Petition against WTO trade liberalization


Jan Slakov

Date: Sun, 11 Apr 1999 06:58:20 +1200
From: Carol <•••@••.•••> (by way of Makere Harawira

Date: Fri, 9 Apr 1999 23:50:54 -0500 (CDT)
From: Mike Dolan <•••@••.•••>

This is an excellent and historic statement on behalf of international civil 
society, which is why we signed on (see below).  We observe that not all of 
the organizational allies and affiliates of the Citizens Trade Campaign have 
lent their voices to this NGO chorus and we encourage you to do so today, by 
notifying our friend Ronnie Hall (ronnieh @ in England. The 
organizers of the Fair Trade Campaigns in the several [US] states are 
especially urged to post widely throughout your networks and to take 
responsibility for getting on any groups what don't have E-mail.

Do it today!

Dear friends

An excellent response so far! Please check for errors and let me know if
there are any problems. Otherwise, please continue to circulate and

There have been two slight grammatical changes (one in the title, one in
the sentence about TRIPs) which do not change the substance. There will
be no further changes under any circumstances.

Please note, that in order to keep this process relatively simple, we
have also confined sign-ons to organisations only. There is an excellent
geographical spread amongst the organisations signed up and it is
important that this is immediately apparent to anyone reading the list.
In addition, I personally don't have the time to deal with this
additional task. Please can you note this when talking to others.

Also, please remember we can only send updates out if we have e-mail
contact addresses.

Finally, I have been sent a Spanish and a French translation. I will
send these separately for your use. However, I cannot guarantee the
accuracy of the translations. Nevertherless, many thanks to the people
who sent them!

The best of luck with your campaigning

Ronnie Hall
Friends of the Earth

In November 1999, the governments of the world will meet in Seattle for
the World Trade Organization's Third Ministerial Conference. We, the
undersigned members of international civil society, oppose any effort to
expand the powers of the World Trade Organization (WTO) through a new
comprehensive round of trade liberalisation. Instead, governments should
review and rectify the deficiencies of the system and the WTO regime

The Uruguay Round Agreements and the establishment of the WTO were
proclaimed as a means of enhancing the creation of global wealth and
prosperity and promoting the well-being of all people in all member
states. In reality however, in the past five years the WTO has
contributed to the concentration of wealth in the hands of the rich few;
increasing poverty for the majority of the world's population; and
unsustainable patterns of production and consumption.

The Uruguay Round Agreements have functioned principally to prise open
markets for the benefit of transnational corporations at the expense of
national economies; workers, farmers and other people; and the
environment. In addition, the WTO system, rules and procedures are
undemocratic, untransparent and non-accountable and have operated to
marginalise the majority of the world's people.

All this has taken place in the context of increasing global economic
instability, the collapse of national economies, increasing inequity
both between and within nations and increasing environmental and social
degradation, as a result of the acceleration of the process of

The governments which dominate the WTO and the transnational
corporations which have benefited from the WTO system have refused to
recognise and address these problems. Instead, they are pushing for
further liberalisation through the introduction of new issues for
adoption in the WTO. This will lead to the exacerbation of the crisis
associated which the process of globalisation and the WTO.

We oppose any further liberalisation negotiations, especially those
which will bring new areas under the WTO regime, such as investment,
competition policy and government procurement. We commit ourselves to
campaign to reject any such proposals. We also oppose the Trade-Related
Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Agreement.

We call for a moratorium on any new issues or further negotiations that
expand the scope and power of the WTO.

During this moratorium there should be a comprehensive and in-depth
review and assessment of the existing agreements. Effective steps should
then be taken to change the agreements. Such a review should address the
WTO's impact on marginalised communities, development, democracy,
environment, health, human rights, labour rights and the rights of women
and children. The review must be conducted with civil society's full

The failure of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and
Development's Multilateral Agreement on Investment (MAI) demonstrates
broad public opposition to the deregulation of the global economy, the
increasing dominance of transnational corporations and escalating
resource use and environmental degradation.

A review of the system will provide an opportunity for society to change
course and develop an alternative, humane and sustainable international
system of trade and investment relations.

This statement is signed by:

