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By Joan Veon
January 30, 2005

DAVOS, SWITZERLAND - There were many hot topics here at the 2005 World Economic Forum. They included: the spread of global terrorism, American foreign policy, the value of the dollar, and climate change. The hot buttons, however, were poverty and disease in Africa the spread of global terrorism, and what has been called "An International Tax for the Poor."

Having been to seven of these meetings, I can tell you that this is a very complex place to be. First you have 1,000 handpicked CEO's from some of the world's largest multinational corporations. This year the total market capitalization totaled $8T which equals 20% of the world's annual Gross National Product! Then you have various world leaders: Britain's Tony Blair returned after a five year absence, Germany's Gerhard Schroder was present and French President Jacques Chirac spoke via satellite. Then there was the first appearance by Chinese businesses and their Executive Vice Premier, Huang Ju, as well as the Prime Minister of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and the newly elected president of the Ukraine, Victor A. Yushchenko. Usually there are the leaders of the United Nations and its various agencies - hardly any of them were here but then again, there were 55 heads of non-governmental organizations! Let me not leave out 26 religious leaders and 172 representatives from academic institutions and think tanks. All total there was over 2,200 participants from 96 countries, a mini UN.

Since the World Economic Forum has NGO consultative status at the United Nations, the underlying philosophy of their meetings is to spread that gospel to the participants. This is evident in the mixture of over 200 workshops. To be fair, the World Economic Forum brings together CEO's for networking purposes, to share experiences, and to "understand the state of the world." The quality of speakers is unparalleled and the topics cover everything happening in the world. Although the United Nations would probably not exist without the financial and material support of the United States, it clearly is an important component of the international structure and (what I consider) world government. Having covered 65 global meetings in every part of the globe except Asia, I have yet to change my mind.

In the eyes of the governments that sponsored the birthing of the UN, it was to be a place to solve the world's problems. It should be noted that America's representative, Alger Hiss, who chaired that meeting and who was its first secretary-general, was convicted of lying to the government about his involvement in the Communist Party. The Charter of the United Nations is not based on the U. S. Constitution where are freedoms are unlimited and come from God, but on the Russian Constitution where they come from government and can be taken away. Sixty years later, the UN has expanded with a structure that looks like any other government in the world, with the exception of an international taxing mechanism.

Given its current structure and the recently added 75,000 troop rapid deployment force, the only component missing to make this a complete governmental structure is taxation. In addition, UN has been working on a way for non-governmental organizations-NGOs or civil society to be represented with a voice in the General Assembly. Other than setting up an International House of Representatives with the people of the world electing their own representative, the Right of Petition is being formulated so NGO's can go directly to the General Assembly, possibly avoiding the need to set up a lower chamber.

Therefore, the fact that French President Jacques Chirac laid on the table for business leaders to consider the idea of global taxation to raise money for the poor, was equal to a nuclear bomb being set off in London. His proposals were basically old one with a little updating or modification.

Chirac's modified "Tobin Tax" or tax on speculative international currency transactions will probably never fly. I have been in IMF/World Bank Meetings where the experts said it was too complicated to do. I believe the reasons for brining it up again is that it is so radical that what they really want will be easier to swallow. While he recommended a $1 tax on airline tickets, a tax on fuel for shipping and aviation, and a tax on capital flows in and out of countries with bank secrecy, there are two key suggestions that are the real tax schemes.

The real tax that they want is an increase in Overseas Development Assistance which can be leveraged through the new international facility which British Finance Minister, Gordon Brown suggested.

In response to Chirac's international tax proposals, former president Bill Clinton said that while he was in favor of an "income stream to fund the Millennium Development Goals, there has never been an international tax. Who would approve it?" It is thought that it would take five to ten years to put an international tax scheme in place-many said that would take too long.

The real stealth tax bomb is the Overseas Development Assistance-ODA which are funds given by countries for debt relief, technical cooperation and emergency and disaster relief along with food aid. America is currently appropriating 0.23% GNP for ODA or about 6 cents per $100 of national income. Interestingly enough out of the G8 countries, we are giving 6 cents per $100 of national income whereas the UK is giving 2 cents, Canada is giving 5 cents, Germany is giving 4 cents, with Japan and Italy giving a bit less than or 1 cents. America has been castigated at every international conference for her "stinginess" which I believe is a tactic by some of the world's most prominent socialists.

At the World Economic Forum, Britain pledged $1.8B over the next 15 years which will come from raising their ODA from its present rate to 0.7% of GNP. France and Germany have committed to raising theirs ODA as well.

World leaders have pledged over the years, with the last major pledge in 2002 to raise ODA to 0.7% and have not. The momentum building over the poverty and disease in Africa is now the impetus, NGO's say, for the rich countries of the world to rise to the challenge. For America, this would mean adding $55B a year to ODA. Interestingly enough, the UN says the amount it needs to meet its Millennium Development Goals is $50B a year. Surprise, surprise--what a great transfer of wealth!

What is the difference between giving and transfer of wealth? The outpouring of relief that we witnessed over the South Seas tsunami came from the heart. It was not dictated. To add injury to insult, British finance minister Gordon Brown has unveiled a mechanism called the "International Finance Facility" that would take the ODA pledges and float international bonds in the market to leverage country pledges. This leveraging would commit America for 30 years (bonds are 30 years). Can you imagine a $10T mortgage over 30 years (0.7% ODA = $72B year x15 years)? That's the bottom line. Then let us add the cost of $2T which is the projection to change Social Security and the possibility some kind of VAT or national sales tax! If Satan is in control of the world, debt is his tool for transfer of wealth.

Again, we should consider all of the poor African countries that can't pay their bills. A great many of them are former British colonies and they are very rich in gold, bauxite, diamonds, iron, copper, cobalt and coal, not to mention forests and agriculture. In a speech by Tanzania President Benjamin William Mkapa, he said that because his country trades in commodities there is no value added, the prices are unstable, and they get unfair prices. Furthermore, he admitted that they borrowed very heavily from the IMF/World Bank as well as other lenders which is why they are impoverished and highly indebted. Unfortunately, this is the story of all the other poverty stricken African countries. On top of that, there is warring going on over control of their natural resources.

I posed the following question to British Prime Minister Tony Blair, "As a former colony of Britain, I know what happened to us when we de-colonized, and I know where we are today. I too am very concerned about Africa and its plight. Could you help me understand what happened to many of these African countries that were at one time colonies of Britain and now are members of the Commonwealth. How did what happen, happen in Africa and what are the reasons as to why they happened?" Blair, said, "Briefly," the people in the room laughed and he basically gave me a non answer but was kind enough to end with, "I realize this is probably not the answer you wanted."

I believe we are being set up for a major transfer of wealth that will put a greater burden on the backs of Americans which already have more than what they can handle. Am I for world peace? Yes, but it will never happen because it has never happened. Man is not capable of world peace. It is a utopian ideal for which the socialists and communists want control of the world for the sake of control. The only peace we can have is through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. The Bible tells us that the "effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much" (James 5:16).

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











Given its current structure and the recently added 75,000 troop rapid deployment force, the only component missing to make this a complete governmental structure is taxation.