Ga naar de inhoud

Persverklaringen van Aziatische organisaties tegen de WTO (14-20 juli 2008)

Op deze pagina zijn verschillende
perscommuniques te vinden van boeren- en vissersorganisaties uit
diverse landen in Azië die scherp protesteren tegen de WTO en de
verwachte gevolgen van de huidige onderhandelingsvoorstellen. (Bron:
maillijst van het OWINFS 14 tm 20 juli 2008).

18 min leestijd
Placeholder image


– "WTO visibly shattering food
security" – Asian Peasant Coalition en Kilusang Magbubukid ng
Pilipinas – 15 juli 2008
– "Peasants, other sectors incite
nationwide protest against rice crisis" – Kilusang Magbubukid ng
Pilipinas – 15 juli 2008
– "Fishers, peasants and workers
reiterate calls to reject Doha trade deal in the WTO" (Trade
liberalization part of the problem and not the solution to global
crises) – Stop the New Round Coalition-Philippines – 19 July 2008
– "The WTO’s Doha Round Will Not
Solve the Global Food Crisis! (Implement Genuine Agrarian Reform and
National Industrialization!) – Asian Peasant Coalition – 20 juli
– "Asian peasants unite against
WTO; Peasant groups vindicated about destructive effects" –
Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) – 21 juli 2008


  "WTO visibly shattering food
July 15, 2008
Asian Peasant Coalition (APC) and
Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP).

The Asian Peasant Coalition (APC) and
Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) claimed that the government’s
entry and concurrence to World Trade Organization (WTO) and Agreement
on Agriculture (AoA) has wreaked havoc to the livelihood of farmers
and other sectors, as well as to the food security of the third world

WTO has signal-fired the dumping of
heavily state-subsidized exports in developing countries such as the
Philippines, Indonesia, India and Bangladesh which dominoed
marginalization of local produce, triggering bankruptcies and
indebtedness to the farmers.

“Imported rice has sideswipe the
locally produced that triggered pressing down on farmgate prices of
palay,” opened Danilo Ramos, Secretary-General of APC and KMP.

The flooding of imported rice gave
local traders a bargaining chip to force farmers into selling palay
at lower costs, which cyclically compelled them to convert into other
crops or totally pawn or sell their farms,” Ramos added.

Generally, APC and KMP believed that
governments such as Arroyo’s have deliberately authorized massive
dumping to effect crop conversions and selling of lands to cater
world market demands as concrete step of trade liberalization.
However, as by-product, rapid decrease of rice farm hectarage has
contributed to the country’s inability to independently supply its
local demand, thus, government rationalizing importation.

Moreover, as the government executing
WTO provisions destroyed the capacity of the country to produce food,
world food market has been controlled by developed countries and
generated superprofits by gradually increasing their prices at the
cost of dependent countries such as the Philippines.

“We are now importing rice that is
more expensive than those locally produced at milled stage, at the
consumer end, people are lining up and being restricted with the
maximum purchase of 5 kg of rice,” Ramos noted.

“The government is buying and losing
at purchasing imported rice, but it has no intention of using its
funds in buying the locally-produced because it tied its own hands as
form of total puppetry to the WTO. It invokes non-intervention when
it concerns the interests of giant foreign countries and
corporations, but all hands in harming the welfare of poor farmers,”
exclaimed Ramos.

“It’s all integral, that government
consciously reduce rice farms to cater cash crops, complemented by
the promotion of genetically-modified varieties of rice designed by
the International Rice Research Institute, wishing of high tonnage
per hectare that is only possible of the usage of inputs manufactured
by giant foreign agro-chemical corporations,” Ramos described.

  “All these giant foreign countries
and enterprises are all that compose the WTO, in conspiracy with
puppet governments such as Arroyo’s, they all play this wicked
performance, deceiving and exploiting the peoples of the world by
causing hunger, poverty and anarchy. The only way to end this is for
all of the oppressed to unite and concert their massive
actions," concluded Ramos.

(zie ook het persartikel: "Militants
blames WTO for shattering RP food security", GMAnews, 15 juli


  "Peasants, other sectors incite
nationwide protest against rice crisis"
July 15, 2008
Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP)

The Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas
(KMP) spearheaded a systematic nationwide protest against Arroyo
government programs and policies that led to the rice crisis that’s
hounding the country. They are joined by rural groups such as
Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya sa Pilipinas (Pamalakaya),
Unyon ng mga Mangagawa sa Agrikultura (UMA), National Federation of
Peasant Women (Amihan), IBON Foundation, as well as urban poor and
worker groups.

