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On Importance Mobilising Character World Social Forum

21 January 2003 @ 0 h 00 min - 23 January 2003 @ 0 h 00 min GMT

Porto Alegre, 31-1-2002

The international farmers’ movement Via Campesina wants to underline the character of the World Social Forum (WSF) as a place to raise central demands and to develop the struggle against neoliberalism in the World Social Forum (WSF). Via Campesina underlines its character as a Forum of struggle and social transformation. At the same time it launches a call for unity of peoples in their struggle against neo-liberal globalisation. A broad international representation of Via Campesina with more than 2000 persons will participate actively in the WSF. For Via Campesina this is a historical moment to strengthen the solidarity and the unity of action of social movements. The agenda and the actions of the international farmers’ movement will include the demand for peoples’ foodsovereignty and the “WTO out of food and agriculture”!

Via Campesina considers foodsovereignty as a strategic question in which important current problems such as agrarian reform, use and control of natural resources (water, land, seeds,…), international trade, the environment, and quality and safety of food are considered. For Via Campesina agrarian reform is not only access to land but also efficient support for production and commercialisation. Natural resources represent an interest that goes far beyond commercial interests and therefore have to be considered as a heritage of mankind, universal and indivisible. Via Campesina underlines its rejection of patents and the use of GMO’s.

In relation to international trade, Via Campesina will continue to delegitimize WTO because of its current attempts of liberalization, leaving agriculture and food in the hands of market forces and transnationals, opening the door for economic and social dumping, with world market prices that are instable, without relation to the cost of production and reflecting the use of cheap labour. These arguments are also valid to reject other trade agreements with similar objectives, like the FTAA for the American continent.

Therefore, Via Campesina puts forward the challenge to the World Social Forum in Porto Alegre to intensify the efforts of social movements, to establish a future common frame work for struggle, and to put forward viable economic alternatives for a better model of society. Via Campesina wants to stress the necessity of denouncing growing repression against peasant organisations worldwide, and wants to foster peace through dialogue and social justice.

How to contact the Via Campesina delegation in Porto Alegre:
Place where we stay: Convento de Capuchinos Rua Paulino Chaves, 291 al lado de la Parroquia Santo Antonio Bairro Santo Antonio (cerca a Partenon y la Avenida Bento Gonçalves) By Email: letraviva@mst.org.br – with copy to nicoverhagen@hotmail.com By phone: (005551) 99120916 (mobile delegation)
In order to receive all the information of the Via Campesina delegation during the WSF please subscribe to our newsgroup sending a blank message to ViaCampesinaPortoAlegre-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

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21 January 2003 @ 0 h 00 min GMT
23 January 2003 @ 0 h 00 min GMT
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