Neoliberal Governance and Social Resistance: A Chronology of Events
Compiled by Coady Buckley. The Commoner, N.7, Spring/Summer 2003. http://www.thecommoner.org
Date1 Year Official Event Resistance or Movement Comments and Links
  1942 - Speech by President Roosevelt (USA) "Declaration by 'United Nations'"
- First official use of the name "United Nations"
  Link: A Joint Declaration by the United Nations, subscribing to the Principles of the Atlantic Charter, January 1, 1942
July 1944 - Bretton Woods Agreements, created the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD)

  Link: Summary of so-called "Bretton Woods Agreements". United Nations Monetary and Financial Conference at Bretton Woods. July 22, 1944
26 June 1945 - The United Nations established
  Link: history of the UN
23 June
1946 - The World Bank formally begins operations.
  Link: pages on the World Bank - history, chronology and archives
27 September
1946 - First annual meeting of the board of governors of the World Bank held in Washington.
   
4 December 1946 - President Eugene Meyer resigns.
   
15 November 1947 - The United Nations General Assembly approved an agreement formalizing the  relationship with the IBRD
   
11 March
1955 - The Economic Development Institute, aimed at serving as the Bank's staff college, is established; financial support from the Ford and Rockefeller Foundations.
   
15 April 1955 - Bank transmitted charter of proposed International Finance Corporation (IFC) to member governments for approval.
  Link: basic facts and history about the IFC
19 September 1960 - The Indus Waters Treaty signed by Pakistan, India, and the World Bank in Karachi, thus opening the way to the use and development of water resources on which depends the livelihood of some 50 million people in the two countries
  Comment: early instance of 'water rights' issue
  1964 - UNCTAD, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development established
  Link: information about 'UNCTAD'
September 1970 - World Bank, an operations evaluation unit (OEU) established, whose responsibility it is to evaluate the contribution of World Bank Group operations to the development of member countries
   
July 1976   Protests against World Bank and IMF
- Peru
 
January 1977   Protests against World Bank and IMF
- Egypt
 
  1978 - Tobin Tax, Global Taxation - first proposed by James Tobin
  Link: information about James Tobin - Nobel Laureate (1981)
September 1978   Protests against World Bank and IMF
- Ghana
 
August 1978 - First World Development Report is published
  Link: World Development Report website
January 1979   Protests against World Bank and IMF
- Jamaica
 
April 1979   Protests against World Bank and IMF
- Liberia
 
  1980 - Brandt Commission - (Independent Commission on International Development) chaired by Willy Brandt. Report: "North-South: A Program for Survival linked economic equity to development" beginning of "sustainable development" concept
   
February 1980   Protests against World Bank and IMF
- Philippines
 
  1980 - Multilateral Development Banks (MDB) began "policy based lending" or structural adjustment.
- From the 1980s onward, the World Bank/IMF increasingly dictated macroeconomic policies to debtor nations.  By 1996 about one-quarter of all World Bank lending was in the form of structural adjustment programs.
   
May 1980   Protests against World Bank and IMF
- Zaire
 
July 1980   Protests against World Bank and IMF
- Turkey
 
  1980     Comment: Greenpeace establishes one of the first global communication networks for its international staff
June 1981   Protests against World Bank and IMF
- Morocco
 
August 1981   Protests against World Bank and IMF
- Sierra Leone
 
September 1981 - US and global inflationary pressure was disrupted by the brutal twin recessions of 1980-82 brought on by the new Fed chairman, Paul Volker, and his attack on the monetary aggregates.
  Link: copies of US Federal Reserve Speeches (from 1996 onwards)
  1982 - Fall in oil prices causes Mexico to default on international debts; beginning of world debt crisis
  Link: World Bank Group Historical Chronology (1980-1989)
January 1982   Protests against World Bank and IMF
- Sudan
 
