Committee for the Abolition of Illegitimate Debt

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The Committee for the Abolition of Illegitimate Debt (CADTM) - formerly called Committee for the cancellation of the Thirld World Debt - is an international network of activists who strive to develop and implement radical alternatives that would contribute to the maintenance, and indeed retrieval, of fundamental human rights all over the world.

Through such actions as the publishing of a magazine and volumes of essays and the organising of seminars, lectures, debates, training sessions, international conferences and campaigns, it hopes to raise people’s awareness of North - South inequalities. With the same aim in view it participates in a number of national and international initiatives and in citizens’ mobilisations. Another of CADTM’s avenues of action is to lobby ministers, members of parliament and other politically active citizens.

CADTM’s specific focus is the Third World Debt and its aim is to achieve the cancellation of the external public debt in third world countries and subsequently to break the spiral of deeper and deeper indebtedness by setting up models of socially fair and environmentally sustainable development.

In this perspective CADTM works towards

  • the setting up of a development funds that would be democratically controlled by local populations and financed through the cancellation of the public external debt of third world countries;
  • the retrocession of all ill-acquired goods;
  • the taxation of speculative financial transactions (similar to the tax proposed by Tobin) ;
  • an increase in the official aid budget of rich countries to 0.7% of the GDP;
  • the setting up of a world tax on large incomes;
  • the global conversion of military expenditure into social and cultural expenditure.

CADTM also demands

  • the setting up of a new international economic and structural regime through the suspension of the IMF’s and the WB’s adjustment policies;
  • a radical reform of the WTO’s underlying logic, which at the moment favours rich countries against poor countries;
  • a strict control on financial markets;
  • the suppression of tax havens.

Finally CADTM supports women’s emancipation, peoples’ right to self-determination, radical land reforms and a general reduction of working hours.

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