a peoples’ conference on the imf-wbg/
cadi ayyad university club, marrakech, morocco/ 8-9 october 2023

conference programme


9AM-9:30 AM

Opening and preliminaries
9:30-11 AM

Plenary 1: Leaders’ panel on US geopolitical interests and IMF-WBG roles in WANA and Africa

Liza Maza, International League of Peoples’ Struggle, social activist
Suzan Nada, MENA Feminist Movement for Economic, Development, and Ecological Justice, labour and human rights lawyer
Aziza Dargouth, Observatoire Tunisien de la Citoyenneté Participative
Guy Marius Sagna, Front pour une Révolution Anti-impérialiste Populaire et Panafricain
Driss Lagrini, Faculty of Law at Cadi Ayyad University

Plenary 2: On IMF-WBG agenda in their 2023 Annual Meetings

Emilia Reyes, Equidad de Género: Ciudadanía, Trabajo y Familia
Elaine Zuckerman, Gender Action
Jiten Yumnam, Indigenous Peoples Movement for Self-Determination and Liberation
Azra Sayeed, Roots for Equity/Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development/Asia Pacific Research Network
1PM-5PM (parallel with Day One workshops below)
Special session

Art Build: For People and Planet
By Glasgow Actions Team

Join the Glasgow Actions Team during the Reclaim Our Future Conference (reclaimourfutureconference.iboninternational.org) to make some fun art (banners, signs, and more) to display and march with throughout Marrakech during the WB/IMF meetings. Our messaging will call for world leaders to act on climate justice, Global South debt, and world poverty. No prior art experience needed–everyone is welcome!  

1PM-2:30 PM (parallel with Art Build session above)
Workshops 1-2

1. Rural peoples unite against the IMF-World Bank: 𝙄𝙈𝙁-𝙒𝘽’𝙨 𝙞𝙢𝙥𝙖𝙘𝙩 𝙤𝙣 𝙡𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙖𝙜𝙧𝙞𝙘𝙪𝙡𝙩𝙪𝙧𝙚 𝙞𝙣 𝙒𝘼𝙉𝘼 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙬𝙤𝙧𝙡𝙙
By Arab Network on Food Sovereignty, Arab Network for the Protection of Nature, People’s Coalition on Food Sovereignty, Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas
Session poster
– Registration link: https://bit.ly/RuralPeoplesUniteVsIMFWB

The crux of the matter is that neoliberal control of our food systems and agriculture is behind today’s global food crisis, and there is no hope of a better, progressing world as long as the IMF-WB Group is in the picture of global development. Hear more from the rural peoples on how the IMF-WB’s neoliberal dictates impoverished our lives and livelihood.

Aziza Zargouth, Arab Network for Food Sovereignty
Asmaa Awwad, Arab Group for the Protection of Nature
Mohamed Hakesh, Fédération Nationale du Secteur Agricole
Lester Gueta, Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas


2. Realizing gender and climate justice: IMF impediments and alternatives
By Women’s Environment and Development Organization, Gender Action, Bretton Woods Project, Oxfam, and partners
Session poster
– Registration link:  https://bit.ly/IMFimpediments 

This dynamic roundtable discussion will present analysis from several new publications, outlining  a feminist systemic vision for structural transformation. Challenging the dominant trajectory of instrumentalizing climate action and gender inequality in the service of growth–and the IMF’s role therein, this event will propose concrete policy alternatives towards a rights-aligned and care-responsive economy. Speakers will outline shifts required to create an enabling macroeconomic environment for action on women’s economic rights and climate rather than reinforcing the current extractive model of growth based on the supremacy of GDP. Three new sets of research will be shared, in addition to other recent publications from among the co-organizers. This session will consist of a roundtable discussion with a moderator, where speakers will present “kickstarter” remarks followed by 30 minutes of open discussion with the audience. 

Meghna Abraham, Executive Director, CESR
Faith Lumonya, Akina Mama wa Afrika
Lebohang Liepollo Pheko – Senior Research Fellow, Trade Collective Think Tank (pre-recorded video)
Chikumbutso Ngosi, Program Manager – Young Urban Women, ActionAid International 
Moderator: Katie Tobin, Senior Program Manager, WED
2:30-4 PM
Workshops 3-4

3. Global South Speakout on IMF/WBG’s Role in the Climate Crisis
By Recourse, Indus Consortium, and partners
Session poster

This session aims to provide the space for Global South climate justice and environmental groups to jointly pinpoint the responsibility of the IMF and World Bank Group in accelerating the climate and development crises. These global finance institutions claim to be climate champions and guide countries’ climate action while failing to recognise their responsibility in originating the crisis in the first place while remaining undemocratic and unaccountable.

