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Y2K and the Multilateral Agreement on Investments

Date: Sat, 29 Aug 1998 08:26:12
From: Terry Cottam <>

Here's an update from the MAI-not website
which introduces the y2k issue. The links mentioned below are not included
but you will find them at

Alternatives to the MAI?
(Updated 28 Aug 1998)

Before you review the links below, an important message:

Any discussion about the MAI or alternatives cannot ignore y2k, the year
2000 computer
problem. To learn about why it affects you, please see
. In a nutshell, the computer problems will not get fixed in time, and the
"bugs" will begin to cause increasing havoc in 1999 with governments,
corporations, NGOs and citizens alike, with breakdowns peaking on or after
January 1st, 2000. The increasing preoccupation will be with survival. The
challenge will be to face this as communities, not as lone groups of

So what, then, are our real objectives? One is to make very sure that the
MAI and its ilk are delayed until this crucial date when any multilateral
initiatives will be, if not quite dead, in extended hibernation, as the
elites among us become preoccupied with their dwindling investments and
disintegrating organizations.

We want to be sure that, as the need for disaster relief becomes apparent,
we are not confronted only with corrupt for-profit firms taking advantage
of the chaos with draconian "investment" rules enforced by MAI tribunals.
At the same time, let's not fool ourselves: underfunded agencies such as
Emergency Preparedness Canada (see ) or FEMA
in the U.S. cannot be depended on either. Citizens must organize as never

Also, the last thing we need is an MAI-style provision for "protection from
civil strife" as our social safety net becomes shot full of holes in the
wake of the computer havoc. An excellent read on what will become of
government services is Time Bomb 2000 by Ed Yourdon ( )

So, as you review the following links, note that "the times they are
a-changing" with increasing speed. We are all out there, learning,
networking, taking action, alert to the changes around us. Let us go into
the fray with equal measures of resolve, compassion, boldness and humility.
I hope we'll all see each other in the fair, sustainable world we have
fought so hard for, not too long after January 2000.

Very best wishes,

Terry Cottam
MAI-Not! Project
y2k Ottawa,