March 1982   Protests against World Bank and IMF
- Argentina
 
October 1982   Protests against World Bank and IMF
- Ecuador & Chile
 
March 1983   Protests against World Bank and IMF
- Bolivia
 
April 1983   Protests against World Bank and IMF
- Brazil
 
October 1983   Protests against World Bank and IMF
- Panama
 
January 1984    Protests against World Bank and IMF
- Tunisia
 
April 1984    Protests against World Bank and IMF
- Dominican Republic
 
January 1985    Protests against World Bank and IMF
- Jamaica
 
March 1985    Protests against World Bank and IMF
- Bolivia & Zaire
 
May 1985    Protests against World Bank and IMF
- Haiti & El Salvador

 
August 1985    Protests against World Bank and IMF
- Costa Rica

 
September 1985    Protests against World Bank and IMF
- Bolivia & Guatemala

 
February 1986    Protests against World Bank and IMF
- Mexico
 
May 1986    Protests against World Bank and IMF
- Nigeria
 
September 1986    Protests against World Bank and IMF
- Bolivia
 
November 1986    Protests against World Bank and IMF
- Yugoslavia
 
  1987 - Brundtland Commission - (World Commission on Environment and Development).
Report: "Our Common Future" which defined "sustainable development". Chaired by Gro Harlem Brundtland. Members included Shridath Ramphal and Maurice Strong
   
19 October 1987 - The largest single day stockmarket drop on Wall Street (and other global markets) occurred (known as 'Black Monday' in reference to the crash of 1929)
  Link: New York Stock Exchange timeline
January 1987    Protests against World Bank and IMF
- Sierra Leone & Zambia
 
March 1987    Protests against World Bank and IMF
- Ecuador, Ghana & Poland
 
October 1987    Protests against World Bank and IMF
- Ecuador
 
November 1987    Protests against World Bank and IMF
- Algeria, Romania & Sudan
 
12 April 1988 - The international convention establishing the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) took effect
  Link: about MIGA
April 1988    Protests against World Bank and IMF
- Nigeria
 
June 1988    Protests against World Bank and IMF
- Ghana
 
August 1988    Protests against World Bank and IMF
- Hungary
 
October 1988    Protests against World Bank and IMF
- Algeria
 
9 November 1989 - Berlin Wall collapsed triggering the final disintegration of the Eastern Bloc and wide ranging global strategic political reorientation
  Comment: major financial as well as political implications
January 1989    Protests against World Bank and IMF
- Benin
 
February 1989    Protests against World Bank and IMF
- Venezuela
 
April 1989    Protests against World Bank and IMF
- Benin & Jordan
 
May 1989    Protests against World Bank and IMF
- Argentina & Nigeria
 
16 July 1990 - World Bank, World Development Report 1990, outlines a strategy for reducing poverty based on experiences from developing countries around the world
   
February 1990    Protests against World Bank and IMF
- Ivory Coast & Niger
 
March 1990    Protests against World Bank and IMF
- Nigeria
 
June 1990    Protests against World Bank and IMF
- Zambia
 
July 1990    Protests against World Bank and IMF
- Trinidad
 
December 1990    Protests against World Bank and IMF
- Morocco & Uganda
 
  1991 - Stockholm Initiative on Global Security and Governance.
  Comment: origin of Commission on Global Governance
  1991 - Major global recession
  Link: an IMF document (in pdf format) " World Economic Outlook - Recessions and Recoveries"
May 1991    Protests against World Bank and IMF
- Nigeria
 
August 1991    Protests against World Bank and IMF
- Iran
 
3-14 June 1992 - The UN Conference on Environment and Development (Earth Summit)
  Link: about 'UNEP' milestones page (key documents and websites including Rio declaration (1992) and Agenda 21
February 1992    Protests against World Bank and IMF
- Albania, India & Venezuela
 