Regional and provincial groups
synchronized mass actions, such as in Southern Tagalog region, in
Calamba, Laguna, Cavite, Lipa, Batangas, Rizal and Lucena,
Quezon targeting Department of Agriculture (DA) and National Food
Authority (NFA) offices. Moreover, regional and local formations of
Bantay Bigas (alliance against rice crisis) held heated actions in
Digos City by Consumer Alert, in Panay by People’s Network for Food
Security (PNFS) and Bicol by Bicol Alliance against Rice Price Hike

"Do we have to let it linger? Do
we have to?" asked Willy Marbella, KMP Deputy Secretary-General
for Internal Affairs, referring to the rice crisis. "This is the
start of the people’s rising against the problems concerning our rice
supply. We’ve seen and experienced hardships in accessing NFA rice,
and now, even NFA officials themselves in Bicol have confirmed that
they are phasing out the P18.25 per kg rice," Marbella added.
"What we fear is that, this could cause mass unrest, just like
what happened in Sultan Kudarat where rice warehouses were raided by
hungry farmers during the Aquino government," recalled Marbella

It’s just fortunate that they
were upright and principled that they left their names, conveying
that they’re not stealing but just borrowing it. However, they were
acquitted by the courts because their action was an act of
desperation to survive," mentioned Marbella .

KMP has been long protesting that the
country’s entry to the World Trade Organization and signing with the
Agreement on Agriculture (AoA) has worsened the situation of the rice
industry. Through this, the country has been obliged to import
unnecessarily that resulted the marginalization of the local rice,
depressing farmgate prices of palay.

Rice Imports 1990 – 2006 ‘000 MT

"Even their own data shows that
there’s a rapid increase in imported rice that snatched significant
share of our gross supply. During the late 1990s, with the exception
of 1998, imported rice shared around 3 to 7% of the local supply, but
on 2005 and 2006 it played around 12 to 13.5% of the total rice
consumed," Marbella explained.

KMP believes that WTO-AoA has shattered
the country’s agriculture, particularly rice, when the government
implemented ceaseless importation that affected local producers
forcing them to convert to other crops.

  "Arroyo is applying her
market-oriented dogma in agriculture, where it totally disregarded
the importance of rice to the people, trying to replace it with cash
crops to theoretically generate income that never happened,"
Marbella concluded.

(zie ook het persartikel: "Peasant
group vows weekly protests vs rice crisis," door Abigail Kwok,, 14 juli 2008


  "Fishers, peasants and workers
reiterate calls to reject Doha trade deal in the WTO"
(Trade liberalization part of the
problem and not the solution to global crises)
Stop the New Round
Coalition-Philippines (Joseph Purugganan)
Press Release
19 July 2008

MANILA. July 19, 2008–A few days
before an informal meeting of select trade ministers aimed at
finalizing the Doha Round of multilateral trade talks in the World
Trade Organization in Geneva, fishers, peasants and workers under the
banner of the Stop the New Round Coalition reiterate their call to
the Philippine government to reject the deal.

"Small producers and workers in
the Philippines are already carrying the burden of the multiple
crises of sky rocketing food and fuel crises, of job losses and
insecurity, and various threats posed by climate change." said
Pablo Rosales, chairperson of Kilusang Mangingisda (Fisherfolk
Movement) "The last thing we need is another international
agreement signed by our government that would further undermine our
already threatened livelihoods" added Rosales.

The current round of WTO trade
negotiations was launched in Doha in 2001 anchored on the promise
that the development agenda would be at the core of the negotiations.
For the past seven years however, the negotiations have become more
about the ambitious agenda of developed countries to break open
developing country markets for their agriculture, industrial goods
and services rather than a genuine concern for development.

"What are at stake in these
negotiations are jobs and livelihoods of the most vulnerable sectors
in the Philippines" said Renato Cruz, chairperson of Aniban ng
Manggagawa sa Agrikultura (AMA)

"The policy of trade
liberalization underpinning the WTO and various bilateral free trade
agreements like JPEPA is a major cause of the food crisis. It is a
policy that increases our dependency on food imports instead of
developing our capacity to produce our own food. It is therefore
part of the problem and not part of the solution" added Cruz

"What we have been asking from the
Philippine government is a reversal of this trade policy. What we
have been demanding is more government support for agriculture and
fisheries, particularly to small farmers and fishers,"

"The Doha round is a bad deal. We
urge our negotiators to examine closely what are at stake in these
negotiations and do what is right for the country. They should reject
this unfair and unjust deal" according to Rosales.


  "The WTO’s Doha Round Will Not
Solve the Global Food Crisis!
(Implement Genuine Agrarian Reform and
National Industrialization!)
Asian Peasant Coalition
20 juli 2008

On the occasion of the WTOs Doha Round
from July 21-25, 2008 in Geneva, we, members of the Asian Peasant
Coalition (APC) with more than 15 million members from the
Philippines, Indonesia, India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Malaysia,
Mongolia and Nepal, urge you to reject the claims by the leaders of
the World Trade Organization (WTO), World Bank, the International
Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Organization of Economic Cooperation and
Development (OECD), that the WTO Doha Round is a solution to the
current crisis.[i]

We believe the Doha Round as is
currently envisioned will intensify the global food crisis by making
food prices more volatile, increasing developing countries’
dependence on imports, and strengthening the control of multinational
agribusiness in food and agriculture. Third world countries are
likely to lose further policy space in their agriculture sector,
which would in turn limit their ability to deal with the current
crisis and to strengthen the livelihoods of small producers.

The inability to manage the current
food crisis is an illustration of the failure of the WTO in third
world countries that in reality it is a plunder in Asian agriculture.
We are calling for real solutions that will stabilize food production
and distribution to meet the global demand for healthy, adequate, and
affordable food. Governments must start to take a long-term view of
the challenges facing agriculture. The recent report of the
International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and
Technology for Development [IAASTD], endorsed by 60 countries, says,
“Modern agriculture has brought significant increases in food
production. But the benefits have been spread unevenly and have come
at an increasingly intolerable price, paid by small-scale farmers,
workers, rural communities and the environment”. Support has to be
directed and genuinely implemented in the third world countries,
especially in Asia.

We believe what is needed to genuinely
solve the food crisis is the following:

1. Governments should implement genuine
agrarian reform and national industrialization in order to resolve
hunger and attain food security and food self-sufficiency. This
includes a greater emphasis on policies that increase food
sovereignty, encourage local investment in local markets, support
sustainable small-scale farming, safeguard local production from
dumping, and allow trade instruments such as quotas and tariffs. Some
of these instruments are being proposed by a group of 46 developing
countries—known as the G33—in the WTO’s negotiations on Special
Products (SP) and Special Safeguard Mechanism (SSM).

2. The volatility of agricultural
prices must be addressed through national policies and global actions
to avert food crises and to ensure small producers a reliable and
steady income. At the WTO, the African group has a long-standing
proposal on the need to allow commodity-producing countries to make
agreements among themselves in order to stabilize prices. This
proposal deserves further attention.

3. A reform of the food aid system to
respond more rapidly and to allow greater flexibility in the delivery
of food aid. Instead of dumping surplus agricultural production as
“in kind” food aid, donors should provide cash to governments and
aid agencies to buy local food.

4. The “Aid for Trade” should not
be used to promote the developed countries’ ‘free trade’
agenda. It could be of assistance to resource-starved underdeveloped
countries such as the Philippines and other countries in Asia if aid
is divorced from the ‘free trade’ economic agenda of rich donor
countries and decisions over where it is channeled and how it is
implemented are placed under the control of local shareholders.

5. Northern countries will be
maintaining their considerable monopoly advantages, especially
through continued massive farm subsidies, even as they will get ever
greater access to Southern agricultural market. This will mean the
intensified dumping of Northern farm goods at heavily subsidized low
prices which will result in the continued deterioration of Southern
food production, loss of farm livelihoods, collapse of rural incomes
and greater rural underdevelopment.

6. Developing countries should not
commit to financial services liberalization in the context of the
General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) or bilateral and
regional trade negotiations, as this can adversely impact farmers
access to financial services such as insurance and credit.


Signed by the Members of the Asian
Peasant Coalition (APC):

o Kilusang Magbubukid ng
Pilipinas (KMP)
o Pamalakaya-Pilipinas
o Amihan (National Federation
of Peasant Women Network)
o Unyon ng mga Manggagawa sa
Agrikultura (UMA)
o National Federation of Sugar
Workers (NFSW)

o Allianceof Agrarian Reform
Movement (AGRA)

o Tamil Nadu Women’s Forum
o Indian Federation of Toiling
Peasants (IFTOP)
o Andra Pradesh Vyavasaya
Vruthidarula (APVVU)
o Allianceof Peoples’

o BangladeshKrishok
o BangladeshAgricultural Farm
Labour Federation
o BangladeshAgricultural
Labour Union
o BangladeshLandless

o All Nepal Peasants
o All Nepal Women Association
o South Asian Peasant

o Tenaganita

o Federation of Agricultural

Sri Lanka
o Movement for National Land
and Agricultural Reform (MONLAR)


[i]At the WTO’s General Council and
Trade Negotiating Committee (TNC), the Director-General, Pascal Lamy,
said “we have all witnessed the financial turbulence we are in and
the hikes in energy and food prices that are affecting severely many
of your countries. At a time when the world economy is in rough
waters, concluding the Doha Round can provide a strong anchor.” Mr.
Lamy has argued that the continuous expansion of multilateral trade
is an insurance policy against market instabilities and financial
turbulences. The President of the World Bank and former U.S. Trade
Representative, Robert Zoellick, argued in a speech at the Center for
Global Development, that a key solution to the food crisis “is to
break the Doha Development Agenda impasse.” He said, “A fairer
and more open global trading system for agriculture will give more
opportunities – and confidence – to African and other developing
country farmers to expand production.” Similarly, Dominique
Strauss-Kahn, Managing Director of the IMF, wrote in an opinion in
the Financial Times, “no one should forget that all countries rely
on open trade to feed their populations. […] Completing the Doha
round would play a critically helpful role in this regard, as it
would reduce trade barriers and distortions and encourage
agricultural trade.” Finally, the Secretary General of the OECD,
Angel Gurría, wrote in an opinion piece in the International Herald
Tribune, “Governments around the world face weakening economies and
soaring food prices. Amid the hand-wringing, an important and
immediate step they can take to help would be to agree on a new
multilateral trade deal.”


Financial Times, COMMENT: A global
approach is required to tackle high food prices, By Dominique
Strauss-Kahn, Apr 21, 2008; International Herald Tribune, Trade
Agreement Needed Now, By Angel Gurría


  "Asian peasants unite against WTO;
Peasant groups vindicated about destructive effects"
July 21, 2008
Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP)

As the WTO holds its mini-ministerial
meeting in Geneva, Switzerland today, peasants from all over Asia,
held concurrent protest actions in the Philippines, Indian states
West Bengal, Andra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, as well as in Jakarta,
Indonesia, against the said trade body, particularly its
liberalization policies of countries’ agricultural sector.

"The WTO is one of the most
savage, heartless and inhumane institution at these modern times, as
it aim to destroy poor countries’ capacity to produce their own food,
depress farmers economic well-being, and allow giant foreign
corporations to exploit resources that should have been for the
people," said Willy Marbella, KMP Deputy Secretary-General for
Internal Affairs, in a phone patch, who’s also attending the global
people’s actions in Switzerland.

"Since we united with other Asian
peasant groups in 2003 and drew from each country’s experience, WTO
policies have only caused disaster to farmers, as well as to poor
consumers, as it paved the way for agricultural imports that shaken
the local market and sideswiped the local counterparts, shattering
the food security of countries," added Marbella.

"Those so-called trade ministers
talk only of how to more effectively exploit countries and oppress
people. No one should believe a word they’re saying as the only
strong and valid basis for any agreement should be the living
testimonies of the people’s sectors such as the farmers, whose
livelihood has been wrecked by WTO," Marbella lamented.

KMP, with rural groups such as
Pamalakaya-Pilipina s(fisherfolk) , UMA (agricultural workers),
Amihan (peasant women), other poor sectors groups and supporters have
been banging the gates of Department of Agriculture and other
government offices to call for the pulling out of agriculture and the
whole country from WTO since 1995 (the year Philippines entered the

Even before, KMP led the formation of
PUMALAG (anti-GATT) in 1994, which later became the Pambansang
Ugnayan ng mga Mamamayan Laban sa Liberalisasyon ng Agrikultura.
Subsequently, the peasant group led the formation of RESIST (against
agro-chemical TNCs/MNCs) in 2001 and this year, the multi-sectoral
alliance Bantay Bigas (against the rice crisis). The group claims
that even during the GATT-years, considering the social and economic
structure of agriculture in the country, entry to WTO would be
detrimental to the people, particularly to the farmers and poor

"The living proof is that what we
feared more than a decade ago about the WTO entry has realized is the
current rice crisis," Marbella noted.

"Should we say more about the rice
crisis? The Arroyo government caused the destruction of our food
sufficiency and self-reliance by adhering to WTO, the people has
limited or no access to cheaper rice, there are who resorted to root
crops," added Marbella.

  MP and other peasant groups have been
holding protest actions in front of NFA warehouses for 2 weeks,
calling it their "Monday Habit," to call for the
implementation of genuine agrarian reform as the only solution for
the country’s food sufficiency and self-reliance. Last Monday, they
have been harassed by police intelligence agents, taking pictures of
them, validating Arroyo’s order to military and police intelligence
forces to monitor unrest caused by the rice and economic crises, in

"It looks like that Arroyo is just
waiting for some kind of rice revolt before she’d do anything
significant about the crisis," closed Marbella.