Zain Moulvi, Alternative Law Collective (ALC)
Julia Gerlo, Fundación Ambiente y Recursos Naturales (FARN)
Andri Prasetiyo, Senik Centre Asia
Izzah Rizvi, Indus Consortium
Anitha Sampath, Center for Financial Accountability (CFA)
Lorraine Chiponda, Don’t Gas Africa
Dean Bhebe, Power Shift Africa
Mathias Lyamunda, Foundation for Environmental Management and Campaign Against Poverty (FEMAPO)
Suzan Nada, Movement for Economic Development and Ecological Justice (MENAFEM)
Jane Nalunga, Southern and Eastern Africa Trade Information and Negotiations Institute (SEATINI Uganda)
Nahida Omney, Christian Aid Bangladesh


4. A global financial system that advances human rights? Towards a shared vision for a green and gender just transformation
By Center for Economic and Social Rights, Global Initiative for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and partners
Session poster

The objective of this interactive workshop is to bring together social movements and civil society activists working to disrupt the global financial system. Our goal is to advance a shared vision for change and strategize on ways of building collective power to achieve it. In collaboration with the aforementioned organizations, we will:
– Share our perspectives and invite reflections on how human rights norms could reshape the global financial system
– Collectively map out synergies between this vision and other alternatives grounded in green, feminist, and decolonial principles
– Brainstorm effective strategies for advancing these alternatives that build on cross-movement organizing 
Our aim is to foster new relationships and identify pathways for cross-movement collaborations that extend beyond the scope of this workshop.

Session Speakers:
Kamal Ramburuth (IEJ)
Magdalena Sepúlveda Carmona (GI-ESCR)
Maria Ron Balsera (CESR)
Eva Martinez (CDES)
Nada Trigui (OTE)
Sandra Guzmán Luna (GFLAC)
4-5:30 PM
Workshops 5-6

5. Decolonial and feminist changemaking from the South: Debt, austerity and financialization through the lens of feminist political economy
By South Feminist Fiscal Justice & Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development

– Session poster
– Registration link: https://us06web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_Cq-ivritSKW6xFXXG5fvcQ 

In this session, four feminist and political economists and advocates from across the South will present key propositions for decolonial and systemic change, from reparations on neoliberal policy harms to decolonizing economics, and from debt justice to the urgency of dismantling the colonial project of austerity.  The speakers will address women’s rights and structural gender inequalities from a feminist political economy lens, as well as highlight how ideologies and mechanisms of patriarchy, coloniality and neoliberal financialisation work together in inextricable ways. Our session is rooted in a coalition of South feminist economic justice and global movement leaders, the ‘South Feminist Fiscal Justice Coalition’.  Our initiative started in summer of 2021, and we have grown to over 12 organizations across the global South.The objective of the group is to have a South feminist and decolonial standpoint on fiscal justice in the current context of fiscal crises – the resurgence of debt-austerity crises and financialization. 

Shereen Talaat, MenaFem Co-Founder and Co-Director
Priya Lukka, Senior Economist, International Network of Scholars and Activists for Afrikan Reparations (INSOAAR)
Veronica Serafina, Feminist Economist, Latin American Network on Debt and Development (LATINDADD)
Bhumika Muchhala, Political and Feminist Economist, and Senior Advisor, Third World Network (TWN)
Azra Sayeed, APWLD
Moderator: Sanyu Awori, Program Director, Association for Women in Development (AWID) – TBC


6. End Austerity! Reclaim the Right to Education, Health and Social Security 
By Global Social Justice, Human Rights Watch, and partners
Session poster
– Registration link: https://events.teams.microsoft.com/event/bd45b4a3-d9fc-4853-acc1-9013143bfaba@2eb79de4-d804-4273-a6e6-4b3188855f66

This session will present the new austerity policies advised by the IMF and the World Bank, and implemented by most Ministries of Finance, from cuts to public services and social security/social protection, to privatization and labor flexibilization reforms, affecting more than 6 billion people. All the human suffering these reforms cause is unnecessary: there are alternatives that even the poorest countries can implement to achieve human rights including the right to education, health and social security.

Isabel Ortiz, Director Global Social Justice
Matti Kohonen, Director Financial Transparency Coalition
Nabil Abdo, Senior Policy Advisor, Oxfam International
Roos Saalbrink, Global Lead on Economic Justice and Public Services, ActionAid International
Sarah Saadoun, Senior Researcher and Advocate, Poverty and Inequality, Human Rights Watch

Media event/photo opportunity with Glasgow Action Team banner (see: Art Build: For People and Planet, 1PM-5PM)
Special session

Claiming our feminist futures: Gathering and network reception
By Bretton Woods Project, WEDO, ActionAid International, Gender Action, Oxfam, MENAFem, Akina Mama wa Afrika, CESR
Session poster
– Registration: https://forms.gle/MkhfutM3TC6xLYQE8 

This session will facilitate a space for feminist gathering, networking and connecting among conference participants and local women’s rights groups, to use our presence in Marrakesh to strengthen our allyship as feminists and other actors working to protect and fulfill women’s rights. Towards a shared understanding of local experience and knowledge, this space will create collective opportunities to name and combat the BWIs’ persistent harmful impacts undermining marginalized women’s livelihoods and increasing their unpaid work while instrumentally promoting their employment in non-transformative ways. Through both knowledge-sharing and networking, this session will offer women’s rights and economic justice organizations attending the Reclaim Our Future conference as well as feminist allies attending the World Bank/IMF Annual Meetings the opportunity to build constituency and connections across geographies and movements.

