No to Free-Frade Agreements, Yes to Food Sovereignty and People’s Rights!

Statement of la Via Campesina

Dijon, France – January, 13 2008

The member organizations of la Via Campesina gathered in Dijon, France state that all bilateral and bi-regional free-trade agreements, be they called «Tratados de libre-comercio » (TLC), « Free-trade agreements » (FTA) or «Economic Partnership Agreements » (EPAs), are of the same nature. They lead to the plundering of natural resources and only serve transnational companies at the expense of all the world's peoples and environment. These are not partnership agreements but Economic Plundering Agreements. To fight the plague of neoliberalism and this new selling-off of the planet, we commit to act together to :

    * inform the peoples of the threat of already signed free-trade agreements and of those under negotiation;
    * organize resistance collectively everywhere in the world by working with all our partners and allies (trade unions, fisher organizations, women organizations, youth, ecologists, consumers, development NGOs,…);
    * stuggle so that the right for food sovereignty becomes an inalienable right that allows every people to choose their food and agricultural models.

In the face of this new neoliberal offensive which deprives the majority of the people, and particularly the farmers, of the means to live with dignity from their labor, la Via campesina commits itself to organize and to intensify the struggle. We demand that governments not sign or withdraw from
these agreements. The victories obtained in America, in Africa and in Asia
when confronted with some bilateral agreements announce the coming time of food sovereignty and of the rights of the people.

In these coming months, we will mobilize:

    * on 26th of January, on the Global Day of Action;
    * from 7th to 13th April against all bilateral free-trade agreements imposed by the European Union;
    * from 15th to 18th May in Lima, Peru, in preparation for the UE – Latin American summit;
    * in July in preparation for the G8 in Japan;
    * from 17th to 23rd October during la Via campesina's V Conference in Mozambique.