| || |
| || |
| || |
"momagri, a unifying organization expressing the will of numerous farmers worldwide." "
By Jacques Carles :
General delegate of WOAgri
The Doha negotiations have again entered an active phase. But if we examine these negotiations carefully, what exactly is happening?
The European Commission has leaked through some of its unofficial channels, that Europe’s offer on agriculture could be “improved”. Frankly however, an ‘improvement’ would worsen matters for the world of agriculture.
Through more usual channels, the president of the Commission takes a firm line on the effort the Americans must make concerning their domestic subsidies.
As far as institutional channels are concerned, he has remained silent for some time, because Europe no longer has an agricultural policy and has “pawned” its ambition to the powers of the future, ever since France and the Netherlands said “no” to the European Constitution.
However Europe, mainly thanks to France’s position strongly defended by Madame Lagarde, minister delegate for Foreign Trade, seems to be holding out and is not letting itself be dragged into the fools’ game of negotiations, which have begun so badly.
This is not however a reason to lower our guard. Just the opposite! We must be extremely vigilant, particularly as we must remember the infinite dangers to which irrational international decisions would expose us; decisions founded on false hypotheses produced by totally unadapted models!
We have already discussed this, and in fact we have ourselves entered an active phase as we are constructing the international agricultural model of tomorrow, a model which will take into consideration the consequences of international decisions on well-being, development and poverty in the liberalization of exchange.
In our search to satisfy the demand for truth, we are analyzing numerous reports, studies, analyses and statements issued by international institutions, NGOs, professional organizations, research centers and all other relevant and constructive sources.
And we have reexamined the declaration made by the representatives of farmers and civil society organizations from Canada, Brazil, India and countries throughout Africa at the close of their meeting in Ottawa on May 16th 2005, to establish common ground for advocacy on international agricultural trade.
We are publishing it again here, because we feel that international leaders should draw inspiration, with humility and respect, from its strength, logic and relevance.
WOAgri subscribes to it totally and in particular our ambition is to supply the framework and the tools, which will enable us to respond positively to this declaration.
The text is also an illustration of the fact that WOAgri’s philosophy is the reflection of an international movement, extending far beyond European borders.
_______________________________________________________________________________ Here in full is the declaration of the 16th May 2006 and its signatories:
" In the spirit of the Dakar Declaration, we wish to preserve and promote orderly marketing mechanisms led by agricultural cooperatives, and single desk selling, which are currently under threat, for all countries, by the Doha negotiations :"
We believe that :
| || |
1 – Trade rules must allow governments to protect the livelihood of family farmers and small scale producers ;
> Trade rules must allow for national policy flexibility, including border protection measures, to protect and support domestic agricultural development.
> Countries must be allowed to defend themselves against the importing of products that are sold at a price below the average cost of production.
> - Trade rules must not limit the ability of governments to implement their Human Rights obligations, including the right to an adequate standard of living and the right to food.
2 – Trade rules must allow the existence of policies that guarantee a fair income, which covers the cost of production, labor costs and investments for family farmers and small-scale producers.
> Trade rules must allow for national policy measures, such as supply management, single desk selling and other forms of producer-led collective marketing and distribution.
> Farmers must have access to the necessary legislation and infrastructure to counteract the high concentration of agri-industry, which dominates international agricultural markets.
> Trade rules must allow for the development of international supply management agreements to stabilize the prices of exported commodities.
3 – Trade rules must respect and allow policies that take into account the diversity of local agricultural models, provided they do not cause dumping on international markets.
> Trade rules must allow the existence of governmental measures that address consumers’ concerns in the health and environment sectors (including labeling).
> Governments must be allowed to provide farmers with the tools that help them organize themselves collectively.
> The objective of local production for local consumption must be recognized as a legitimate policy option for national agricultural models.
> Trade-related intellectual property rights linked to trade must not affect farmers’ rights to save, exchange and reuse seeds.
4 – Trade rules must guarantee fairness and equity in international markets.
> Direct and indirect export subsidies must be urgently eliminated.
> Trade rules must reflect the different levels of development of member countries.
> Trade rules must end dumping of agricultural products on world markets and provide enough flexibility for States to use the necessary tools to protect themselves against such dumping.
> Governments must agree on means to enforce greater transparency on transnational corporate actors with respect to internal price policies, as well as rules to address corporate concentration.
5 – International trade negotiations must be transparent and allow for meaningful participation of all countries.
> Governments must reject any process controlled by a small number of countries, such as Green Rooms and mini-ministerials, and insist on processes and timeframes that permit the participation of all members.
> There must be no trade-offs between agriculture and other sectors on the negotiation agenda.
> Governments must undertake to consult with all sectors of society to ensure a democratic process.
Principles for international agricultural trade rules and
joint demands for the Doha agenda .
Canadian Council for International Cooperation - Canadian Foodgrains Bank – Canadian Broiler Hatching Egg Marketing Agency - Canadian Egg Marketing Agency - Canadian Turkey Marketing Agency - Chicken Farmers of Canada – Dairy Farmers of Canada - Federacao dos trabalhadores na Agricultura Familiar da Regia Sul / CUL (Fetraf-Sul / CUT) - Inter Pares - Oxfam Canada Rights and Democracy - National Farmers’ Union (UPA) - UPA Développement International (International Development) - Réseau des organisations paysannes et de producteurs agricoles de l’Afrique de l’Ouest (ROPPA) (Network of farmers organizations and agricultural producers of West Africa) - Southern and Eastern African trade Information and Negotiations Institute (SEATINI).
Joint declaration from Sustainable Farm Livelihoods, North and South – Political options under threat at the WTO, a North-South roundtable and learning exchange, May 12th – 18th 2005.
| || |
From the website :
CCI - Canada’s Coalition to end global poverty.
