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southern hemisphere. One of those countries is the Philippines, where 44 percent of the national budget is diverted each year to service debt to northern hemisphere banking consortia. In Bangladesh, the infant mortality rate is 12 percent, compared to .05 percent in Japan. Closer to home, in Haiti, with its percapita income of less than $1 per day, there are fewer Haitian physicians in their native land than in North America, due to the exodus of professionals from poor southern countries to affluent northern ones. The exploitation of human resources by the G-7 nations is matched by theirheavy tax on the natural wealth of the poorer nations. CELENE RENO Cuauhtemos Cardenas The United States, with 5 percent of the world’s population, consumes approximately 40 percent of the annual yield of global resources, especially minerals, and contributes 25 percent of the annual deposit of waste carbon gases to the atmosphere. While Europe and Japan are less profligate, they, too, bear a disproportionate responsibility for the planet’s shrinking resource base and the unconscionable damage inflicted on the global environment. And yet, as noted repeatedly at TOES, the G-7 nations continue to press for a further expansion of the U.S. model of economic development, characterized by corporate giantism, international divisions of labor, and constant growth in per-capita consumption of non-renewable resources. In response to all this, the Summit of the Seven Poorest Nationsincluding the Native American nation of North Americaissued a call for global solidarity in pursuit of a slate of nine demands. Number one was cancellation of Third World debt owed to Western banks, which, according to economists and activists meeting in Houston, has been repaid many times over through undercompensation for Third World labor and natural resources flowing to developed nations. \(Some debtor nations have already paid more than the principal of their notes in the forum of an International Reparations Fund, elimination of military aid to Third World governments, a code of conduct for global corporations emphasizing environmental protection a bill of rights for indigenous people, particularly children, and “recognition of the rich cultural diversity of the peoples of the world.” Standing behind this declaration were four major leaders of popular opposition political movements in their respective countries, three of whom were delegates to the conference: Cuauhternoc Cardenas, whom many regard as the duly elected president of Mexico; Luiz Ignacio “Lula” da Silva, who recently won 34.6 percent of the vote for the presidency, of Brazil; Adalberto Salcedo; a presidential candidate in Colombia; and Jesse Jackson, who had to cancel his personal appearance at the Houston conference, but did find time to make a phone call. Jackson reminded TOES conferees that the United. States itself is home to millions of Third World people, most of whom are exploited, oppressed, and strategically forgotten by the same economic and social elites that were represented at the G-7 summit. There was no end to impassioned oratory and insightful analysis at the convention. Among the keynoters were Giselle Parfait, a Green Party member of the French parliament; Gloria Bouis, a Filipino activist who delivered a blistering attack on sexual abuses of Filipino women by U.S. servicemen stationed in the Philippines; Tony Mazzochi, a leader of the International Machinists Union who called for a “Superfund” to accommodate workers displaced by environmental rulings and cuts in U.S. defense spending; Denis Hayes, the Earth Day hero; Howard Odum, a revolutionary energy scientist; Jeanne Gardner, a New York expert on sustainable cities; and Martin Khor Kok Peng, the Malaysian coordinator of the World Rainforest Movement. The convention, in my view, was a ripping success, a populist moment with historic The Other Summit Salvaging the Planet BY RAY REECE Houston N JULY 6, while the corporate establishment in Houston was stashing the city’s “For Sale” signs and otherwise spiffing up the place for the Economic Summit of Industrialized Nations \(Gworld for The Other Economic Summit Rico, from Guatemala and the Philippines, from Poland, Haiti, Canada, Nigeria, Hungary, Malaysia, Italy, Pakistan, Colombia, France, Brazil, England, Japan, Bulgaria, Grenada, South Africa, Sweden, Costa Rica, Germany, Finland, and Mexico among a total of 40 nations. The United States produced more than half of the 1,000-plus delegates, with of that half, in my estimation, coming from Texas, and half of that half from the Austin area, the City of Eternal Childhood, where veterans of various movements of the ’60s continue stubbornly, in surprisingly large numbers, to believe in and work to salvage the planet. That the salvaging of the planet, with liberty, justice, and a living wage for all was the principal goal and unifying theme of the convention. It continued for three days at the Astro Village Hotel, in the shadow of Houston’s fatuous Dome, where a vast conclave of Jehovah’s Witnesses, preparing for Armageddon, was followed by the rodeo and Grand Old Opry that President Bush put on for Maggie Thatcher and three of the other G-7 heads of state. Houston’s TOES meeting was the seventh such event to be held in conjunction with the annual Summit of the Seven Richest Nations. \(Last year’s summits were held in Paris, and next year’s will be in TOES was designed as a forum for discussing alternatives to the elitist economic policies of the G-7 states policies aimed at further consolidating the power of those nations to shape the world as they see fit, at significant cost to the poorer nations and without including those impoverished people, in the formulation of the policies affecting them. In Houston this year, for the first time in TOES history, the conference included a Summit of the Seven Poorest Nations, designed to dramatize the gulf between the rich industrial countries of the northern hemisphere and the impoverished countries of the Ray Reece is an Austin-based writer and energy-issues activist. THE TEXAS OBSERVER 5