The social movements of peasants, fishermen, shepherds, indigenous peoples, environmentalists, women's organizations, trade unions and NGOs gathered here in Rome express our collective frustration and rejection of the official Declaration of the World Agriculture Summit: five years later.
The failure since 1996 and the New Official Declaration
The social movements of peasants, fishermen, shepherds, indigenous peoples, environmentalists, women's organizations, trade unions and NGOs gathered here in Rome express our collective frustration and rejection of the official Declaration of the World Agriculture Summit: five years later. Far from analyzing and correcting the problems that have made it impossible to progress in the last five years to eliminate hunger, this new Action Plan combines the error of "more of the same medicine" with the destructive prescriptions that make the situation worse.
The 1996 Plan of Action has not failed because of a lack of political will and resources, but because it supports policies that lead us to hunger, that sustain the economic liberalization of the South and create cultural homogeneity, protected by military forces in case of failure of the first group of prescribed actions. Only fundamentally different policies, based on the dignity and ways of life of communities, can end hunger. We believe and affirm that this is possible and urgent.
Since 1996, governments and international institutions have presided over globalization and liberalization that have intensified the structural causes of hunger and malnutrition. They have forced the opening of markets to the 'dumping' of agricultural products, the privatization of basic social services and economic support institutions, as well as the privatization and commercialization of public and communal lands, water, and banks of fishing and forests. At the same time, we witness the brutal increase in the repression of social movements that resist the New World Order.
This political desire has also opened its doors to the unbridled monopolization and concentration of resources and production processes in the hands of a few giant multinationals. The imposition of external-dependent production models has destroyed the environment and the ways of life of our communities. It has also created food insecurity by targeting short-term productivity gains using harmful technologies such as GMOs. The result has been the displacement of people and mass migration, the loss of jobs that pay living wages, the destruction of the land and other resources on which the people depend, an increase in the polarization between rich and poor within , and between the North and the South, an aggravation of poverty around the world and an increase in hunger in the vast majority of nations.
No progress will be made on the goal of eliminating hunger without reversing these policies and trends. But the current statement offers no hope of such a change. Emphasizes the current liberalization of trade, which is the greatest force undermining livelihoods worldwide, has diluted the concept of the human right to food, proposes more radical neoliberal structural adjustments in the light of HIPC programs, recommends a greater emphasis on biotechnology and genetic engineering, and fails to support reinforcing the production of the poor for local markets or the radical redistribution of access to productive resources, which is essential for real change for the better. Based on this action plan, without increased political will or resources, no further reduction in hunger or underlying poverty will be achieved.
Food Sovereignty: The Fundamental Approach.
In contrast to the proposal of the International Alliance against Hunger, which is "something more of the same medicine", we oppose the unifying concept of Food Sovereignty as an umbrella under which we can define the strategic actions necessary to really eliminate hunger.
What is Food Sovereignty? Food Sovereignty is the RIGHT of countries and peoples to define their own agricultural, employment, fishing, food and land policies in a way that is ecologically, socially, economically and culturally appropriate for them and their unique circumstances. This includes the true right to food and to produce food, which means that all peoples have the right to healthy, nutritious and culturally appropriate food, and to the ability to support themselves and their societies.
Food Sovereignty requires:
· Give priority to food production for domestic and local markets, based on diversified peasant and family farms and agro-ecological production systems.
· Ensuring fair prices for farmers, which means the power to protect domestic markets from cheap imports and dumping.
· Access to land, water, forests and fisheries and other productive resources through genuine redistribution, not through market forces and "land market reforms" financed by the World Bank.
· Recognition and promotion of the role of women in food production and equitable access and control of productive resources.
· Community control over productive resources, as opposed to corporations that own land, water, genetic resources, and others.
Protection of the basic seeds of food and of life itself for the free exchange and use of farmers, which means not patenting life and a moratorium on genetically modified cultures that lead to contamination of the essential genetic diversity of plants and animals.
· Public investment to promote the productive activity of families and communities aimed at increasing power, local control and food production for the towns and local markets.
Food Sovereignty means the primacy of the rights of peoples and communities to food and food production, over the interests of commerce. This entails fostering and promoting local markets and producers beyond production for the export and import of food.
To achieve Food Sovereignty:
· We will strengthen our social movements and develop organizations of peasants, women, indigenous peoples, workers, fishermen and the urban poor in each of our countries.
· We will advance in solidarity and regional and international cooperation and will strengthen our common struggles.
· We will fight for genuine agrarian and fisheries reforms, pasture and forest reforms, and achieve a comprehensive and comprehensive redistribution of productive resources in favor of the poor and the landless.
· We will fight for a strong guarantee of workers' rights to organize, contract collectively, and have safe and decent working conditions and sufficient wages.
· We will fight for equitable access of women to production resources and for the end of patriarchal structures in agriculture and for the socio-economic and cultural aspects of food.
· We will fight for the right of indigenous peoples to their culture, territory and productive resources.
· We call for an end to the neoliberal economic policies that have been imposed by the World Bank, the WTO, the IMF and the countries of the North and other multilateral and regional free trade agreements, such as FTAA and NEPAD.
· We request the withdrawal of agriculture from the WTO.
· We will fight to stop genetic engineering and patents on life and call for an immediate ban on the "terminator" and the use of similar technologies that use genetic restriction.
· We call for an end to the use of GMO food as food aid.
· We call for the immediate stoppage of wars in peoples and lands around the world and an end to the illegal occupation of Palestine, the embargo on Cuba and Iraq and the use of food as an instrument of blackmail.
· We request support for the development and dissemination of agroecological production systems.
· We call for a Convention on Food Sovereignty in order to inscribe the principles of Food Sovereignty in international law and institute Food Sovereignty as the main political framework to direct food and agriculture.
Finally, uniform policies such as those issued by the World Bank, WTO and IMF, must be replaced by a vision with "a world where many worlds fit", where human strength and dignity are built through solidarity and respect for diversity, and where all countries and peoples have the right to define their policies.
To this end, we have decided to build a social conscience and our movements to win the fight against the WTO in Cancun in September 2003.