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"STOP the 5th Ministerial! NO to WTO! Korean People's Delegation to Cancun"


Source  :  Korean People\'s Action against FTA & WTO

We, the 180 peasants, workers, teachers, health workers, activists from political parties, social and political organisations, travelled to Cancun, Mexico, where the 5th WTO Ministerial had taken place. We returned, after having fought against the WTO that destroys the lives of the peoples all around the world, after having stopped the Doha Development Agenda from making further progress, after having struggled in order to construct another globlisation in which the lives and the rights of the peoples all around the world are respected.

Korean peasants who have taken their own lives as the government chooses to sacrifice agriculture after the WTO was established at the Uruguay Round, peasants of the Third World who have been deprived of their rights to land, water and seeds as transnational agribusinesses expand their markets, people who need to pay a huge amount of money in order to wet their throats as water gets privatised, people who cannot afford any medicine for AIDS and even simple diseases as transnational pharmaceuticals manipulate the market... It is the WTO that has deteriorated our rights, taken our lives and destroyed the environment. As WTO negotiations progress, inequality and poverty prevail. Thus, people took to the streets, in Seoul, all over the nation and in Cancun, under the slogan "Stop the Ministerial, No to WTO!"

The 5th WTO Ministerial collapsed, and we have confirmed once again that our struggle is just. The US and EU stipulated that through the Doha Development Agenda, the interests of developing countries will be reflected in the negotiations, that all peoples of the world will be able to enjoy the benefits of the free trade regime. However, their attitude during the negotiations showed us that these were all lies, mere rhetoric. In the negotiations on agriculture, the two powers pushed for subsidies that are devastating to the economies of the South and are driving peasants to poverty. During the negotiations on Singapore Issues, the powers were pushing to protect the ownership and freedom of transnational capital while abrogating the basic rights of the people. At this, the developing countries formed a strong resistance, and eventually brought the Ministerial to a failure. The Ministerial had confirmed once again that the WTO and its Doha Development Agenda commercializes and commodifies public rights of the people such as food, energy, health and education for the benefit of capital.

However, the failure of the Ministerial does not mean complete victory for the people. The US and EU are threatening to realise their failed interests in elimination of tariffs and liberalisation of investment through regional and bilateral free trade regimes. They are pressuring national governments to relent to their demands, sometimes with militaristic threats.
Keeping pace, the Noh Moo-Hyun government has announced that it will push for bilateral agreements including the Korea-Chile FTA and the Korea-US Bilateral Investment Treaty, and has also recently announced that it will implement its plans to make a free trade area extending over China and ASEAN countries. Also, the government is moving fast to consolidate legislations to open up and liberalise healthcare, education and culture through the establishment of Free Economic Zones across the nation.

We reaffirm that we have as our common goal the formation of an alternative globalisation - globalisation from below, globalisation that counteracts the neoliberal model based on inequality, poverty and deprivation of peoples' rights, and we declare the following.

- We will continue to struggle against the Doha Development Agenda and the WTO. We will keep watch on the future developments inside the WTO including the process of the General Council, the developments of negotiations on agriculture and services, and will mobilise resistance to these negotiations.
- We will struggle against all attempts to sacrifice the rights of the people for the benefit of freedom of transnational capital.
- We will struggle against, and stop the ratification of the Korea-Chile FTA, which destroys the livelihood of peasants and their rights.
- We will struggle against all attempts to commercialize public services such as education, healthcare and culture.

Although the "Korean People's Delegation to Cancun" is officially dissolved as of today, our struggle will continue.

24th October, 2003

"STOP the 5th Ministerial! NO to WTO! Korean People's Delegation to Cancun"

Korean People's Action against FTA & WTO | Korean People's Solidarity | Korean Farmer's Solidarity
Chamsaesang Broadcasting, Democratic Labor Party, Federation of Korean Trade Unions, Korean Confederation of Trade Unions, Korean Farmer's League, Korean Federation of Environmental Movements, Korean Government Employees Union, People's Health Coalition, People's Solidarity for Social Progress, Power of Working Class, Progressive Education Research Institute, StudioIscream

2003 / -1 / 1-
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