No to WTO and Free Trade Agreements
- Published on Thursday, 21 August 2014 22:07
To: Shrimati Nirmala Sitharaman,
Minister of State Finance
138, North Block, New Delhi
Dear Shrimati Nirmala Sitharaman:
We are a network of farmers’ organizations in India, comprising of farmers movements from Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and Maharastra.
We appreciate the Government of India’s uncompromised stand in the WTO and commitment to food security. At the WTO General Council the Government of India has postponed the Trade Facilitation Agreement indefinitely until a solution on public stockholding has been found. We appreciate the roles the Government of India and you have played in this position, and we will extend support to the Government of India for any pro-farmer and pro-poor position you have in the WTO. However, our position since the Uruguay Round has always been that there is no place for agriculture in the WTO, and Indian farmers have been the champion of this fight, both at home and internationally.
The WTO pushes through bad deal in the final hours; Developed countries and TNCs are the big winners
- Published on Sunday, 08 December 2013 17:02
Social Movements for an Alternative Asia (SMAA), Gerak Lawan and La Via Campesina
The 9th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO) pushed through a Bali Package in the final hours, extending the Conference to December 7, but at the cost of the developing countries, the poor and the hungry.
Facilitating Trade for TNCs
Hailed as a victory by the WTO for unlocking the deadlocked negotiations, the Bali Package delivers a legally binding agreement on Trade Facilitation that is costly to developing countries and ensures easier access and profits for Transnational Corporations (TNCs). Trade Facilitation, or the easing of customs procedures and borders, clearly benefits only the big TNCs that already control exports and imports. As the 2013 World Trade Report data shows, “80% of US exports are handled by 1% of large exporters, 85% of European exports are in the hands of 10% of big exporters and 81% of exports are concentrated in the top 5 largest exporting firms in developing countries.”
La Via Campesina demands an End to the WTO; peasants believe that the WTO cannot be reformed or turned around
- Published on Friday, 06 December 2013 13:17
To members of Our World is Not for Sale (OWINFS),
Since the launch of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 1995, La Via Campesina, the global peasants movement with 200 million members in over 70 countries, has been organizing together with other social movements and organizations, the resistance against the WTO and corporate-led globalization. We were with many of you, in the streets of Seattle, Cancun, Hong Kong, Geneva and we are all still honoring the memory of the self-immolation of Korean farmer Lee Kyung Hae who took his own life at the fence of the 2003 Ministerial in Cancun, Mexico.
We have also, since the beginning, called for the removal of Agriculture from the WTO, “WTO out of Agriculture”. Agriculture is our way of life, our livelihood, our culture, our food, our way of relating with Mother Nature. This is in contrast with the Agreement on Agriculture’s primary goal of making policies more market-oriented so as to have greater and easier trade flows. The WTO and the AoA treat agriculture as a commodity to be sold, traded and profited from. With this free market ideology, no amount of special and differential treatment, defensive measures, exemptions or preferential access, will deliver our right to food sovereignty.
Social movements remind the WTO about the death of Korean farmer Lee Kyung Hae inside the official ministerial conference through a powerful action
- Published on Thursday, 05 December 2013 19:23
Press Release - La Via Campesina, Social Movements for an Alternative Asia, Gerak Lawan
(Dec 5, Denpasar, Bali) Representatives of social movements from around the world carried out a dramatic silent procession inside the ministerial venue in Nusa Dua to commemorate the self sacrifice of their comrade, the Korean farmer Lee Kyung Hae. Lee lives on in their struggle.
Lee Kyung Hae took the extreme step of stabbing himself to death outside the conference halls of WTOs 5th ministerial in Cancun in 2003. He climbed atop a fence outside the WTO meeting, wearing a sign that said “WTO Kills Farmers” and then proceeded to immolate himself, shocking the world and reminding everyone that the WTO literally spells death for farmers around the world.
- Published on Thursday, 05 December 2013 18:01
(Managalore, Dec 3, 2013) in Karnataka, India, farmers mobilized on the ground at a place of great meaning to agriculturalists trying to make a living in South India: the Mangalore port, an import hub of the nation. Farmers from four Indian states - Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala, and Maharastra - came together to demand India leaves the WTO. They blockaded the port and burned an effigy of the WTO.
- Published on Wednesday, 04 December 2013 21:02
Press release - Social movements for an Alternative Asia and Gerak Lawan
See more pictures of the mobilisation of Dec 3, 2013 in Bali..
(Bali, Dec 3, 2013) As the official World Trade Organization (WTO) negotiations opened today on the 3rd of December in Bali, Indonesia, peoples’ movements took to the streets. Gerak Lawan, an alliance of Indonesian Peoples Movements against Neocolonialism and Imperialism, along with the Social Movements for an Alternative Asia (SMAA), a newly formed coordination of Asian social movements along with La Via Campesina demonstrated in Renon Square in Denpasar from 9am until 2pm.
The protest brought together at least 1,000 farmers, trade unions, students, women and youth from more than 30 countries. They called for the total rejection of the WTO and the free trade regime.
“The Bali package is a terrible deal for the developing world. We are forced to accept a legally binding agreement on trade facilitation in exchange for leaving the small farmers hungry.
- Published on Monday, 02 December 2013 22:39
The commodification of food and agriculture through the World Trade Organisation destroys the livelihood of small-scale food producers all over the world.
As we mark ten years since Lee Kyung Hae's self sacrifice outside the WTO in Cancun, read about the new threat of the WTO Bali package and the resistance of People's movements.