17th November 2005; Busan, South Korea

Busan International Peoples Forum

Much to our concerned expectations, the Busan APEC Summit is coming to the conclusion to greater magnify neoliberal globalization unilaterally reflecting the logic of the powerful elite. We, social movements in the Asia-Pacific region, express serious concern, and thereby resolve to build a just resistance towards equality and peace and against the Busan APEC Summit aimed at globalizing poverty and war.

The APEC has been playing a major role in spreading war and poverty all around the world. Under the name of ‘human security’, APEC has expanded and supported militarism and draconian anti-democratic legislations. It has supported Bush’s illegitimate invasion wars on Iraq and Afghanistan as well as mobilizing dispatch of troops to Iraq. In particular, this Busan APEC Summit is trying to adopt a special statement urging a deal in the WTO Doha negotiations, which is in danger of collapsing once again. In addition, APEC is trying to disable the ‘Kyoto Protocol’. It has initiated a fundamentally anti-environment discussion that tries to stipulate reduction of CO2 emission as a voluntary measure instead of a compulsory obligation.

We sternly warn that agendas of the Busan APEC Summit will bring forth disaster all around the world.

The Busan APEC Summit is expected to adopt a special statement to urge an early settlement of WTO DDA negotiations, as well as a “Busan Roadmap” which will include a midterm assessment of the Bogor Goals for the complete liberalization of trade and investment in the Asia-Pacific region. The essence of WTO Doha negotiations is “removing agricultural tariffs, enforcing dumping of agricultural products, adopting complimentary approach for further liberalization of services and eliminating tariffs of non-agricultural products”. Conclusion of the Doha negotiations will bring devastation to peoples by forcing open agricultural markets and threatening food sovereignty, and by liberalizing public services and handing over education, healthcare, and other public services to transnational capital. In addition, we condemn the ‘anti-terror’ agenda of the Busan APEC Summit will further mobilize support for the trouble-ridden Bush’s aggressive wars against Iraq and Afghanistan.

We demand the immediate cancellation of US’s plan to expand Pyeongtaek US Military Base. This plan will increase militarist threat in East Asia and take away lands from peasants. We demand the immediate withdrawal of US troops from Okinawa and many other parts of Asia.
We are together with the Korean peasants who are fighting against the parliamentary ratification of WTO rice negotiations, and commemorate the two peasants who had committed suicide during the recent days. The anti-peasant policies and negotiations must stop immediately.

We condemn the infringement of human rights by Korean and other Asian-Pacific governments. Movements against war and neoliberalism are struggles to stop the vicious circle of poverty and violence. They are already becoming historical movements to protect workers’ rights, rights to equality, environmental rights and social rights of people around the world. However, the Korean government has announced that it will prohibit the entry of and put under surveillance foreign NGO activists and ban their participation in rallies, and has banned protests inside the legally non-binding special security areas. These measures are those that were possible only under military dictatorship. We strongly demand that Korean government guarantee various demonstrations against APEC and Bush that will take place on November 18 and 19, before it is criticized as the most non-democratic and the most anti-human rights nation in the world.

During the two-day Busan International People’s Forum of 16th and 17th November, we affirmed our global position against APEC and discussed tasks of social movements in the Asia-Pacific region in our resistance against war and neoliberalism. With fruits of this forum, on November 18 we will organize struggles against neoliberal globalization and Bush – who is not welcome anywhere in the world – together with people of Korea. Bush, who was ‘disgraced’ in Argentina a while ago, will also face powerful resistance in Korea. Together with peoples around the world who are against the WTO and neoliberal globalization, we will fight to put a stop to the 6th WTO Ministerial Meeting in Hong Kong in December. The APEC Summit may struggle to rekindle the flames of the fading Doha negotiations, however, it will not be able to stop our powerful advance towards a world without war, poverty or discrimination. We will strengthen our international solidarity and advance towards a new world that respects the rights of people not profit.

Korean People’s Action against APEC and Bush
Busan Civic Action against APEC and Bush
Participants in Busan International People’s Forum