales, las tendencias de población, el crecimiento de los distintos bienes, etcétera.
Al final, después de un enorme trabajo, la comisión publicó un informe. De todos esos distintos puntos de vista, llegaron a un consenso real. Lo publicaron en Norte/Sur: Un programa para la supervivencia. Era un programa para la supervivencia de la raza humana. Luego celebraron varias conferencias, incluida una en Cancún, México. Se presentaron resoluciones para compartir los recursos de la tierra de forma más equilibrada. Llegaron a la conclusión de que sólo había una manera de abordar este problema: compartir los recursos del mundo de forma más justa. Hablaron de todas las formas distintas de llevar esto a cabo. Esto traería justicia, y la justicia traería la paz. Era la único camino a la paz. En su momento fue revelador, desde una perspectiva puramente política y económica.
The Brandt Report offers a strategy for resolving the present crisis of the financial system of international capitalism. One of its main concerns is the increasing inability of Third World countries to meet their debts to private banks. This situation is seen as grave because it creates further crises when individual governments are unable to maintain consistent import policies, thus adversely affecting their own development strategies and causing chaos in the system of world trade. Solutions suggested are two-fold. Firstly, the Report sees the necessity for an expansion of trade between 'North' and 'South' , initially made feasible by increased funding to Third World countries by multinational institutions. Secondly, it emphasises the necessity to extend free trade arrangements. However it fails to acknowledge, much less come to terms with contradictions within the strategies which it advocates. Its suggestions for the restructuring of international financial institutions and national trading policies, (necessary because 'if left to themselves economic forces tend to produce a growing inequality' ), fail to take any account of the nature of contemporary capitalism and the problems and contradictions involved in its reconstruction. By ignoring these problems and by giving them a timeless quality (e.g. by stating that they could only be implemented when the battle against inflation is resolved in the West), this report contains little of real substance, constituting a collection of 'well intentioned' formulas with substantive moral posturing. Nevertheless there are important political side issues which emanate from its conclusions. The report's advocacy of a social democratic ideology supporting multinational institutions, an expanded World Bank role and extended free trade (with implications for the control of multinationals), is consistent with the policies of the World Bank's forthcoming World Development Report, but severely contradicts the overall emphasis of Thatcher and Reagan governments, which advocate narrowly defined national and strategic commitments. But political reaction against Reagan's policies should not be equated inevitably with support for the extension of quasi-World Bank activities at an international level. There has been ample evidence of the effects of World Bank policies and of the pressure which they can exert on individual development strategies, for there to exist an understanding of their negative political consequences in the past. Even if these policies were clothed with the humanitarian concerns implicit in the Brandt Report, it is unlikely that they will be substantially different.
Summary Brandt's Challenge
Under the chairmanship of former West German Chancellor Willy Brandt, the Independent Commission on International Development Issues examined the problems facing the global economy in the early 1980s. Brandt's panel of former world leaders and other prominent figures found that developing nations were economically dependent on developed nations, which dominated the international rules and institutions for trade, money, and finance. This economic division resulted in political instability, not just in poor nations, but across the world.
Said Brandt, "At the beginning of a new decade, only twenty years short of the millennium, we must try to lift ourselves above the day-to-day quarrels (or negotiations) to see the menacing long-term problems. We see a world in which poverty and hunger still prevail in many huge regions; in which resources are squandered without consideration of their renewal; in which more armaments are made and sold than ever before; and where a destructive capacity has been accumulated to blow up our planet several times over" (North-South, 13).
In North-South (1980) and Common Crisis (1983), the Brandt Commission made a set of bold recommendations to change all that. In a sweeping series of measures addressed to the global public, governments, and international agencies, the Brandt Reports called for a full-scale restructuring of the global economy, along with a new approach to the problems of development, including an emergency program to end poverty in developing nations.
Two decades later, the international community has not responded to these proposals in any meaningful way. Although the Brandt Reports were widely read and discussed, developed nations have focused more on their own interests. As documented by the United Nations Development Program, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and other agencies, the economic disparities outlined in the Brandt Reports have widened significantly since 1980:
• Without new family planning programs to slow fertility and birth rates, world population has expanded by 1.7 billion people, more than 90% of whom were born in poor nations
• Lacking educational and employment opportunities for personal development, women in developing nations have become increasingly destitute from gender discrimination and conditions of impoverishment
• Regardless of the official international assistance standard of 0.7% GNP, aid to developing nations has slumped from .35% to .21% of GNP
• Having no international agreement to reduce the difficult loan payments owed to developed nations, the debt of developing countries has surged from $700 billion to nearly $3 trillion
• Devoid a framework for the non-violent resolution of international disputes and the multilateral reduction of weapons, allowing governments to use their resources for the peace and welfare of their people, armaments expenditures around the world have accelerated from $450 billion to more than $800 billion a year
• Minus global programs to stabilize energy prices and supplies for developing countries, slow the depletion of renewable energy sources, and reverse climate change, environmental pollution and global warming have broadened, including a 12% increase in carbon dioxide emissions
• Instead of promoting accessible, balanced exports of goods and resources between rich and poor nations to build cooperation and enlarge international markets, trade has been hampered by local subsidies and protectionist barriers, driving down the export prices of developing nations
• Rather than making global economic rules and institutions equitable for every nation, restoring confidence and trust throughout the world, money and finance remain unregulated at the global level, resulting in currency instability, recession, and financial risk in developing nations
• Short of a consensus to link all of these issues and coordinate world economic development objectives through effective high-level discussion, global negotiations among heads of state from developed and developing nations have not occurred since 1981
Failure to address these needs is a lost opportunity for everyone in the world. Focused on competition and the 'bottom line', we lose sight of the benefits of mutual advantage and cooperation. As the Brandt Reports remind us, prosperity in the South can lead to prosperity in the North; but economic trouble in the South can wreak havoc in the North as well.
