The G20: an illegitimate club incapable of resolving world crises

(Nice, 1 November 2011) The international and European farmers’ movement, La Vía Campesina, will join social movements and other civil society organisations in condemning the illegitimate character of the G20 and its ineptitude at resolving the current financial, food, environmental and social crises, to which it has contributed. Farmers from the Conféderation Paysanne (France), as well as representatives of the international movement from India and Haiti will attend the Forum “People First, not Finance!” from 1-4 November in Nice, while ministers and government leaders will meet on 3 and 4 November in Cannes. The current financial crisis devastating Europe and the rest of the world is striking evidence of the failure of the policies implemented by the Group of the 20 richest countries in the world. Since the first summit of the Heads of State of the G20 in 2008, whose ambition was to implement a complete reform of the financial system, deregulation and speculation have continued to dominate world finance, with the ensuing social havoc.

Furthermore, the G20, which was supposed to resolve financial problems, is turning into a political space which defines the direction of the world economy and governance, even handling climatic and food issues.

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La Via Campesina at the CFS: "We can no longer wait"

Contribution by Ibrahim Coulibaly on the volatility of agricultural prices, CFS, 19 October 2011

Around 40 years ago, when I was young, we did not speak of volatility. I still remember how our government gave our parents ploughs, plough oxen, and fertilizer on credit. At the time, there was a public service, the OPAM, that bought food products from farming families at prices that were known beforehand.

Around 30 years ago, I was in secondary school and we were told that it was better to produce for external markets. We began hearing the phrase “deterioration of the terms of exchange” in the discourse of our male politicians. This was a true lament at the time, but it found no echo anywhere. What did it refer to? The prices of export agricultural products were collapsing on the international market. The governments of the time had made the fatal error of encouraging family farmers to produce more export products. When things went wrong, these farmers alone paid the heavy price.

The collapse of our economies and the growth of the public debt in the 1980’s led the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund to subject our countries to structural adjustment.

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The Voluntary Guidelines and the struggle against land grabbing

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Farmers at the Committee on World Food Security: Small scale farmers can feed the world

La Via Campesina - Press Release

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(Rome 19 October) A delegation of farmers of La Via Campesina attending  the 37th session of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) organised a press conference today to present the proposals developed by small scale farmers. The delegation welcomes the structural participation of civil society organisations to the discussions. This is a positive step towards more democracy and the inclusion of the groups primarily affected by the failures of the dominant food system.

However, government declarations are not yet leading to any concrete policy decisions. Governments seem to be ready to annalyse the damages created by the neo-liberal policies but there is a lack of political will to tackle the root-causes of the current crisis and to propose real solutions.

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