No to WTO and Free Trade Agreements
- Published on Wednesday, 03 December 2014 20:29
Press Release: Indian Coordination Committee of Farmers’ Movement
(India, New Delhi, December 1, 2014) As negotiators from 16 nations met today in New Delhi for 5 day consultations on the Regional Cooperation Economic Partnership (RCEP), Farmers, Trade unions, retailers groups, and civil society organizations protested outside the India Expo Mart in Greater Noida.
Amidst a large police presence, protestors, raised slogans such as 'Protect Indian Agriculture: Say No to RCEP FTA', 'Stop Undemocratic RCEP FTA' , ' Protect Indian Dairy Sector', 'If FTAs benefits people why are texts kept secret' , ' No secrecy - We Want Transparency'. Later, a delegation submitted a memorandum (attached letter) to the Government officials negotiating the RCEP.
- Published on Wednesday, 03 December 2014 19:32
(New Delhi, India, November 29, 2014) Concerned over alleged lack of transparency of the Free Trade Agreement (FTA), farmers' organisations and trade unions today demanded an immediate halt to negotiations for Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) proposed to take place in December.
The organisations and unions have shot off a letter to Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman asking the government to stop the negotiations and charged RCEP will jeopardize government's efforts to revive the manufacturing sector, deeply affect agriculture and production of and access to affordable medicines.
- Published on Monday, 29 September 2014 21:51
(France, September 25, 2014) To denounce the imminent signing of CETA and demand a stop to negotiations on TTIP, the Confédération paysanne (2nd largest farmer union in France) occupied yesterday headquarters of Cargill FR, the first food processing multinational in the world.
The hundred activists unfurled a banner of 25m x 10m on the front of the head office, with the following message: "Holland, Juncker, Obama: don't offer farmers and citizens to multinationals, Stop TTIP /CETA". They occupied buildings and the trading floor the whole day, until they got an appointment with the office of Secretary of State for French Foreign Trade, Mr. Matthias Fekl.
These agreements are a major threat for french, European and north American agriculture and food. Their conclusions would lead to accelerated destruction of human scale farms, the only ones able to guarantee jobs in rural areas, good food and to preserve the environment.
Inevitably they will be replaced by factories (as the 1000 milk cows factory we're fighting in France), namely their perfect antithesis. Furthermore, these agreements will strengthen multinationals domination, in law and in facts, over the farmers and citizens around the world. La Confederation paysanne calls for a mass rally to block factory farms and stop free trade agreements and prevent these kind of dynamics that kill alternatives and great projects, especially for food and agriculture.
For your information, 6 unionists (farmers) and 3 activists will be sued before a criminal court October the 28th, in Amiens (north of France) because they've participated in civil disobedience actions over one year, to block this industrialization of agriculture. We'll be thankful if you could send us supports, any kind you could ! (written or video testimonies, donations, etc) in order to face this event and make it a symbol of resistance. Thank you in advance !
- 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.