Women's Regional Forum on Globalisation and Food Sovereignty
July 18-21, 2005 - Chiang Mai, Thailand
The Asia Pacific accounts for 40% of the world's territory, and has 61% of the world's population. The region has also almost two-thirds of the world's poor, living on less than a single US dollar a day. Given the impacts of the lopsided, unfair trade agreements being entered into by national governments within this region with US and other developed countries, particularly on agriculture, this poverty level is not improving. Women from the Asian region account approximately 50% of the regional food production. However, very few transnational corporations (TNCs) have global control over the export of corn, wheat, coffee, tea. Over 5 TNCs have control over the world trade on rice, sugar, bananas and cocoa beans.
Thus, men and women from the food-producing communities are integral part of the global movement resisting the transnational profit-oriented forces which create and recreate poverty in our lives; they too are integral part in developing and recreating alternatives.
As part of APWLD's continuing effort to broaden the ranks of organised women in resisting corporate control of food and land, a Women's Regional Forum on Globalisation and Food Sovereignty is being held in July 18-20, 2005 in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
The Women's Regional Forum will be an opportunity for women from the region to share their current issues on food, land and agriculture, and interact with other women who can provide additional information and analysis which would link global forces, like World Trade Organisation (WTO), trade liberalisation, free trade agreements, among others, and their role in the lives and death of the local communities.
This Forum will also contribute in empowering grassroots women and the women NGOs working with them with information on relevant basic women human rights - Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), Right to Food (Economic, Social and Cultural Rights), etc. These may be used as part of the strategies in the advocacy and building alternatives.
A concrete output of this forum is the discussion on collective and coordinated actions on community, national and international level. These are actions of resistance against corporate control over food and land. These actions will culminate in the WTO 6th Ministerial Meeting, on December 13-18, 2005 in Hong Kong. This is in recognition that WTO is a central apparatus of TNCs, therefore there should be concerted effort in bringing WTO down.
Solidarity visit to Chai Prakarn community, Thailand