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By Joan Veon
January 29, 2005

DAVOS, SWITZERLAND - In a keynote speech today at the opening of the Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum, French President Jacques Chirac called on the world's most powerful business leaders to help raise $50B a year to meet the United Nations Millennium Goals agreed to in 2000.

Citing the silent "tsunamis" of famine, infectious diseases, violence, revolt, anarchy, and extremism, Chirac referred to the outpouring of help from around the world for countries hit by the tsunami. He said, [T]he only effective response is co-ordinated international aid. The huge outpouring of generosity from all corners of the world bears witness to the assertion that a planetary awareness, a sentiment of world citizenship does exist."

Chirac went on to say, "Development is both the greatest challenge and the greatest urgency of our time" and called for a partnership between "market forces and solidarity." With the global GNP at $40T, the French President said the $50B needed to halve extreme poverty and malnutrition by 2015, provide universal primary education for children, reduce by 2/3's the mortality of children under five, half HIV/AIDS, and halve the number of people who do not have access to drinking water and sanitation is minimal.

To raise these monies, Chirac offered some old, new, and revised ideas. They are:

1. Increase official aid or Overseas Development Assistance-ODA from its current 0.2% of GDP to the targeted 0.7%.
France supports the British proposal by Gordon Brown to set up an International Finance Facility which would float bonds in the international markets. All commitments by donor countries would go into the fund and bonds would be floated based on the annual payments. Chirac suggested that these loans would be reimbursed by "new resources, international taxes or levies, or voluntary contributions such as a small levy (tax) of $1 on the 3 billion plane tickets sold each year worldwide and a levy on the fuel used by air and/or sea transport.
Encourage large developed countries to set up co-ordinated tax incentives to stimulate and encourage private donations for development to help capture some of the $220B that Americans give in charitable donations. Because only three percent goes outside America, he felt some laws should be changed to capture some of these monies.
A tax of 1/10,000 of a percent on international financial transactions which total $3T per day. Claiming this was not a Tobin Tax, it looks like it to me since the Tobin Tax was a higher percentage on international currency transactions.
Ask countries that "maintain bank secrecy to partially compensate for the consequences of world tax evasion through a levy of flows of foreign capital in and out of their territory to help the poor."
More corporations and financial organizations should set up foundations like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to help the development of the world.

With regard to Overseas Development Assistance, France and the UK have set a time schedule for how they are going to increase their contribution. They currently give $7,253M and $6,282M respectively. It should be noted that Bush doubled ODA in 2002. We currently give somewhere around 0.23% of our GDP which totals $16,254M. This money is used for debt relief, technical cooperation and emergency and disaster relief along with food aid. New Zealand gives the least at $165M.

With regard to the idea of more foundations, he probably does not know about the Reese Commission which researched the early foundations set up by the Rockefellers, Mellons, Scaifs, Pews, and Carnegies. Reese found that they were changing the whole fabric of society in America at taxpayer expense! Most of these foundations are responsible for the international thinking calling for world government that pervades the world today.

Ten years ago, I "discovered" the UN was going to float the idea of global taxation at the 1995 Social Summit in Copenhagen. Since then, I have followed it from the idea stage to the serious goal that is has become: from the UN, to the IMF/World Bank, to the G8, and now, to the World Economic Forum.

I have a major problem with transferring my wealth to the poor. First, I believe it should be voluntary and not dictated--this constitutes socialism. Second, when I look at all the poor countries of Africa, many of them are members of the British Commonwealth which means the Commonwealth outvotes us at the international level since they have anywhere from 2 votes to 54 votes versus our one, be it the United Nations, the World Bank, the World Trade, etc. Furthermore, many of the Highly Indebted Poor Countries-HIPC that we are being asked to forgive their debt are part of the Commonwealth. As Britain de-colonized countries primarily in Africa and around the world between 1946 and 1989, they were given votes at the UN since they were not independent. Many of the HIPC Commonwealth countries are rich in gold, bauxite, diamonds, copper, coal, and manganese.

Lastly who or which UN agency is going to verify that the money from these taxes are going to be used to accomplish the above goals? Americans had better decide what they are going to do about this for the CEO's of the world are signing on to global taxation. Talk about the devastation of a tsunami!

Go to the World Economic Forum website: The full speech of Jacques Chirac available in English translation is available for you to hear his speech on global taxation from the webcast. Also listen to "G8 and Africa - Rhetoric or Reality" and the Closing Plenary with Al Gore on Climate Change.

� 2005 Joan Veon - All Rights Reserved

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Joan Veon is a businesswoman and international reporter, having covered 64 Global meetings around the world in the last ten years. Please visit her website: To get a copy of her WTO report, send $10.00 to The Women's International Media Group, Inc. P. O. Box 77, Middletown, MD 21769. For an information packet, please call 301-371-0541









French President Jacques Chirac called on the world's most powerful business leaders to help raise $50B a year to meet the United Nations Millennium Goals agreed to in 2000