Int’l farmers’ meet to derail WTO Ministerial talks

THT Online

The Farmers’ International conference on Democracy, Peace, Food Sovereignty and Action Plan: For Road to Hong Kong, held here on December 3-4 has decided to throw its weight against the ministerial meeting by derailing negotiations through intensive protests.
"We will stop talks and derail negotiations by organising intensive protest programmes in Hong Kong and in our respective countries as well," said Paul Nicholson, International Coordination Committee member of the La Via Campesina, at a press conference here to announce the Kathmandu Declaration today.
The sixth ministerial meet of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) is being held in Hong Kong on December 13-18. "The trade negotiation and the WTO force nations, especially developing countries to open up food, markets, forests and public services for transactional corporations. This will have a devastating effect on millions of peasants, small-scale farmers, workers and indigenous people around the world," stated the declaration.

"Our main demand is the WTO should stay out of agriculture and food sectors. We also urge people to come forward to stop the talks and derail negotiations," said Bam Dev Gautam, president of the All Nepal Peasants’ Association.
The declaration has demanded that national governments respect, protect and fulfill people’s aspiration, and that they do not inititate new negotiations apart from saying no to liberalization in agriculture. It has also called for protecting diversity, ensuring tillers’ right to land, no more privatisation of productive resources, social service as well as common property and rejection of landlord-oriented land reforms policies.

According to the declaration, the conference strongly believes that peace and social justice will flourish only when the people of any country become successful in establishing people’s republic and when inclusive democracy is established, thus paving the way to achieve the goal of food sovereignty.

Peasant leaders from various countries of the world said they would take the message of the ongoing movement of the Nepali people against autocracy, to their respective countries.

Activists from India, Bangladesh, the Philippines, Indonesia, Europe and Nepal, representing the movement of organisations, small and medium producers, landless, rural women, indigenous people, rural youth and agricultural workers attended the international conference.

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