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Screengrab of webinar

Civil society organizations from Indonesia, Philippines, and Europe criticized the European Union’s Multilateral Investment Court proposal as an attempt to multilateralise the investor-State dispute settlement (ISDS) mechanism and establish a global corporate court system[1].

EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom made a strong pitch for a global investment court at the  meeting between the EU and ASEAN Economic Ministers held in Manila last week.

Date Posted: Friday, 2017 Mar 24th

The European Commission proposal for a multilateral mechanism to settle investor-state disputes (ISDS) – publicly branded as a Multilateral Investment Court – would take us down that second path. It threatens to forever lock-in the highly controversial ISDS system that only benefits corporations.

This proposal is part of the negotiations that the EU is holding with Indonesia, Philippines and Myanmar. Furthermore, the EU has presented it to as many as 40 non-EU governments during the World Economic Forum at Davos and also in a meeting last December in Geneva.

Date Posted: Wednesday, 2017 Mar 22nd

Forest destruction and encroachment on public land are issues that have figured highly on the agenda of the current military government. Since 2014, the introduction and implementation of controversial legislations, cabinet resolutions and policies, including NCPO Orders no. 64/2014 and 66/2014, have restricted access and use of land and forestry land by marginalized and landless peasants, indigenous peoples, and villagers, despite previous recognitions by the Constitution of their rights and a long period of settlement on the land.

Date Posted: Tuesday, 2017 Mar 21st
Rubber plantation in Southern Lao PDR

On 21 March, the International Day of Forests, 200 organisations are reminding the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) that its misleading forest definition dating back to 1948 must be changed. The definition has allowed the plantations industry to hide the devastating ecological and social impacts of large-scale monoculture tree plantations behind a positive forest image.

Date Posted: Tuesday, 2017 Mar 21st

FTAs aren’t just about ‘trade’. They’re comprehensive agreements to lock in free market capitalism, strengthen the power of global corporations, finance, and powerful governments, and advance their geopolitical objectives. 

There are direct links between FTAs, climate change, ecological devastation, and violations of Indigenous Peoples’, workers’ and farmers’ rights. 

Date Posted: Thursday, 2017 Mar 16th

On 14 March 2017, the International Day of Action for Rivers, we, the Save the Mekong Coalition along with civil society and community partners from Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam, make this statement to express our gratitude to the Mekong River and the way of life she supports. The Mekong is our mother river, home to unique biodiversity and a lifeline for millions of people throughout the river basin. We recognize the efforts of Mekong communities who are working to protect and preserve the unique ecosystems and resources of the river for future generations. 

Date Posted: Tuesday, 2017 Mar 14th

Manila -- For Philippine women’s organizations, the 2017 commemoration of International Women’s Day was a critical action by and on behalf of Filipino women. As the March 8 statement signed by more than 30 organizations, including Focus on the Global South, said, “Filipino women from across all sectors have fought long and tough struggles—and have won many.

Date Posted: Thursday, 2017 Mar 09th

This morning, around 80 community members came together to participate in an event in Cambodia to commemorate International Women’s Day.

Of the participants, around 30 were local schoolchildren, with members of social movements and civil society organisations also participating, including two from Messenger Band, one from Social Action for Change and one from Focus on the Global South.

Date Posted: Wednesday, 2017 Mar 08th

Photo caption: Trade activists protesting the 17th round of negotiations for the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (RCEP) in Kobe, Japan. 27 February 2017. Photo by Shoko Uchida.

1 March 2017

Trade Justice Pilipinas a broad platform campaigning for just trade and investment policies expresses its opposition to and calls on the public to resist international economic agreements like Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (RCEP) and other new generation FTAs that advance corporate agenda over peoples rights and welfare.

Date Posted: Wednesday, 2017 Mar 01st

22 February 2017, Manila, Philippines - Civil society and grassroots organizations from across Asia gathered in Manila for a two-day strategy meeting, February 21 and 22, to discuss a global campaign against inequality. Calling themselves the Fight Inequality Alliance, the group believes that a global movement is what it’s going to take to address and fight inequality, which has reached extreme proportions in this century, and has created devastating impacts on communities and countries, and on the climate.

