ANAMURI strongly opposes the character of Free Trade Agreements which, following WTO rules, endanger the Food Sovereignty of the world’s peoples, undermining the autonomy and self-sufficiency of national and local economies with adverse effects on the living conditions and wages of all workers, including migrants and especially women who daily struggle for the right to food.
Since the 1980s, various regulations that ensured fair prices for European farmers have been dismantled. The EU put all its faith in free trade agreements, which placed all the world’s farmers in competition with each other, encouraging them to produce at the lowest possible price at the cost of their own incomes and growing debt.
Reportedly, on the 26th February, farmers staged protests against the World Trade Organization at over 400 district centers across India. They handed over petitions to the officials of the State urging the Indian government to protect domestic support programs and food stockholding programs at the 13th Ministerial Meeting of the WTO in Abu Dhabi.
Members of La Via Campesina in Asia have joined a host of other civil society organizations and social movements to call out the World Trade Organisation (WTO), which is meeting in Abu Dhabi from 26-29 February 2024. The way forward for the South is a path outside of the WTO. An alternative is now more urgent than ever,.
In a press release issued on 27th February, the European Coordination Via Campesina demanded an obligation at the EU level to ensure prices paid to farmers cover the costs of production, including a decent income for the work of farmers and agricultural workers and their social security contributions. A new trade framework based on food sovereignty should be implemented.
Free trade has already ended. The unequal world order created by free trade has also ended. The WTO ministerial conference, trapped in past glory, should be immediately halted. The Western world is pressuring developing countries to abolish domestic subsidies for agriculture, claiming they distort trade.
La Via Campesina is calling all our members, allied social movements, civil society organizations, and friends in academia and policy spaces – including those in governments – to join us in this effort of building a framework that can help build a fair system of trade, rooted in principles of food sovereignty and social justice.
The 13th Ministerial Meeting of the WTO is set to commence on February 26th, and India has been among the leading advocates on vital issues of domestic support and Public Stock Holding (PSH) programs that developing countries and least developed countries want to undertake.
From 26 to 29 February, the 13th WTO Ministerial Conference will also be held in Abu Dhabi. The WTO bears immense responsibility for the current social and environmental crises. It is time to bring an end to the WTO and build a new trade framework based on food sovereignty and international solidarity.
Data from the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) reveals that Korea’s grain self-sufficiency rate dipped to 19.3 percent in 2020, marking the first time it fell below the 20-percent threshold. Contrastingly, this rate stood at 30.9 percent in 2000, indicating a significant shift towards grain imports, which now constitute 80 percent of domestic consumption.