Statement of Civil Society in Thailand on RCEP Negotiation and the Thai Government’s Effort in Joining CPTPP

On the 20th of July 2018, 25 civil society organizations in Thailand in the sectors of health, agriculture, fishery, environment, internet, labor rights, women rights and climate change convened a meeting on the impact of RCEP and CPTPP. We have several serious concerns over the both trade agreements. We have consensus on our position on RCEP and CPTPP as follows:

  1. Civil society in Thailand urges the governments of the 16 countries to discontinue RCEP negotiation and demands the Thai government to stop their effort in joining CPTPP that was already concluded as the both trade deals will have severe impact to peoples and the society, and the negotiations were conducted in secrecy and impeded the stakeholders’ meaningful participation, but in favor of some certain corporations’ trade benefits.
  2. All forms of free trade agreements must be complied with the WTO’s TRIPs Agreement and must not have trade rules stricter than TRIPs Agreement, which is known as TRIPs plus provisions, especially the contents related to medicines that will undermine health insurance systems, plant and animal varieties that will affect farmers’ way of life and culture, and other intellectual property that will violate access to knowledge in the internet, civil rights and privacy.
  3. The Investor and State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) in the Investment Chapter must not allow foreign investors to take legal action against countries when their governments legislate and/or enforce policies and laws, on purpose of the public’s interests, particularly on health, tobacco and alcohol control, environment, access to knowledge, and social security.
  4. Free trade agreements must not have content leading to privatization and liberalization of the public services, and hindering the government procurement.
  5. Free trade agreements must not be in contradiction to the principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Declaration of the Rights of Woman and of the Female Citizen, the Declaration of the Rights of the Child, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural rights, the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, that the countries ratified and has obligations. Free trade agreements must not also undermine universal commitments given to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
  6. Particularly for Thailand, the coup government has not duty and righteousness to negotiate or sign any free trade agreements that will have legal binding and adverse impact to peoples who are living and also future generations. The government who is coming from democratic election must ensure that international trade agreement negotiations will proceed with virtual participation of people and parliamentary process that must be requirements written in a new constitution prior to any international trade agreement negotiations.

 

  • AIDS Access Foundation
  • Alternative Agriculture Network
  • Anti-RCEP Women Network
  • Assembly of the Poor
  • Bio Thai
  • Climate Watch Thailand
  • Drug Monitoring and Development Center
  • Drug Study Group
  • Ecology Alert and Recovery – Thailand (EARTH)
  • Foundation for AIDS Rights
  • Foundation for Consumers
  • Foundation for Internet and Civic Culture
  • FTA Watch
  • Health & Development Foundation
  • Informal Worker Network
  • People Go Network
  • People’s Health Systems Movement
  • People’s Network for State Welfare
  • Promotion of Community’s Rights on Land and Resources Program Stop Drink Network
  • Southern Farmer Federation
  • Thai Health Foundation
  • Thai Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS
  • Thailand Youth Institute
  • Tobacco Control Research and Knowledge Management Center

 

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