Date Posted: Wednesday, 2017 Feb 22nd
Screengrab of webinar

Civil society organizations from Indonesia, Philippines, and Europe criticized the European Union’s Multilateral Investment Court proposal as an attempt to multilateralise the investor-State disput

Rubber plantation in Southern Lao PDR

On 21 March, the International Day of Forests, 200 organisations are

22 February 2017, Manila, Philippines - Civil society and grassroots organizations from across Asia gathered in Manila for a two-day strategy meeting, February 21 and 22, to discuss a global campai

Jakarta, December 8th: The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) is being negotiated in Jakarta, Indonesia this week (December 2-10)[i].

 

Press Conference

Organised by: The Sombath Initiative

11am, Wednesday 31 August, 2016, Bangkok

 

More than 80 participants representing trade unions, farming communities, indigenous peoples, health networks, women’s organisations, academia and civil society organizations met on 27-28 July in K

Amsterdam/Manila, May 24 2016 – As the first round of negotiations of a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the Philippines and the EU commences in Brussels, a new report warns that it endangers eff

In India it's not business as usual. Economists claim that India is hurtling along the superhighway of growth and audaciously predict that along with China, Russia and Brazil, it will be one of the giant economic forces in the coming century. The Outlook magazine recently (November 6 2006) carried a cover story with the title 'Taking over the World' waxing eloquent on India Incorporated and how the axis of corporate power is now shifting from Europe to Asia. While there is quite a bit of corporate spin and hyperbole surrounding these prophesies they should not be underestimated by progressive forces. From a business point of view India is firmly on a corporate-led reforms trajectory that seems irreversible there will be more Special Economic Zones (SEZs), new world class infrastructure in urban areas, super highways, five-star hotels, airports, super markets and shopping malls and less of government intervention in public policy.
The Congress led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government has closely worked as an agent of big business. Nothing epitomises this better than a banner sponsored by the UPA Government and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) at the World Economic Forum in Davos earlier this year under the 'India Everywhere' campaign which said '15 years, six governments, five prime ministers, one direction'. Reality is not far from this. Corporate India is on the warpath; between January and October 2006 Indian companies spent thrice the money buying foreign firms compared to what MNCs have acquired here.

Food Is Different:
Why we must get the WTO out of Agriculture

by Peter M. Rosset

Why does our global food system give us expensive, unhealthy and
bad-tasting food, where we pay more for packaging and long-distance
shipping than we do for the food itself?   Why do farmers and
peasants from around the world lead massive protests each and every
time the World Trade Organization (WTO) meets?

Peter Rosset explains how the runaway free trade policies and
neo-liberal economics of the WTO, American government and European
Union kill farmers, and give us a food system that nobody outside a
small corporate elite wants.

Occasional Papers 1: Globalisation and Change in Southern Laos
By Jonathan Cornford

This book analyzes the development situation in southern Laos. It is therefore of obvious interest to anyone working there. But it deserves a much, much broader readership. The book begins with the observation that globalization is a slippery concept and then proceeds to nail it down with a series of telling insights from an analysis of one small, neglected corner of the globe.

cover2-f-r.jpgPeriods following wars, conflicts and disasters have long been opportunities for channeling massive amounts of public and private money, and human and technical resources towards programmes that are aimed ostensibly towards rehabilitation and reconstruction in affected countries and regions.  They have also been opportunities for national and foreign governments, and multilateral agencies to establish new rules and policies for the provision of goods and services, infrastructure development and investment, and to reshape the geographical, economic and political contours of societies struggling with the aftermath of wars and disasters.  But to what extent do these programmes benefit local and national populations most deeply affected by wars and disasters?  Who really benefit from the massive infusions of aid and technical assistance that characterize rehabilitation and reconstruction programmes?

 

As the Asian Development Bank (ADB) holds its 38th Annual Governors Meeting in Istanbul, Turkey on May 4-6, 2005, Focus on the Global South releases its latest publication, The ADB and Policy (Mis)governance in Asia. This dossier puts togethereleven articles, each tackling important aspects of institutional and policy governance of the Bank. This packet also contains statements on ADB policies from movements, ADB watchers, civil society groups and social critics.

We invite you to read these articles and delve deeper into the issues.

Contact details of the authors are found at the back page to enable readers to get in touch with them directly. We also invite readers to use the information from this dossier to raise crucial issues to the ADB and its officials.