A SEED, Europe
AITEC (Association Internationale de Techniciens, Experts et
Chercheurs), France
AK Weltwirtschaft Nuernberg, Germany
The Alternative Information and Development Centre (AIDC), South Africa
American Lands Alliance, United States
AMRASH, Morrocan Association of Research Action for Sustainable
Anarchist Now! (United States)
Anti-Atom-Gruppe der Projektwerkstatt Nuernberg, Germany
Anti-Atom-Netzwerk Mittelfranken, Germany
Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (Thailand)
Association of African Women for Research and Development (AAWORD)
Australian STOP MAI Coalition
Bank Information Center (USA)
Berne Declaration, Switzerland
BLUE 21, Berlin Working Group on Environment and Development
BUKO Agro Coordination, Germany
Bund Deutscher PfadfinderInnen KV Nuernberg, Germany
BUND, Friends of the Earth Germany
The California Fair Trade Campaign
Canadian Environmental Law Association
Campaign for Food Safety, USA
Cebu Environmental Initiatives for Development Center, Inc, Philippines
CEDETIM (Centre d'Etudes et d'Initiatives de SolidaritT Internationale),
Center for Encounter and Active Non-Violence Bad Ischl
Center for Environmental Public Advocacy - Slovak Republic
Centro de Informacao e Documentacao Amilcar Cabral (CIDAC)
Chiche! Jeunes Ecoles Alternatifs Solidaires
Church of Sweden Aid / Lutherhjaelpen, Sweden
Citizens' Reaction Against Pollution
Coalition for Justice in the Maquiladoras
Comboni Missionaries J & P Resource Center
Congregation of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd
Consumer Unity and Trust Society (CUTS), India
The Corner House, UK
Corporate Agribusiness Research Project, USA
Corporate Europe Observatory
Dana Association (A.C.), Mexico
DECA Equipo Pueblo, Mexico
Development Alternatives with Women for a New Era
Dire Mai al MAI, national Italian campaign
Down to Earth - the International Campaign for Ecological Justice in
Indonesia, UK
Droits devant!! (France)
The East Timor Action Network, Los Angeles, USA
EcoLogic, Troy New York, USA
Ecologistas en Accion (Spain)
Economic Justice Now, US
Economic Reform Australia
ECOTERRA International, Nairobi Node
The Edmonds Institute (USA)
Education Foundation (Pakistan)
Education and Training Employees Association (Vancouver, Canada)
FAIR NZ - New Zealand
Federer at Liberer - France
Feministische Partie DIE FRAUEN / Bayern, Fuerth, Germany
The Free Burma Coalition, USA
Friends of the Earth England, Wales and Northern Ireland
Friends of the Earth - Czech Republic, Hnuti Duha Praha
Friends of the Earth Finland
Friends of the Earth Netherlands - Milieudefensie
Friends of the Earth New Zealand
Friends of the Earth Norway / Norges Naturvernforund
Friends of the Earth - Slovakia
Friends of the Earth United States
Genetic Resources Action International (GRAIN)
Global 2000 - Friends of the Earth Austria
Global Exchange, USA
Global Labour Institute
Globalisation Challenge Initiative
Good Shepherd Social Justice Network, Australia and New Zealand
Greater Sacramento Chapter of the Alliance for Democracy
Green Korea United
The Green Library, Latvia
Hawai'i Pesticide Project, Honolulu, Hawai'i
The Institute for Cultural Ecology
Institute of Interdisciplinary Study and Research (Germany)
Institute for Global Futures Research (IGFR), Australia
Institute for Popular Democracy (IPD) - Philippines
Interface Trading, Senegal
International Campaign for Responsible Technology
International Labour Rights Fund
International Human Rights Association, Germany
JustAct, Youth ACTion for Global JUSTice
KAIROS EUROPA, Heidelberg, Germany
Kalmiopsis Audubon Society
Komitee Widerstandgegen das MAI, Germany
London Human Rights Forum
MAI niet gezien! anti-MAI campaign, the Netherlands
MAID, the Netherlands
Menorah Jewish Network, Albury Australia
Mexican Action Network on Free Trade (Mexico)
Minnesota Fair Trade Campaign, Resource Center of the Americas, USA
MoKan Alliance for Democracy, Kansas City, USA
Movimiento Contra la Europa da Maastricht y la Globalizacion Economica,
NCOS (National Centre for Development Corporation), Belgium
Netherlands Committee for IUCN
Network for Environment and Economic Responsibility of the United Church
of Christ (USA)
New Economics Foundation, UK
New Raza Left - Los Angeles, USA
NEWS! the Network of European World Shops
The Northwest Environmental Defense Center of Portland, USA
Odhikar: A Coalition for Human Rights, Bangladesh
Oikos. Journal for Politics, Environment and Culture (Belgium)
Oxfam-Solidarity, Belgium
Oxfam-Wereldwinkels (Belgium)
Pax Romana ICMICA (Thailand)
Peace and Justice Centre of Southern California
People and Planet network, UK
People's Forum 2001, Japan
People's Movement, Australia
Pesticide Action Network, North America
Pennsylvania Consumer Action Network
Play Fair Europe!, European Union
Polaris Institute (Canada)
The Positive Futures Network, USA
Preamble Center, United States
PRESS, Save the Children youth, Norway
Pryority One Carpentry - Australia
Public Citizen, USA
Public Interest Research Group, India
Rainforest Action Network
RAPAM Coordinator Mexico
Reclaim Australia
Red de Permacultura Mexico
Red Green Alliance, Denmark
Rhode Island Chapter of the Alliance for Democracy, USA
RMALC (Mexican Network for Action on Free Trade)
Salzburg Forum Against the MAI
San Mateo County Peace Action - USA
Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition
Sisters of Benedict, Oklahoma, USA
Sisters of the Holy Names CA Justice and Peace Committee
Socialist Party of Labor, Philippines
South Australian Genetic Food Information Network
Sustainable Alternatives to the Global Economy (SAGE)
Swedish Consumer Coalition
Tartu Student Nature Protection Group, Estonia
Third World Network
Towards a Different Europe
The Umvelt-und Projektwerkstatt Freiburg, Germany
United for a Fair Economy, USA
Visaya Management Consultancy Inc, Cebu City, Philippines
V.P. Cross Border Network for Justice and Solidarity, Kansas City, USA
WALHI / Friends of the Earth Indonesia
Waterview Publishing
Weltladen-Dachverband, Germany
Windsor and Area Coalition for Social Justice, Canada
Windsor Area MAI-day Coalition for Human Rights
Wisconsin Coordinating Council on Nicaragua
Women's Intercultural Network (WIN), San Fransisco
Working Group Against the MAI and Globalisation - Turkey
WorkSafe! South - Los Angeles, USA
World Economy, Ecology and Development (WEED), Germany

last updated 7 April 1999