Release of Via Campesina on Collapse of WTO Negotiation, July 2008
Last collapse of the WTO negotiations avoids deepening of the food crisis and creates space for other policies that protect and support food production.
Rural workers, peasants and family farmers all over the world are welcoming the collapse of negotiations. It is a victory for those who want to protect the livelihoods of 3 billions peasants all over the world and to find solutions to the current food crisis. For La Via Campesina this collapse is a victory in the long struggle against WTO.
Since WTO was established in 1995 La Via Campesina has been organizing together with other movements and NGOs numerous actions and mobilizations, saying WTO kills farmers. We will never forget, Mr. Lee Kyung Hae, a small farmer from South Korea, who has sacrificed himself in Cancun to draw the attention on the disastrous effects of WTO’s policies.
In Geneva the talks collapsed on a very big and fundamental issue, the protection of the livelihoods of billions of peasants worldwide against the aggressive pressure by the USA and the EU to open markets for more food dumping by their multinationals. The ongoing pressures through WTO to destroy peasant based productions shows that the WTO should get out of agriculture!
With this dead lock, La Via Campesina urge the governments not to waste time and resources to find compromises to finalize the Doha Round anymore. The food and climate crisis needs solutions and policies defined outside the neo liberal free market model, outside the WTO frame work. Policies based on the spirit of social justice and solidarity beyond the destructive corporate based thinking of competition and pillage of resources.
We need a genuine development that is answering the ordinary peoples’ needs for employment, better income and a life free of hunger. For small farmers and peasants this means the protection of farming for their own consumption and to secure dignified livelihoods. It includes the rights of states and peasant to enough produce food for its own consumption. Trade policies should prioritize local markets and protect these against dumping.