With the spectacular growth of production, world trade, foreign investment, and international capital flows during the 1980s and 90s, the world's productive and financial surplus expanded, but global consumer demand leveled off, and poverty increased substantially in developing nations. Monetary, financial, and trade deregulation, combined with fast-paced technology and unbridled capital mobility, have also increased the volatility of exchange rates and interest rates, and reduced the capacity for debt repayment in poor countries.
Economic turmoil in a single nation – precipitated by default, devaluation, recession, or deflation – can spread rapidly to its neighbors. The world now faces the real possibility of financial contagion, which can result in internal political instability, further eroding global investment in developing nations.
Two major financial crises have already occurred: in Latin America (1981-86) and Southeast Asia (1997-98). Neither International Monetary Fund bailouts nor guarantees from private investors are likely to stem another major financial meltdown – due to massive increases in global debt and in speculative markets such as derivatives – leaving banks, investment houses, and investors at risk, and further strangling the foreign capital needed for development in poor nations. Multilateral cooperation for debt forgiveness, major transfers of aid and technology, fair terms of trade, a stable world currency system, and new rules for international finance are needed. These measures would generate an increase in the level of consumer purchasing power so that the world's people could buy the world's excess of products and services – before over-supply, unused capacity, and unemployment lead to prolonged global recession or worse.
The Brandt Equation: A New Round of Global Negotiations
World leaders can only make major democratic changes with the awareness and backing of the international public. A global citizens' movement, with a focus that goes beyond singular issues and nationalistic viewpoints, is the necessary political counterweight to the corporate and financial policies of globalization. The Brandt Commission proposed that, with broad and informed public support, international representatives could begin two sets of negotiations to link together objectives for meeting the world's basic needs and reforming the international economy.
I. Summit of World Leaders
A representative group of heads of state from developed and developing nations convenes a World Summit Meeting to plan and mobilize a major international relief program, targeting:
• Hunger – Mobilize immediate supplies of food and clean water for developing nations through the creation of a global clearinghouse for food storage and distribution, a global food assistance program and food financing agency, and local agricultural and rural development programs
• Poverty – Provide basic necessities in poor regions of the world, including stable supplies of food, water, and energy; health and medical care, including preventable disease control; basic housing and sanitation; education; family planning services; micro-loans; and new agricultural, environmental, industrial, and technological infrastructure
• Aid – Expand financial assistance to poor nations by increasing contributions from developed nations to 0.7% GNP, and eventually to 1% GNP; ending political and commercial entailments on aid by developed nations; and requiring developing nations to eliminate corruption, restructure their legal and financial institutions, and strengthen their democratic institutions
• Debt – Begin partial or unconditional debt forgiveness for developing nations, linking debt relief to effective domestic policy reform
In addition to launching this international relief program, the conference of world leaders initiates discussion on restructuring the global economy by setting the guidelines and format for such negotiations, offering possible solutions, deciding on a timetable for results to be achieved, and submitting these recommendations to the UN General Assembly.
II. Popular Referendum of the UN General Assembly
Based on the work of the summit of world leaders, the UN General Assembly hosts a multilateral referendum to guide the restructuring of the international economy. Representatives of governments, major corporations, private capital banks, central banks, the World Bank, the IMF, the World Trade Organization, and other international institutions are invited, along with members of non–governmental organizations, and civic and regional groups from around the world. Together, they negotiate an agenda for a new global economy, including major initiatives for:
• Environmental Protection – Make ecological sustainability a cornerstone of global economic policy through financial incentives for encouraging environmental protection, cleaning up the environment, expanding reforestation projects, reducing industrial emissions, slowing climate change, conserving energy and resources, reducing dependence on fossil fuels, and developing clean and renewable energy sources
• Fair Trade – Expand world trade by redirecting its focus from international export markets to the domestic markets of emerging economies; curbing protectionist trade restrictions; decreasing commodity subsidies in developed nations; stabilizing international commodity prices; restructuring the World Trade Organization to allow proportional representation and decision-making by developing nations; establishing a new code of conduct for international corporations; developing a new framework for foreign direct investment; and broadening trade agreements to improve working conditions, as well as environmental, wage, and labor standards
• Regulation of the Global Economy – Reorganize the global monetary system by redirecting investment from international capital markets into the domestic markets of emerging economies; encouraging stable currencies; stimulating balanced economic growth; maintaining environmental sustainability; restructuring the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund to allow proportionate representation and decision-making by developing nations; expanding and strengthening the United Nations and its development agencies; creating a small oversight body to help coordinate international economic policies and goals; and establishing new international programs for development finance, including a Global Development Fund
Consensus For A New Global Economy
As the world's issues are interrelated, so too should be the process of global decision-making. The Brandt Reports were a comprehensive, forward–looking plan from a group which, in its own roundtable discussions, exemplified the sort of representative negotiations and good faith needed at international levels to gather consensus on economic issues from a diversity of world opinion.
The Brandt Commission offered the international community a vision for balancing the creation of wealth with the provision of public services, anticipating new foundations for the future of civilization. In a world where economic growth has become the means to human and social development, the Brandt Reports declared that local development must be the means to growth – "that the focus has to be not on machines or institutions but on people," and the creation of an environment in which they can lead long, healthy, and productive lives (N–S, 23).
North–South and Common Crisis had a profound initial impact on the public, governments, and international agencies across the world, but went unheeded by developed nations during the prosperous 1980s and 90s. The disparities about which the Brandt Commission cautioned are reaching the breaking point, yet there is no collective effort to resolve them. What divides us now is not a shortage of resources or plans. The only scarcity is the courage to act.