Agreements include Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) Mechanisms that hamper governments from enacting new legislation and regulations to protect human and environmental health. Canadian investors in the mining, oil and gas sector have initiated the highest number of Canada’s ISDS cases – 70 percent! The warning Mr Lee left us is especially relevant as Mexico currently struggles to uphold its food sovereignty by prohibiting GM corn.
The participants were of the opinion that a fair remunerative price is central to finding a solution to the ongoing farm crisis in the country. The participants also delved into the various bilateral trade negotiations India is currently involved in, including those with the EU. A significant demand from EU negotiators has been the liberalization of the agricultural and dairy sectors. Forum participants cautioned against any attempts to lower tariffs, as such actions would exacerbate the crisis.
La Via Campesina commemorates the International Day of Action Against the WTO and Free Trade agreements and announces that the endeavor to construct an alternative trade framework based on food sovereignty and solidarity among peoples, will commence in 2023 during the 8th International Conference in Bogota, scheduled for this December. This year coincides with the 20-year anniversary of the tragic passing of Lee Kyung Hae.
From 31 August to 3 September 2023, 150 activists from various organisations from different parts of Spain gathered in Hornachuelos (Córdoba) in a camp dedicated to agroecology and food sovereignty, to ratify the need to break with the agro-industrial food model and system. Under the slogan “we stand up”, the meeting took a stand in favour of a fair and sustainable food model and a living rural world.
It has been twenty years since the World Trade Organization’s imperialist, neoliberal and neo-colonial free trade policies led to the sacrifice of one of our peasant leaders – Lee Kyung Hae – at the gates of the Ministerial meeting venue in Cancun, Mexico. Since then things have only worsened for both people and the planet. The Agreement on Agriculture (AoA), which forms the core of the WTO’s food and agriculture trade policies, continues to wreak havoc on people’s lives.
Over the past twelve months, coconut farmers in the states of Karnataka, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu have witnessed a drastic decline in the prices of raw coconuts and dried kernels (Copra). They claim that the support price for ball copra doesn’t even cover the cultivation costs. In the last six months alone, the prices of dried kernels have dropped by nearly 40%.
Morgan Ody, the General Coordinator of La Via Campesina and a small-scale vegetable farmers from Brittany France, who is a member of the ECVC and the French Peasant Union Confederation Paysanne delivers a fiery speech at a Conference in the European Parliament held parallel to the EU-CELAC summit.
On 17 and 18 July, civil society actors and social movements in Europe are calling for actions around the EU-Latin America and Caribbean (EU-CELAC) Summit in Brussels.
Recently, La Via Campesina received a request to participate in a civil society “council” to the WTO executive. After careful consideration, we decided to decline this invitation. Through this open letter, we wish to explain why we believe it is impossible to reform the WTO in a way that is favourable to peasants and, more generally, to the interests of the people.
On this important occasion, member organizations and allies expressed their resistance against the harmful consequences of agribusiness and the extractive industry, which pollute the soil, water, and commons.