The outcome of the World Trade Organisation’s Ministerial Conference held in Bali, Indonesia, from December 3rd through 7th, is a “great disaster for peoples’ lives and for Mother Earth”.
This was the assessment made by the coordinator of the Economic Justice Program of Friends of the Earth International, Lucia Ortiz, in interview with Real World Radio.
The Brazilian activist attended the WTO talks in Bali and said the resolutions adopted there are a threat to food sovereignty, which would lead to more “hunger and death”.
On December 3rd, several social movements, organizations and civil society groups demonstrated in Bali and in Geneva, Switzerland against the corporate capture of the WTO negotiations and of the United Nations Human Rights Council. The groups, which are part of the international campaign “Dismantle Corporate Power and End Impunity”, had demanded legally binding rules to punish transnational corporations for their crimes.
Ortiz highlighted the social movements’ demonstrations and actions in Bali. There was a memorial in honor of South Korean peasant Lee Kyung Hae who killed himself during the protests held in Cancun, Mexico, against the WTO negotiations on September 10th, 2003. With this memorial the demonstrators wanted to show what the WTO does to peasants.
Ortiz said that, contrary to the demands of social movements, the WTO passed a legally binding package to facilitate trade.
“Not even the measures to protect the least developed countries were achieved here. They (developed countries) keep only empty promises by an organization whose aim is to deliver trade liberalization and business for corporations”, said Lucia Ortiz.