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FORUM-ASIA signs IMF-WB Singapore meetings boycott statement

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FORUM-ASIA has signed a boycott of the IMF-World Bank meetings in Singapore. The call for the boycott comes in response to the announcements last week that a number of civil society organisation representatives will not be allowed to enter the IMF-World Bank meetings in that country, and to the failed effort by the Singapore government to secure the cancellation of the International People’s Forum in Batam, Indonesia. This call is the result of serious deliberations by groups around the world, and is the culmination of a series of statements issued by civil society organisations over the last week. The following statement lists the organisations which have signed the boycott statement so far.

We the undersigned representatives from civil society organisations and social movements call for a boycott of the official programme at the World Bank and IMF 2006 annual meetings in Singapore.

In order to stifle dissent and any possible protests at the IMF-World Bank Annual Meetings, the Singapore Government has resorted to draconian security measures. These include the Singapore Government's statement in January that protesters at the IMF and World Bank meetings would be caned, and the special surveillance measures in public and private spaces that the government has put in place specifically for the Annual Meetings.

In recent days, the Singapore Government has also applied pressure on the government of Riau Province in Indonesia to cancel the International People’s Forum scheduled to take place in Batam.
The government has also drawn up a "blacklist" of individuals who will not be allowed access to Singapore. These include civil society representatives who have already been accredited by the World bank-IMF to the Annual Meetings, as well as those who have already obtained visas, or require no visa to enter Singapore. The Singaporean government has advanced no clear or valid reason for denying these people access, nor has it publicly released the “blacklist”.
The IMF and World Bank cannot escape responsibility for recent developments.  Knowing full well the authoritarian character of the Singaporean Government, they appear to have picked Singapore as the site of their Annual Meetings because they wanted to avoid the legitimate and peaceful street protests that have been staged at earlier World Bank-IMF and World Trade Organization meetings.  The choice of Singapore as a venue for the annual meetings has been consistently criticised by civil society organizations, yet the World Bank and IMF went on with their plans.  We condemn the Singapore Government’s repressive actions, and we also condemn the World Bank and the IMF for being complicit in these actions.
In solidarity with those denied entry into Singapore and denied the exercise of their fundamental rights to freedom of expression and association, we will stay away from all meetings and seminars in the official programme at the World Bank and IMF 2006 annual meetings in Singapore.
We call on all social movements, civil society organizations and networks, and individuals to uphold the rights of peoples to freedom of expression and association, and to honour this boycott by staying away from the official meetings in Singapore.

Endorse the statement at  or by sending email to: [email protected]
Signatories to date:

INFID Indonesia
Freedom from Debt Coalition Philippines
Jubilee South
Focus on the Global South
Solidarity Africa Network
Campagna per la Riforma Della Banca Mondiale (Reform the World Bank Campaign – Italy
World Development Movement, UK
Jubilee USA Network
50 Years is Enough: U.S. Network for Global Economic Justice
European Network on Debt and Development
Friends of the Earth International
Oil Watch International
Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA)