AGRICULTURE IS OUR WAY OF LIFE
Appeal of Farmers Organisation and Non-Government Organization
To All Delegation of G-33 Ministerial Meeting,
JAKARTA, JUNE 11-12, 2005
Distinguished delegations of the G-33 Ministerial Conference,
Ladies and gentlemen,
We, the representatives of Indonesian farmer organisations and non-government organisations, are standing here in front of you today to express our concerns over the food sovereignty, and fair trade system in the ongoing negotiation process of the World Trade Organisation (WTO). We thank you all for giving us time and space to express our concerns and positions.
In relation with the G-33 Ministerial Conference Meeting in Jakarta, 11th-12th June 2005, on behalf of nine farmer organizations and non-governmental organizations, of have conducted a meeting to formulate our key positions as follows:
First The distinguished delegations here are leaders of developing countries, constituting two thirds of world Population. The G-33 group also represent the life of million peasants and peoples in developing countries who are still shackled in poverty and disadvantages. Therefore the result and conclusion of this meeting should reflect the aspiration of the majority of poor and peasants interest, and instead of resulting from pressure and intervention from any other parties.
Second, we appreciate the efforts of the Indonesian government in actively participating the implementation of this Ministerial Conference Meeting. We also appreciate various efforts that have been pursued by the G-33 member countries in promoting justice in the agricultural sector negotiations, based on the principles of food security, rural development, and the eradication of poverty. We hope this meeting function as space for power consolidation for developing countries to counter the interest and domination the developed countries such as United States, European Union, Japan and Canada.
Third, We believe that AGRICULTURE and FOOD are Human Rights and never to be considered as trade commodities. Agriculture and food should be developed for the well being of the peoples, instead of for the free trade affairs. We emphasize that there should be no clause in the WTO that intervene food and agriculture affairs as Food and agriculture is the foundation of livelihood and sustainability of hundred million peoples in developing countries.
Therefore the developing countries should unite and be more persistent in opposing the global trade regime controlled by industrial countries, a trade regime that had showed negative impacts to the peoples in developing countries.
Based on that, we appeal:
- G33 should position itself as pioneer to protect peasants and agriculture in developing countries and to oppose any form of global trade liberalization controlled by industrial countries and multi national corporations.
- G 33 should remain in sovereignty in negotiation and strategic positions, independent from the intervention of World Bank, IMF and Developed countries through green rooms, mini ministerial meeting.
- The efforts to bring SP/SSM have to be strengthened with higher-level proposal to protect food sovereignty, rural livelihood and combating poverty. Therefore G33 should raise the issues of dumping, domestic support, export subsidy conducted by developed countries. The Subsidy and support for peasants and agriculture should be implemented for sustainability of peoples agriculture.
- The proposal of SP/SSM will more valuable if it puts agrarian reform and food sovereignty as basic development policies to increase the prosperity and rights of peasants. The proposal should cut the dependency from Trans-national corporation monopoly.
- We call for more accountability and transparency in the negotiations, and appeal for more space and participation from peoples organization through dialog and public consultation and modality drafting before it brought to Ministerial meeting in Hong Kong and WTO General Council in July.
- Finally, we appeal that the G33 should not be entrapped in the interests of developed countries, and continue to strive for solidarity and power to counter the intervention from industrial countries. The entire struggle should be in more bold position, further taking out WTO from food and agriculture, returning trade and agriculture framework to United Nations.
Histories from various civilisations have shown that governmental systems, with developmental policies that ignore agrarian reform and their own sovereignties, will eventually collapse. The existing nation-states today will face similar fates if they remain ignorance towards the actual needs of their farmers, fishermen, and women. They all will remain awkward and poor. Therefore, it is imperative that the G-33 countries conduct increase efforts in promoting food sovereignty, agrarian reform, and fair trade system.
In the end, we appreciate the existence of the G33, and we hope that this grouping is able to forge stronger forces with other developing countries groupings.
Finally, we would like to thank you all for providing us time and space to express our concerns and positions, and shall we emphasise that:
"NO COUNTRIES WILL REMAIN SOVEREIGN AND ADVANCE IF THEY KEEP DEPENDING ON THEIR FOOD NEEDS EXTERNALLY!"
Jakarta, June 11th 2005
- The Indonesian Farmers Union Federation (FSPI)
- The Union of Prosperous Farmers and Fishermen of Indonesia (PPNSI)
- The National Union of Farmers (STN)
- The Union of Rural Youth for Democracy (SPDD)
- Peoples Coalition for Food Sovereignty (KRKP)
- Bina Desa Secretariat (SBD)
- Bina Swadaya
- Farmers Initiatives for Ecological Livelihoods and Democracy (FIELD)
- Institute for Global Justice (IGJ)
- VOICE, Dhaka - Bangladesh
- LOKOJ Institute, Dhaka - Bangladesh
- Asia-Pacific Network for Food Sovereignty
- Integrated Rural Development Foundation - Philippines
- WTO Watch Group (WWG) - Pakistan
- Sustainable Agriculture Action Group (SAAG) - Pakistan
- SEWA - Nepal
- Coastal Development Partnership (CDP) - Bangladesh
IGJ: Jalan Diponegoro 9, Jakarta 10310,
Tel. 31931153 Fax. 391 3956;
Contact Person: Bonnie Setiawan
FSPI: Jalan Mampang Prapatan XIV No. 5 Jakarta Selatan
Tel. 7991890, Fax. 7993426;
Contact Person: Achmad Ya'ku