The Geneva Peoples’ Alliance (GPA), an NGO and social movement coalition from across Europe, is calling demonstrators to Geneva on 15 October to coincide with the forthcoming meeting of the WTO General Council. It is the last chance to voice popular protest against the WTO ahead of December’s round of trade talks in Hong Kong, which are aimed at further liberalising the global economy. Read on for the GPA statement.
With December’s Ministerial Meeting in Hong Kong in view, WTO members are speeding up negotiations to ensure a successful outcome. The collapse of the trade talks in Cancun still in mind, the WTO changed their negotiating strategy. Negotiators will seek to resolve major conflicting issues in Geneva during General Council meetings – thus avoiding the public scrutiny and popular pressures that contributed to previous deadlocks. Decisions would thus be taken in an even more opaque and undemocratic fashion. Civil society must mobilize to counter this strategy!
The July Framework that was agreed upon last year exposes this change in strategy. During the this year’s July General Council, which ended without any substantial deal, the true character of trade talks became once more evident – the current round of talks will be just another round for large corporations, whereas the interests of family farmers around the world, women, workers, the poor and the environment are not taken into account. Given what is at stake in agriculture, services and industrial goods --and the existing power imbalances in the WTO --these developments are of grave concern. Therefore it is imperative that we ensure popular pressure and international attention, on the upcoming General Council meetings in Geneva.
Social movements and civil society
must be present to hold WTO members accountable and ensure that developing
countries, the interest of peoples around the world and the environment are not
furthered trampled in the stampede of trade liberalization.
In the run up to Hong Kong, all attention is now being put into October’s General Council during which important decisions are expected in all areas. The Ministerial Meeting in Hong Kong, therefore, may become little more than a stocktaking session, rather than a decision taking meeting.
We are therefore calling on social movements and civil society organizations to mobilize for a week of action against the WTO corporate agenda, including:
• An international demonstration in Geneva on 15 October (start 14.00 in front of WTO, Av. de la Paix);
• An observatory of negotiations, lobbying and symbolic actions from 17 to 21 October in Geneva.
Before Hong Kong...
STOP the WTO corporate agenda ...in Geneva !
This Call is issued by the Geneva People’s Alliance :
Action Aid International, UK
Action Populaire Contre la Mondialisation (APCM)
Les Amis du Monde Diplomatique, Suisse
ARCI -Associazione Ricreativa Culturale Italiana
ATALC -Friends of the Earth Latinamerica & Caribbean
Atos-Gn3 -Alliances pour la Triarticulation de l'Organisme Social
attac Germany / AG Welthandel&WTO
Attractive Visions, Serbia & Montenegro
BanglaPraxis, Dhak, Bangladesh
Berne Declaration, Switzerland
Both Ends, Netherlands
Campagna per la Riforma della Banca Mondiale, Italy
Centre du Commerce International pour le Développement (CECIDE)
CGIL Funzione Pubblica, Italy
Collectif d'action contre l'AGCS
Coordination Paysanne Européenne
Development Fund, Norway
Ecological Society of Bangladesh
Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance (EAA)
Initiative Colibri, Germany
Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP)
International Gender and Trade Network (IGTN)
LOKOJ Institute, Bangladesh
Focus on the Global South
Forum National sur la Dette et la Pauvrete de Cote d'Ivoire (FNDP)
Forum Social Lémanique
Friends of the Earth Europe
Friends of the Earth International
Gerechtigkeit jetzt! -Die Welthandelskampagne, Germany
KMPMP (Congress of Worker's Unitiy), Philippines
Mouvement d'Action Paysanne (MAP), Belgique
Observatori del Deute en la Globalitzaciò, Barcelona
Public Services International (PSI)
REDES -Friends of the Earth Uruguay
ROBA dell'Altro Mondo fair trade, Italy
Swiss Coalition of Development Organisations
Syndicat Interprofessionnel des Travailleurs/euses (SIT), Geneva
Transnational Institute, Netherlands
Unité de recherche, de formation et d'information sur la globalisation (URFIG), rance
Volontari nel mondo -FOCSIV, Italy
War on Want
Wemos Foundation, Netherlands
Women in Development Europe (WIDE)
World Economy, Ecology and Development (WEED), Germany
World Development Movement, UK XminusY Solidarity Fund, Netherlands