Via Campesina strongly condems Doha declaration

US and EU imposed a New Round in Doha Citizens further pushed down the road of corporate neo-liberalisation. After an outrageous process the United States and the European Union managed to push their interests down the throats of the majority of the WTO members. Instead of showing leadership in constructive cooperation the "big two" just fought their corporate interests through at the expense of the vast majority of the world’s population. The final declaration is extremely unfair and biased against developing countries. This declaration has been drawn up in the most undemocratic manner with devious manipulative tactics that are totally unacceptable in an international organisation. The decision taking process turned out to be worse than in Seattle. Hope for reform of the WTO seems non existant at the moment except for a small reference to the dispute settlement mechanism.

Due to a steadily better organised opposition, a large number of southern governments felt backed up and encouraged by a strong international coalition of social movements and resisted the bullying tactis of the "big two". In a successful last attempt India and a number of other countries blocked the launch of negotiations on 4 important new issues which would have included essentially a revival of the Multilateral agreement on investment. However any attempt to evaluate and repair the disasterous effects of decisions taken by WTO were effectively blocked by the rich countries. On the contrary negotiations on liberalisation of agriculture and services will be accelerated. Governments will remain under strong pressure to further liberalise their economies. Farmers around the world will continue to suffer.

Concerning the agenda on agriculture, Via Campesina remains extremely concerned. The negotiations on agriculture still seem to be a fight between the "corporate elephants of the agro-industry" represented by the European Union, the United States and the CAIRN group instead of a negotiation on how to come to fair, equitable trade relations that give protection to domestic food production and consumption and the world’s enviroment. After the Ministerial Meeting in Qatar Via Campesina is even more convinced that an alternative frame work to deal with food production is urgent. A frame work that will be able to set limits and rules for the WTO and will establish the right of food sovereignty at the international level. Via campesina together with a other organisations, all members of the Coalition "Our world is not for Sale" have launched their proposals in "Priority to peoples’ food sovereignty – WTO out of agriculture". (see also

Our Coalition "Our world is not for sale" will come together the beginning of December 2001 with representatives of all networks involved in order to define their common position on the Doha declaration. They will launch, after their initial phase in the run up to Doha, a broad Campaign against the upcoming New Round and put all efforts forward to block these negotiations in order to force the European Union, the United States and other industrialised countries to take into full account the interests of the vast majority of the world population. Via Campesina wants to be one of the main mobilising forces of this coalition.