April 1992    Protests against World Bank and IMF
- Nepal
 
May 1992    Protests against World Bank and IMF
- Nigeria & Zimbabwe
 
December 1992    Protests against World Bank and IMF
- India
 
  1992 - Global Biodiversity Strategy - published jointly by UNEP, IUCN, WWF, and WRI.
- U.N. Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) - Rio de Janeiro.  Produced: Agenda 21, Convention on Biological Diversity; Framework Convention on Climate Change;
Statement of Forest Principles;
Rio Declaration.
- U.N. Commission on Sustainable Development - created to advance Agenda 21
  Link: UNEP full text of 'Agenda 21' documents
  1993 - First Meridian Conference on Global Governance - held in Bolinas, California
   
October 1993   Protests against World Bank and IMF
- India & Russia
Comment: more than 500,000 people protest the Uruguay Round of GATT, in Bangalore, India
1 January 1994 - NAAEC (North American Agreement on Environmental Co-operation)
- NAALC (North American Agreement on Labour Co-operation)
- NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement)
- Zapatista (EZLN) uprising in south west region of Mexico
Comment: beginning of extensive transnational links in structure of global resistance.
  So called global electronic resistance
  1994 - First Summit of the Americas, Miami, USA. 34 Nations participated. Agreement to work towards creating a Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA)
  Link: the FTAA website
January 1994    Protests against World Bank and IMF
- Uganda
 
May 1994    Protests against World Bank and IMF
- Mexico
 
June 1994    Protests against World Bank and IMF
- Gabon
 
  1994 - World Trade Organization (WTO) - formed at Uruguay round of GATT negotiations
  Link: about the WTO
29 September 1994 - 50th Anniversary of World Bank and IMF - Manibeli Declaration (asking for ban on WB funding of Dams)
- Establishment of '50 Years is Enough' campaign
 
  1995 - World Summit on Social Development in Copenhagen.
- Commission on Sustainable Development
  Comment: in 1995 the International Finance Corporation (IFC) made almost US$3 billion in loans and equity investments for 213 corporate projects in 67 countries. The IFC's support for these investments leveraged another US$15 billion in financing for these corporate ventures. Overall, the World Bank Group, supports "about $25 billion of private-sector finance a year, or 10 percent of all investment by private enterprise in developing countries."
  1995 - "Our Global Neighborhood", final report released by the Commission on Global Governance
   
July 1995    Protests against World Bank and IMF
- Ecuador
 
November 1995    Protests against World Bank and IMF
- Kenya
 
September 1995   Protests against World Bank
- Spain
 
24 October 1995 - 50th Anniversary of UN - Establishment of 'Peoples Assemblies'
Link: to document 'Towards A Peoples Assembly by the Year 2000'
  1996 - Campaign for U.N. Reform, organized to lobby for global governance
   
27 July to 3 August 1996   - EZLN organize the 'First Encuentro' in Aguascalientes, Southern Mexico

 
29 September 1996 - World Bank, Interim Committee and Development Committee endorse and call for implementation of the Initiative to assist the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC)
   
2-4 February 1997 - Microcredit Summit (Washington, DC)
   
February 1997   Protests against World Bank and IMF
- South Africa
 
July 1997 - Asian Financial Crisis
  Link: a page dedicated to Asian Financial Crisis - Nouriel Roubini's Global Economics Policy Site
  1997   - Activists, coordinating a global campaign through the Internet, force the OECD to shelve plans for a Multilateral Agreement on Investment, which would have opened up the global economy to corporate investment beyond existing agreements at that time
 
  1998 - FTAA, Fourth Trade Ministerial Meeting, San Jose, Costa Rica
   
23-26 February 1998   - People's Global Action worldwide co-ordination of resistance against the global market
Link: 'People's Global Action' homepage
May 1998   Protests against World Bank and IMF
- Indonesia
 
16 May 1998 - G8 Summit on Debt Relief - 70,000 people protest in Birmingham blocking city centre (meeting moved to country)
 
1 June 1998   - Organised march of Children to stop child labour, finishing at the ILO in Geneva
 
14 October 1998 - France withdraws from OECD negotiations on the MAI.  Negotiations subsequently terminated
   
15-17 November 1998   - Meeting of 38 national 'Jubilee 2000' Campaigns in Rome on Debt cancellation
 
