May 30, 2002 – John Davidson from the U.S. State Department told an open forum on “Terrorism and Sustainable Development” that the United States’ War on Terrorism “in purely economic terms can do nothing but help sustainable development”. Mr. Davidson’s comments at the Fourth Preparatory Meeting for the World Summit for Sustainable Development taking place in Bali, Indonesia comes in the wake of a week of governmental failure to agree on any plan of action to alleviate poverty – widely accepted as a root cause of terrorism.

The United States, in particular, has undermined virtually all attempts by civil society to have their major concerns addressed in Johannesburg in August 2002. The United States is promoting Type 2 outcomes called “partnerships” as a way of avoiding any real commitment to a plan of action with clear targets and timetables.

“Billions of dollars are being spent on the war, but the United States is obstructing any attempts to come up with a plan of action to invest in poverty alleviation and the exploitation of people and natural resources,” said Emmy Hafild, WAHLI – Friends of the Earth, Indonesia.

“The ability of the United States to promote corporate-led globalization and now its war on terror as solutions to poverty and environmental destruction is absolutely mind-boggling,” Emmy added.
“The United States is asking the world to support its war on terror. The world is asking the United States to stop hiding behind the Doha agreement and Monterrey Consensus and work with the world’s governments to implement a plan of action that will deliver,” said Emmy.

As government ministers descend on Bali for the second and final week of the Ministerial level negotiations, Friends of the Earth International urges governments to seriously consider the links between unsustainable development and the proliferation of terrorism.

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