(cross-posted from Focus on the Global South)
Bali, 5 December 2013
As developed countries intensify political pressure at the 9th WTO Ministerial Meeting in Bali and blame India for the stalemate on food security, it is critical that Indonesia and India lead the G-33 to defend the interests of their peasants and workers, and food sovereignty of their populations. The Bali Package is completely inequitable for majority of the people in developing countries: the agriculture and peace clause proposals are biased in favour of developed countries, the Trade Facilitation proposals will mainly benefit large corporations, and long-standing commitments to LDCs have been watered down to vague promises.
Indonesia, as the Chair of the G-33 and host of the Ministerial Meeting, must ensure that the outcomes of the Meeting reflect the genuine concerns of G-33 members and all developing countries, and not support an “agreement” wrenched through pressure tactics. More important, Indonesia should remember that its own national policies on food and agriculture, including its food procurement program, would be jeopardised if the current text were accepted. A trade agreement should complement development and benefit majority of the people in developing countries. A Ministerial agreement that requires developing countries to take on new commitments on trade facilitation in exchange for giving up our food sovereignty is a mockery of the so-called “development agenda” and undermines the very basis of the G-33 coalition.
Food sovereignty in our countries cannot be delinked from peasant and small-scale agricultural production, rural employment and economic security. The current agriculture text outlaws our governments’ rights to support our small-scale food producers and ensure food procurement for public stockholdings through domestic production. Whereas developed countries have carved out concessions for their own domestic agriculture programs, they are denying developing country governments the rights to support their agricultural producers, and food sovereignty, employment and decent livelihoods for their peoples. Agricultural subsidies in developed countries continue to devastate our agriculture and the pressure tactics of wealthy nations are undermining the unity of developing countries to agree on genuinely equitable solutions.
We call on Indonesia and India to stand by their people—who constitute majority of the population of peasants and small-scale fisher folk in the world, –to ensure their basic human rights, food sovereignty and livelihoods. We further call on the G33 and all developing countries, including the Africa Group and LDCs, to amplify their voices and insist that there should be no negotiations in Bali and that such subsidies to ensure domestic food security are our sovereign right, not negotiable and non-actionable.
The G-33 must not attempt to “save” a Ministerial Meeting at the cost of the unity of developing countries. Domestic agriculture, food and employment policies cannot be negotiated in the WTO or any other institutions founded on competition.
Indonesia for Global Justice (IGJ),
Serikat Petani Indonesia (SPI),
Solidaritas Perempuan (SP),
Aliansi Petani Indonesia (API),
Indonesian Human Right Committee for Social Justice (IHCS),
Komisi untuk Orang Hilang dan Korban Kekerasan (KONTRAS),
Climate Society Forum (CSF),
Koalisi Anti Utang (KAU),
Koalisi Rakyat untuk Keadilan Perikanan (KIARA),
Institut Hijau Indonesia (IHI),
Lingkar Madani untuk Indonesia (LIMA),
Jaringan Advokasi Tambang (JATAM),
Aliansi Jurnalis Independen (AJI Jakarta),
Front Perjuangan Pemuda Indonesia (FPPI),
Lingkar Studi-Aksi untuk Demokrasi Indonesia (LS-ADI),
Serikat Nelayan Indonesia (SNI),
Kesatuan Nelayan Tradisional Indonesia (KNTI),
Serikat Buruh Indonesia (SBI),
Asosiasi Pendamping Perempuan Usaha Kecil (ASPPUK),
Perhimpunan Bantuan Hukum dan Hak Asasi Manusia Indonesia (PBHI),
Universitas Al-Azhar Indonesia (Dosen Hubungan Internasional),
Asosiasi Ekonomi-Politik Indonesia (AEPI),
Koalisi Rakyat Untuk Hak Atas Air (KRuHA)
Aliansi Pemuda Pekerja Indonesia (APPI),
Indian Coordination Committee of Farmers Movements (ICCFM),
Focus on the Global South,
Action Aid India,
Swadeshi Jagran Manch,
Right to Food Campaign,
Bhartiya Kisan Union,
Bharatiya Krishak Samaj,
Great Mission Group Consultancy,
Shram Seva Nyas,