The Council is a coalition of Canadian voluntary sector organizations working globally to achieve sustainable human development. CCI seeks to end global poverty and to promote social justice and human dignity for all .
Joint declaration of the 22th March 2006 and its signatories: :
Farmers from developed and developing countries take a common position on WTO negotiations in agriculture.
The voice of the majority of countries in WTO is not being heard.
| || |
We, the undersigned, representing farmers in developing and developed countries, share strong concerns about the negotiations in the current world talks on trade in Geneva.
Less than 10% of agricultural production is actually traded on the world market and any expansion in this trade will benefit only a few countries. The concerns of countries whose main objective is to expand their exports must not be allowed to take precedence over the wider concerns about agriculture expressed in the positions of the majority of countries in WTO - G33, ACP countries, India, G10, United States, Canada and European Union1.
Free trade will, first and foremost, benefit large-scale corporate farming and multi-national traders in developed and advanced developing countries rather than the poorer developing countries. Developing countries with a vulnerable and defenceless agricultural sector, in a market frequently manipulated and dominated by a few trading entities must be able to take account of their rural development, food security and/or livelihood security needs. It should be reminded that Doha Round is a “development round” and is not a “market access round”. Access to resources such as land, seeds, water, technology and credit is a priority for developing countries. Free trade will make it impossible for farmers to meet their society's legitimate expectations concerning food security and safety as well as environmental, animal welfare and rural issues. All countries must be able to ensure their food sovereignty.
Structural adjustments imposed on developing countries by the World Bank and the IMF have further reduced agricultural services while re-orienting agriculture towards exports and forced governments to reduce their tariffs. This situation must also be taken into account in the Doha Round.
We believe that every country has a right to ensure that the concerns of its own citizens about food and agriculture, which extend far beyond purely commercial considerations, are met. Agricultural trade rules must reflect this in a way which is fair and equitable for every WTO member.
The following principles and points should therefore be made part of the WTO negotiations and be fully reflected in the outcome of the WTO Ministerial meeting:
1 – Non-Trade Concerns must be fully and specifically reflected in all the agricultural.
2 – Special and differential treatment and capacity building for developing countries, which addresses the real concerns of resources poor, vulnerable and small scale farmers, must be taken fully into consideration in order to meet their needs for rural development, food and livelihood security.
3 – Trade rules must allow for policy measures which promote food sovereignty and stability of food supplies and prices, including supply management and safeguard measures.
1 – Appropriate levels and forms of tariffs must be ensured considering the characteristics of the respective products in each country.
2 – Each member must be allowed to self-select a sufficient number of products as sensitive or special products. Sensitive/special products must be given enough flexibility in terms of tariffs and TRQs. As indicated in the July 2004 Framework Agreement, a balance must be found which reflects the sensitivity of the products concerned. Mandatory TRQ expansion and tariff reduction would not provide the necessary flexibility to achieve this.
3 – Capping of tariffs is totally unacceptable.
4 – Flexibility must be ensured for tariff reduction formula under the tiered approach.
5 – Special safeguards (SSG and SSM) for agricultural products must be ensured for both developed and developing countries .
6 – WTO rules must not erode the current preferential access given to imports from the least developed and ACP countries by a number of developed countries. Without such preferential schemes these countries will lose out to the major exporters .
7 – Specific, more stringent discipline must apply to all forms of support linked to products that are exported. All forms of export support on products exported to developing countries must be phased out and developing countries must be allowed to protect themselves against subsidized imported goods. Genuine food aid for humanitarian purposes must be secured in order to address natural and social disasters, and must be carried out in a manner that does not damage domestic markets.
8 – Capping of product-specific AMSs must be designed in a way to accommodate farm policy reform in each country.
9 – Non-trade-distorting support must be available to meet non-trade concerns.
10 – Overly stringent sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) standards without reasonable scientific basis and other technical barriers to trade must be regarded as non-tariff barriers.
List of farm organisations which have signed the joint declaration
West African network of Farmers’ organisation (ROPPA), representing organisations from 10 countries: Burkina Faso, Bénin, Côte-d’Ivoire, Gambie, Guinée-Conakry, Guinée-Bissau, Mali, Niger, Sénégal and Togo.
Eastern African Farmers’ Federation (EAFF), representing organisations from 5 countries: DR Congo, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania,Uganda
Coordinadora de Integración de Organizaciones Económicas Campesinas (CIOEC-Bolivia)
Canadian Broiler Hatching Egg Marketing Agency
Chicken Farmers of Canada
Canadian Turkey Marketing Agency
Canadian Egg Marketing Agency
Dairy Farmers of Canada
Union des Producteurs Agricoles
Committee of Professional Agricultural Organisations in the EU (COPA)
General Confederation of Agricultural Co-operatives in the EU (COGECA)together representing farmers and co-operatives from all 25 EU countries: Germany, France, Italy, Netherlands, Belgium, Luxemburg, United Kingdom, Denmark, Ireland, Greece, Spain, Portugal, Austria, Sweden, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Cyprus, Malta
The Farmers Association of Iceland
National Cooperative Union of India
Advocacy Center for Indonesian Farmers (ACIF)
Indonesian Farmers Union (HKTI)
J. A. Zenchu
National Agricultural Cooperative Federation
Unión Nacional de Agricultores y Ganaderos (UMAG)
Norwegian Farmers Union & Federation of Norwegian Agricultural Cooperatives
Independent farmers Networks of Sri Lanka
Swiss Farmers’ Union
National Farmers Union
1 ACP countries and other members of the G33, together with the G10 and the EU (25 countries) represent 128 countries - 86% of WTO members.