Iraq DossierThe US has always promoted its strategic and economic interests by exalting its own political and economic model of liberal democracy and market capitalism as superior to all else, and when others disagree, they readily resort to covert or overt force to make the point.

By Walden Bello

Metropolitan Books, Henry Holt and Company, New York
272 p, $25, Pub. Date March 4, 2005 , ISBN 0-8050-7402-3
The political and economic institutions of Washington 's global hegemony, including the system of global economic governance centered on the World Trade Organization, International Monetary Fund, and World Bank, are analyzed in the context of what Walden Bello sees as an irreversible crisis of US power.

Iraq.incIRAQ, INC.: A PROFITABLE OCCUPATION by Pratap Chatterjee

"A powerful combination of investigative research and o­n-the-ground reporting." -Naomi Klein, author No Logo, columnist The Guardian, UK
In Iraq, Inc.: A Profitable Occupation Pratap Chatterjee, managing editor of watchdog group CorpWatch, brings us the dilapidated hospitals, looted ministries, and guarded corporate enclaves that mark the plunderous road to America's liberated Iraq. Bringing together a critical mass of evidence from major media sources with an o­n-the-ground account of the Iraq occupation business, Chatterjee presents the most complete-to-date chronicle of the exploits of private contractors hired to reconstruct and manage Iraq.

Pages

The European Commission proposal for a multilateral mechanism to settle investor-state disputes (ISDS) – publicly branded as a Multilateral Investment Court – would take us down that second path.

Forest destruction and encroachment on public land are issues that have figured highly on the agenda of the current military government. Since 2014, the introduction and implementation of controversial legislations, cabinet resolutions and policies, including NCPO Orders no.

Photo caption: Trade activists protesting the 17th round of negotiations for the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (RCEP) in Kobe, Japan. 27 February 2017. Photo by Shoko Uchida.

1 March 2017

TRADE JUSTICE PILIPINAS

c/o Focus on the Global South. 19 Maginhawa Street, UP Village, Diliman, Quezon City. +6323552578

            We the “People Go Network Forum” comprised of villagers, community based organizations, peasants, academia, nongovernmental organizations, labors, media, students, the self-employed from 109 organizations are here to review the situations in Thailand in the aftermath of the coup, espe

On 14 March 2017, the International Day of Action for Rivers, we, the Save the Mekong Coalition along with civil society and community partners from Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam, make this statement to express our gratitude to the Mekong River and the way of life she supports. The Mekong is our mother river, home to unique biodiversity and a lifeline for millions of people throughout the river basin. We recognize the efforts of Mekong communities who are working to protect and preserve the unique ecosystems and resources of the river for future generations. 

 

Joint Organizations

July 11, 2016 - We, the undersigned Cambodian civil society groups, are outraged at the brutal murder of independent political analyst and grassroots organiser Kem Ley yesterday morning, and call for a prompt, thorough and independent inquiry into his death.

Kem Ley, 46, was shot twice, in his chest and his head, in a heavily-frequented Caltex petrol station cafe in central Phnom Penh shortly before 9.00 on Sunday morning.

Secretariat: c/o NFBM #1066-B, Emerald St., Taglesville Subd., Balanga City, Bataan

5th July 2016

Dear Friends,

5th July 2016

Translated from Filipino

Kilusan para sa Pambansang Demokrasya (KILUSAN) strongly condemns the treacherous murder of our comrade Gloria Capitan of Mariveles, Bataan!

Labor Day statement of Independent Senatorial Candidate Walden Bello

 Today, I march side by side with our workers to affirm their struggle for labor rights and continue the fight for dignity for our working class.

Labor day is a celebration of what the labor movement has won over decades of struggle.

Not many people know this but the fact that it is illegal to force workers to work for more than 8 hours and that they have to be paid more if they work beyond that is something that workers—through collective action—achieved.

You may sign this statement by clicking here

Suffering the brunt of the ongoing El Nino, more than 6 thousand farmers converged along a national highway in Kidapawan in the island of Mindanao in the Philippines on March 30 to demand 15,000 sacks of rice and financial subsidy promised to them six months earlier by the provincial government. They urgently need this assistance to tide them over until they are able to plant and harvest rice again.