With feminist testimonies, musical performances, solidarity messages


10-11:30 AM
Workshops 7-8

7. MDBs and the Corporatization of Climate Action
IBON International Climate Justice Programme, and partners
Session poster

Despite MDBs’ huge role in channeling financial resources for climate-related projects in member countries, civil society and peoples’ movements criticize MDBs’ extremely problematic role given the little transparency, low quality, and highly non-concessional nature of their climate finance. Concerns have also been raised about the implications of MDBs in climate finance on basic equity principles, the dangers of further disempowerment of poor and underdeveloped countries given the continued dominance of developed countries at MDB negotiation tables, and the corporatization of climate action. The side-event seeks to unpack the current drive at expanding MDB’s role in climate action, the current proposals for greater role in climate finance and their impacts on equity, justice, and rights, and the peoples’ demands.

Alison Doig, Recourse
Anitha Sampath, Centre for Financial Accountability
Flora Sonkin, Society for International Development


8. Why focusing on private finance and Public-Private Partnerships is not the solution to the polycrisis
Eurodad, and partners
Session poster
– Zoom link: https://eurodad-org.zoom.us/j/96088191415 

This session will explore the effects of the private sector bias by development finance institutions and multilateral development banks, such as the World Bank Group, highlighting the negative impacts of privatisation and PPPs implemented in both the global south and the global north. The session will also share experiences from ongoing CSO campaigns and case studies to expose these problematic practices. In the wake of multiple and interconnected crises, the promotion of private finance and PPPs is a false solution that needs to be challenged with a strong call for high quality public services.

Katelynne Kirk (Jubilee Scotland)
Anna Marriott (Oxfam) 
Alvic Padilla (APMDD)
Anderson Miamen (COTAE)
Workshops 9-10

9. Protecting the Right to Social Security in Our Digital Age
By Human Rights Watch
– Session poster
– Registration link: https://events.teams.microsoft.com/event/0c4cb792-ce6b-4f3c-8d2d-a9404fe3da7b@2eb79de4-d804-4273-a6e6-4b3188855f66 

This session will examine the agenda of the World Bank and other international financial institutions to promote and advance digitalization, and the ways in which it impedes access to social security and worsens inequality. Panelists will discuss case studies of the human rights harms caused by Bank and other IFI-financed initiatives to establish or enhance digital government, such as the establishment of social registries to support narrowly means-tested cash benefit programs, digital ID systems to verify and police the identity of beneficiaries, and e-payment systems to deliver cash assistance. Attendees will be invited to discuss how universal social security provides an alternative conceptual and policy framework for fostering technological innovation that helps social security systems achieve universal coverage and ensure adequate benefits for all.

Allana Kembabazi, Programs Manager, Initiative for Social and Economic Rights
Amos Toh, Senior Technology and Human Rights Researcher, Human Rights Watch
Dr. Abdelrafie Zaanoun, Researcher in Public Law and Political Science


10. IFIs, Climate Finance, and Social Spending: The Missed Opportunity!
By Arab Reform Initiative, MENA Feminist Movement for Economic, Development & Ecological Justice, Friedrich Ebert Stiftung-MENA, and partners

Climate finance has been a cooptation tool in the hands of neoliberal multilateralism whereas, it could be turned into an opportunity to: i) redistribute financial resources within and between countries, and ii) raise government revenues to finance public and social spending. In other terms, it can enhance development effectiveness if rather used in line with the good principles and practices of development financing. This session discusses how international financial institutions (IFIs), especially the World Bank Group (WBG) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), have been preventing climate debt from being an opportunity to reduce both inter and intra-country inequality as well as finance public/social services. The session also revolves around the waves of activism against this de-facto situation, focusing on the demands and grievances expressed therein, and tapping into the potential that these movements have in making an actual change. Finally, the session aims to propose feasible solutions for environmental and socio-economic justice, as part of larger and incremental shifts in the economic and development paradigms upheld by IFIs.

Moderator: Shereen Talaat (MENAFEM)
Wael Gamal (EIPR)
Farah Al Shami (ARI)
Suzan Nada (labor legal activist, MENAFEM Movement)
Imene Cherif (FES-MENA)
Lunch and networking break
Plenary workshop: Discussion and feedbacking on the draft ROF Marrakech declaration

Preparation for the closing session

Closing segment
Updated ao 6 October 2023