|Peoples' Statement of the Asia Pacific Convention on Food Sovereignty|
|Written by PCFS participants|
|Saturday, 27 November 2004 13:23|
We the representatives of peasants, fisherfolk, agricultural and industrial workers, women, indigenous peoples, dalits, pastoralists, scientists and technologists, and other sectors of 520 participants from 24 Asia-Pacific countries, as well as around 30 from 13 countries across the globe who joined us in solidarity have met in Osmani Memorial Auditorium in Dhaka from 25-27 November at the Asia Pacific People's Convention on Food Sovereignty.
We are opposed to the present global capitalist structure of exploitation that takes the form of imperialist globalization and is manifested in the increased forms of exploitation, violence, terror and war. This neo liberal system imposed by international financial institutions and WTO is the greatest force undermining livelihoods and devastating our lives around the world today. Institutions such as World Bank are forcing countries like Bangladesh to graze them with complete legal immunity from the crime of destruction and damage caused to the people. Peasants, pastoralists, indigenous people s , agricultural workers, dalits and fisherfolk communities are being displaced and losing land. It is destroying our biodiversity, robbing us of our genetic resources, increasing hunger and poverty thereby threatening our survival, especially to women and children. The most dramatic impact of these policies is the alarming rate of suicides among farmers across Asia due to indebtedness and displacement.
In the name of enhanced food production, the state collaborates with the global system of exploitation that is driven by transnational corporations to introduce technologies such as biocides, chemicals, and genetic engineering. These pollute our environment and deny the rich knowledge systems of farming communities. While the resistance against the unsustainable technologies are becoming even more intense, the corporations have moved from gene level to nano level that threaten life and livelihood even more. These developments have led to the monopoly control of our food systems and productive resources. Science and technology have also become an even more effective tool of exploitation.
Resisting this exploitation, peasants, indigenous communities, agriculture workers and social movements are demanding food sovereignty to ensure communities become central in food production and policy. Our resistance is evident in the growing protest against WTO, bilateral and regional free trade and investment agreements, against structural adjustment conditionalities of the IMF-World Bank, direct actions against the use of hazardous technologies, and mass campaigns against transnational corporations.
Our resistance also includes the promotion of biodiversity based ecological agriculture based on community knowledge and wisdom such as community seed conservation. We are also promoting traditional food systems that have effectively met the needs of the poor in much of the world. We are also promoting research, education and technology development to advance the people's resistance. Asserting the rights of agriculture workers, peasants, women indigenous peoples, dalits, pastoralists in alliance with workers are central to this resistance.
In the context of our struggle to transform the global system of food production, where consumption and distribution is controlled by few companies, we reiterate that food sovereignty is the inalienable RIGHT of peoples, communities, and countries. This is the right to define , decide and implement their own agricultural, labor, fishing, food and land policies which are ecologically, socially, economically and culturally appropriate to their unique circumstances. It includes the true right to food and to produce food, which means that all people have the right to safe, nutritious and culturally appropriate food and to food-producing technologies and resources, the ability to sustain themselves with dignity , conserve their resources and feed their societies.
To realize this, to end poverty and hunger on one hand and over-consumption, terror and war on the other, we adopt a People's Convention on Food Sovereignty that we present to the rest of the peoples of the world as a draft to support and adopt as a global convention. This will unite us even more strongly in our fight to end tyranny and exploitation by the global corporate monopoly led by Syngenta, Monsanto and Bayer, enshrine the principles of food sovereignty in international law, end feudalism and monopoly capitalism, and realize food sovereignty for the people.
Our resistance is often met with violence, imprisonment and impunity from the State. We condemn the recent massacre in Hacienda Luisita in the Philippines where 14 agriculture workers including 2 children were fatally shot during a peaceful strike against the Cojuangco-owned sugarcane plantation and mill. We demand an impartial and swift investigation into the massacre and the culpability of the police and military establishment of the Macapagal-Arroyo regime.
We condemn the military occupation and destruction of Iraq led by US imperialism, and the denial of the right of Palestinian people to self determination. Introduction of GMOs in a war-torn country like Iraq and taking advantage of military occupation to introduce a deadly technology and destroy the food sovereignty of a nation, is of serious concern to us. We express our solidarity to all the people of the world in their struggle for self-determination, and we reaffirm that food sovereignty is part and parcel of that struggle.
27 November 2004
FIGHT AND DISMANTLE CORPORATE CONTROL OVER AGRICULTURE AND FOOD PRODUCTION
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|Last Updated on Thursday, 27 November 2008 14:57|