31 January 1999 - The Secretary-General of UN first proposed the 'Global Compact' at the World Economic Forum, Davos
   
18 June 1999   J18 - An International day of action, protest and carnival aimed at the heart of the global economy
Link: the J18 Protest London
  1999 - Charter for Global Democracy, consolidates recommendations of Commission on Global Governance into 12 principles
  Link: Charter for Global Democracy and 12 principles
February 1999    Protests against World Bank and IMF
- Romania
 
April 1999    Protests against World Bank and IMF
- Mexico
 
May 1999    Protests against World Bank and IMF
- Argentina
 
July 1999    Protests against World Bank and IMF
- Ecuador
 
December 1999    Protests against World Bank and IMF
- Argentina
 
30 November-3 December 1999 - WTO Conference in Seattle, USA - Large scale public protests. 50,000 people take to the streets in Seattle in protests against the WTO effectively stopping the meeting for a day. Ultimately these protests cause the WTO talks to collapse
 
January 2000    Protests against World Bank and IMF
- Ecuador
 
March 2000    Protests against World Bank and IMF
- Costa Rica
 
April 2000    Protests against World Bank and IMF
- Argentina, Bolivia, Kenya & Zambia
 
May 2000    Protests against World Bank and IMF
- Argentina, India, Malawi, South Africa, Russia, Turkey & Zambia
 
June 2000    Protests against World Bank and IMF
- Argentina, Ecuador, Paraguay & Nigeria
 
26 July 2000 - United Nations Global Compact joint initiative on Human Rights, Labour and Environment launched
  Link: UN Global Compact
August 2000    Protests against World Bank and IMF
- Columbia & Honduras
 
September 2000    Protests against World Bank and IMF
- Brazil
 
    - World Economic Forum, in Davos, Switzerland
- Thousands protest the gathering of corporate CEOs and world leaders in Davos
 
8 March 2000 - The International Financial Institution Advisory Commission ("Meltzer Commission") releases report. The report is highly critical of the World Bank and IMF and urges that they be radically reduced and restructured
   
April 2000   - Bolivia, large scale nation-wide protests against water privatization in Bolivia force American corporate giant Bechtel to withdraw from the country. Plans for privatization are put on hold
 
May 2000   - Argentina, up to 80,000 protested against the IMF
 
May 2000   - Kenya, a peaceful demonstration calling for debt relief and an end to IMF conditions ends in violence and arrests of 63 protestors, including 15 church leaders
 
June 2000   - Argentina, over 7.2 million workers support a 24 hour general strike in defiance of the new IMF-prescribed labour laws
 
16 April 2000 - Washington, D.C., World Trade Organization (WTO) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) hold annual spring meetings (held since 1975)
- Large scale public protests  
August 2000   - Columbia, 15,000 workers go on protest and strike regarding IMF's loan conditions
 
28-30 August 2000 - UNDPI/NGO Forum held in New York to strengthen "Civil Society" role in UN operations
   
6 September 2000 - World Bank and IMF, (James Wolfensohn and Horst Kohler) issue a joint statement on shared objectives and guiding principles
  Link: press release from World Bank
September 2000   - Brazil, referendum asking whether Brazil should discontinue IMF reforms is backed by more than a million people. Organised by the National Council of Bishops and Jubilee 2000, the 'unofficial' referendum is a marked success."
 
11 September 2000 - World Economic Forum, Melbourne Australia - 10,000 to 30,000 protestors in Melbourne at the World Economic Forum.
 
