Monday, 29 November 2021
12:30 India | 14:00 Bangkok, Jakarta, Phnom Penh | 15:00 Manila
“WTO out of agriculture and fisheries”, “Down WTO”, “End WTO” have been the rallying cries of peasant farmers, indigenous peoples, rural women and artisanal fishers across the globe in campaigns against the World Trade Organization and the broader agenda of corporate globalization.
Throughout the years, the campaign has been shaped and defined as much by mobilizations against the WTO and the free trade agenda as by the determined push by grassroots movements for peoples’ alternatives and concrete and working solutions to the multiple crises of capitalism.
Food sovereignty has emerged as one of those systemic alternatives. By advancing the primacy of the “right of peoples to define their own food and agriculture systems, food sovereignty puts the aspirations and needs of those who produce, distribute and consume food at the heart of food systems and policies rather than the demands of markets and corporations” (Nyéléni Declaration, 2007).
The 12th Ministerial Conference (MC) of the WTO will be held from 30 November to 3 December 2021 in Geneva. Proponents of the WTO and the free trade agenda will once again use this moment to prop up the necessity of corporate driven global trade rules.
The MC 12 agenda includes discussions on a whole range of issues from agriculture and fisheries, to vaccines and intellectual property rights, and electronic commerce and the digital economy. It will be used as an opportunity to once again call for a political consensus around a pro-corporate trade agenda using the COVID-19 pandemic as a major impetus for so-called reforms, or as the International Chamber of Commerce puts it: to put in place “new rules to ensure that the WTO continues to serve the needs of businesses—the ultimate end users of the global trading system.”
People’s movements will use this opportunity to amplify the voices of resistance to the WTO. We will revisit and recast the rallying cry of farmers and fishers: “WTO out of Agriculture and Fisheries” towards the realization of the global demand to #EndWTO and towards the transformation of global trade rules, anchored on the principles of food sovereignty.
Come and join this online rally and cultural event organized by La Via Campesina and Focus on the Global South on the eve of the 12th Ministerial Meeting of the World Trade Organization (MC12).