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You are here: Home / Media / Archive / 2000 / 30_nov_seattle


30 november 2000

seattle anniversary

one year after seattle, world wide citizen action against new trade round continues

One year after the "battle of Seattle", citizens around the world are organising a week of actions (30 November-4 December) to mark the anniversary of the collapse of the 3rd WTO Ministerial and the Multilateral Agreement on Investment (MAI) (1). Activities are planned across all continents, from Australia and Bangladesh to India, France, Uruguay and the US.

Since Seattle many thousands of citizens have intensified their campaigns and protests against neo-liberal economic globalisation that is promoted by the WTO as well as the IMF and World Bank. This was manifested in demonstrations in Davos, Washington, Bangkok and Prague.

In Seattle, ten of thousands of citizens from around the world had protested against the WTO and had made a call of "No New Round, Turnaround". Citizens groups had called for no further expansion of the WTO and for a review and repair agenda of international trade rules.

In the meantime, almost a thousand NGOs around the world have signed the post-Seattle íWTO: Shrink or Sink statement. The statement calls for a rollback of the power of the WTO , to reduce its role to a number of genuine trade issues. The statement includes eleven specific demands which include protecting basic social rights and needs from the WTO, dismantling the WTOís intellectual property rights agreements, banning patenting of life, ensuring special and differential treatment of developing countries, ensuring that multilateral agreements on environmental and social aspects take precedence over trade rule and ending the WTOís agreement on investment measures.
Protest is increasing as the implementation of WTO agreements are leading to threats to livelihoods of farmers and workers, threats to the survival of small farms and enterprises, threats to food security and misappropriation of traditional knowledge of local communities through ëbiopiracyí and threats to local, national and international environmental and social laws.

Despite the public outcry, governments are pursuing a business as usual agenda and efforts to launch a new round have been increased. Therefore, citizens say ëenough is enoughí, now is time to change course for a more sustainable, equitable and democratic trading system.

1) The Seattle trade talks collapsed on 3 December 1999. One year before that, on 4 December 1998, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development's (OECD) proposed Multilateral Agreement on Investment (the MAI, intended to promote investment liberalisation) was also abandoned.

To see the Shrink or Sink Statement view

Ian Willmore 0044 7887 641344 (FOEI)
Ronnie Hall 020 7490 2665
Press Office 020 7566 1649



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