September 2000 World Bank and IMF meetings held in Prague
- Prague, Czech Republic, Large scale public protests, 9000 demonstrators participate in protests at the World Bank and IMF Annual Meeting.  Meetings end earlier than scheduled
 
January 2001   - Angola, national strikes resulting from IMF prescribed adjustment policies
 
January 2001 - World Economic Forum, Davos, Switzerland - World Social Forum, Porto Alegre in Brazil, meeting attended by over 10,000 people. The goal was to discuss alternatives to the current forms of globalization
 
February 2001   - Ecuador, nation-wide demonstrations and an activist occupation of the IMF offices in Quito, the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (CONAIE) claims victory as the President of the country bows to their demands to lower gas prices and subsidize poor rural sectors
 
February 2001 - World Economic Forum, Cancun, Mexico.
- Hundreds of protestors (attacked by police)
 
  2001 - Free Trade of the Americas Agreement (FTAA) meeting in Quebec
- Large scale public protests  
18 March 2001   - Naples, Italy, an estimated 20,000 protestors march
 
1 May 2001   - Global May Day Protests
Link: Guardian newspaper special reports website on May Day World Events
May 2001   - Hawaii, USA, saw protest at the Asia Development Bank and its policies, similar to those of the World Bank and IMF
 
July 2001   - India, ten million state employees go on general strike against privatisation plans and to call for a halt to IMF, World Bank and WTO policies
 
  2001 - Genoa, G8 summit
- Large scale public protests, at least one demonstrator killed by violent police crackdown. Estimates vary from 100,000 to 200,000 protestors
 
August 2001   - Angola, national strikes resulting from IMF prescribed adjustment policies
 
3 August 2001 - The IMF and the World Bank invite public participation in a comprehensive review of the Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSP) approach
   
8 August 2001   - Mexico, approximately 5000 farmers march in protest of free trade and globalization's effects on them and destroying self sufficiency in food production
 
11 September 2001   - New York World Trade Center and Washington's 'Pentagon' (US government building) attacked by terrorists
 
9-13 September 2001 - Doha, Qatar, The World Trade Organization (WTO) 4th Ministerial Conference
- Small number of people demonstrate in Doha.
- Demonstrations globally in connection with the Doha WTO meeting
Comment: little or no access to Qatar granted to individuals or groups wishing to oppose WTO policies, due to anti-democratic and absolutist monarchical state. Since the meeting held in Seattle (1999) WTO meetings increasingly held under anti-democratic circumstances
  So called Anti-globalisation movement lost momentum following reaction after the 11th of September attacks in the US
December 2001   - Argentina, two days of violent protests at further IMF austerity measures, and economic meltdown that brought down the government. More than 16 people known to have been killed
 
  2002 - Washington D.C.
- 'A16', Large scale public protests against the IMF
 
January 2002   Protests against World Bank, IMF and WTO.
- Sri Lanka
 
February 2002   - World Social Forum, Porto Alegre in Brazil, meeting attended by over 51,000 people
 
28 September 2002   - London, anti-war demonstration. 400,000 people march to protest against a war with Iraq
Link: CND website - information about the anti-war demonstrations
15 February 2003   - Global anti-war demonstrations.
Including 11 European countries and over 600 cities worldwide. In London alone approximately 2 million people mobilise on the streets (the largest public demonstration on any issue in history)
Comment: Over 30 million people worldwide involved in protests against the support of national governments for a war with Iraq.
  Global economic policies implicated in conditions which contribute to violent acts against US and other nations backing US policies
22 March 2003   - London, 500,000 - 750,000 people mobilize against UK involvement in the war
Comment: biggest demonstration in UK during war-time
12 April 2003   - London, over 200,000 people demonstrate in London call for an end to the US/UK occupation of Iraq
Comment: immediate justification for US/UK led war in Iraq not supported by evidence available after the displacement of the Iraqi national government and armed forces
1 -3 June 2003 - G8 meeting in Evian, France
- Large scale demonstrations  
Notes: 1 Where appropriate a specific date is given, otherwise only a month or year is given.
Sources (links): Global Issues - Public Protests
Timeline to Global Governance
CorpWatch - Grassroots Globalization Fact Sheet
World Bank History - Chronology
Anti-IMF/World Bank Protests in the Global South (1976-2001) & sources