- Published on Saturday, 30 June 2007 03:58
I.The rediscovery of rural development – is it an opportunity or a cause for alarm?
1.Civil society groups have been demanding for decades that rural development receives new emphasis in national and international development policies. More than 75 percent of the hungry and malnourished live in rural areas. Half of them are marginalized smallholder farmers and more than two thirds are women. They are hardly able to survive under the present circumstances. National agricultural policies both in the North and in the South are marginalising them without directing any meaningful support to their needs. They have been forgotten in international agricultural policies – not only have their local markets been traded away, but corporately controlled input and output groups are now dominating and controlling their markets. These policies force food producers either to be competitive in the face of subsidised imports or quit. How can rural development policy be called “pro-poor”, if the poor are glossed over and policies that are biased against their own development are put in place? They are confronted with an international development agenda that is strongly biased toward the privatisation of natural resources and basic services as a guarantee for the so-called efficient use of such resources. These national and international trends are threatening the economic and cultural survival of many rural producers.
- Published on Wednesday, 20 June 2007 00:44
We, the undersigning organizations, have met in Berlin from June the 15th to the 17th for the Pre-conference of civil society and non-governmental organisations on Sustainable Rural Development and to participate in the following days in the Rural Forum organized by the European Union. The trade ministers of the G4, the four main powers at World Trade Organization (European Union, United States, Brazil and India) will meet next week in Potsdam, Germany, from the 19th to the 23rd June to try to achieve a breakthrough in the World Trade Organization negociations.
- Published on Wednesday, 13 June 2007 02:06
In the aftermath of the Heiligendamm summit, it appears clearly that the G8 has lost all credibility and legitimacy. As it now happens for most high level world meetings, the G8 summit that took place in Heiligendamm, Germany, from June 6 to 8 had to hide behind barbed fences and in a civil war atmosphere to protect the richest nation’s heads of state from people’s protests. This does not only emphasize the illegitimacy of the G8 leaders who decide the fate of the rest of the world. It also shows the growing and massive opposition towards their neo-colonial and neo-liberal policies within their own populations and beyond.
- Published on Thursday, 07 June 2007 23:02
My name is Ingeborg Tangeraas and I am representing the small peasants union in Norway and Via Campesina international coordinating committee as a representative from Europe. Via Campesina is an international movement with millions of peasants, landless and agricultural workers – we are men, women and youth from 132 organisations in 56 countries all over the world.
How was your day? Did you all get breakfast after your sleep, did you get lunch to give you strength after your activities and will you most likely have dinner together with some friends after this event? I think you agree with me; agriculture is not only about farmers, but about food for all of us. But 854 millon people do not share this luck with us to day, but have to go to bed hungry. And 2/3 of this people are farmers and food producers.