{xtypo_info}Peoples’ Memorandum
to the G33 Ministerial meeting in Jakarta:
Now is the time for Food Sovereignty
20th March 2007{/xtypo_info}


{xtypo_dropcap}W{/xtypo_dropcap}e, representatives of peasant organisations, social movements and
civil society organisations from across the world welcome the trade
ministers from the Group of 33 to Indonesia. We recognise the
importance of the G33 meeting at this juncture when the developing
countries are under significant pressure to reduce their tariffs and
allow more “market access” to agricultural products from the US and EU.
We recognize that your efforts to resist this pressure and to gain
meaningful special and differential treatment in the Doha round of WTO
negotiations are important, however we would like to raise some vital
issues and demands.





Liberalisation of the agriculture sector under structural adjustment
programmes and the Uruguay round of commitments has devastated millions
of farmers throughout the developing world. The incidence of farmer
suicides in India and other developing countries has shown an alarming
increase and the deepening economic and social crisis in the rural
sector is largely the result of liberalisation polices. Rural
unemployment has increased as subsidised agricultural imports flood
into developing countries. The agrarian distress has reached serious
proportions and have left millions of farmers starving and landless. 
Countries who used to be able to feed their people have become
dependent to giant global corporations, who are the main beneficiaries
of the liberalisation and market opening that has taken place under the
Agreement on Agriculture. A "development" outcome that meets the needs
of small and marginal farmers is impossible within the WTO framework.




WTO is inherently anti-development. Studies by the World Bank and the
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace show that the gains to
developing countries from the conclusion of the Doha Round are either
minimal or non-existent. Projections of the gains from a "likely Doha
scenario" show that just $16 billion out of $96 billion would go to
developing countries. Adjusting for Special and Sensitive Products in
agriculture, developing country gains come to just $ 6.7 billion (to be
shared between 110 developing countries) out of a total of $ 38.4
billion. These are the figures; the human cost is millions of lost




recognize that SP and SSM are important mechanisms for the developing
countries to protect their farmers from import surges and the volatile
world markets. However, under the framework of the Agreement on
Agriculture, merely designating SPs and using SSM is not going to
protect peasants and small farmers. 


and agriculture are not commodities that can be traded. This is the
peoples livelihood, culture and way of life. All products are critical
to peoples livelihoods, there is no way that one can be designated as a
special product and all the rest be traded away.


We therefore call on the G33 Ministers to stand for your people and fight for food sovereignty. 




would like to caution the G33 Ministers of the attempts by Pascal Lamy
to force a deal before the deadline of the US President's trade
negotiating authority ("fast track").


is simply unacceptable for developing countries, which comprise the
majority of the WTO membership, to be subjected to the timeline of one
member, the US. Lamy and the US should not force a deal just so they
can meet the deadline of the US Congress. The Doha Round should not be
saved at the expense of the people. No deal is better than a bad deal.


We therefore have the following demands for the G33:


call on the G33 Ministers to listen to their people who have been
suffering the negative impacts of trade liberalisation and twelve years
of WTO policies. The G33 Ministers should realize that developed
countries will not reduce their massive domestic support to
agriculture, thereby making it impossible to have any kind of
development for the South under this framework. Simply designating 20% 
SPs and using SSM will not end the death of farmers and loss of


call on the G33 Ministers to resist the pressure to "save" the Doha
Round. There is no development for the South in this misnamed Doha
"Development" Round and if it is completed, it will be a tragedy for
the peoples of the world. It is better to let the Doha Round die. There
are alternatives to the WTO that can deliver real development to the


call on the G33 Ministers to listen to the proposals of alternatives
from the people instead of trying to save the Doha "Development" Round.
At the recently concluded World Forum for Food Sovereignty in Nyéléni,
farmers, workers, fisherfolk, women and consumers from more than 98
countries came together to a common position and agenda for food
sovereignty. These people are the victims of the WTO policies and are
proposing an alternative system that will feed the people of the world
in a just and sustainable manner.


sovereignty is more than just designating some products or even all
products as Special Products. Food sovereignty is  "the right of
peoples to healthy and culturally appropriate food produced through
ecologically sound and sustainable methods, and their right to define
their own food and agriculture systems."(1) We believe that Food
Sovereignty is not possible under the WTO and so we call on G33
Ministers to work with us in building alternative trading systems to
the WTO. 


Our proposal is to have an alternative trading system based on the principle of food sovereignty which 

local and national economies and markets and empowers peasant and
family farmer-driven agriculture, artisanal – fishing, pastoralist-led
grazing, and food production, distribution and consumption based on
environmental, social and economic sustainability. Food sovereignty
promotes transparent trade that guarantees just income to all peoples
and the rights of consumers to control their food and nutrition."(2)


call on the G33 Ministers to recognize that alternative trading systems
based on food sovereignty are possible and that a world without the WTO
is not only possible but necessary. We invite the G33 Ministers to join
us in making food sovereignty a reality for peoples all over the


We call on the G33 Ministers to fight for their people and to fight for food sovereignty. 


Now is the time for food sovereignty! WTO out of Agriculture!




 Aliansi Buruh Yogyakarta (ABY), Indonesia

Alliance of Progressive Labor, Philippines

All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC- Maharashtra), India

All Nepal Peasant Association (ANPA), Nepal

Agribusiness Accountability Initiative- Asia (AAI-Asia) 

Bangladesh Krishok Federation (BKF), Bangladesh

Bhartiya Kissan Union (BKU), India

Bukluran sa Ikauunlad ng Sosyalistang Isip at Gawa (BISIG), Philippines

Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies, India

Collective for Economic, Social and Environmental Justice, India

Community Environmental Monitoring, India

CONVERGENCE for Community-Centered Area Development, Philippines

Corporate Accountability Desk, India

Economic Justice and Development Organization (EJAD), Pakistan

Federation of Indonesian Peasant Union (FSPI), Indonesia

Focus on the Global South 

Food & Water Watch

Foundation for Media Alternatives, Philippines

Friends of the Earth England, Wales and Northern Ireland

Front Perjuangan Pemuda Indonesia (FPPI) 

Global Network Asia

Indian Social Action Forum – INSAF, India

Institute for Global Justice, Indonesia  

International Gender and Trade Network (IGTN)-Asia

Jaringan Advokasi Nelayan (JALA), Indonesia

Kesatuan Aksi Mahasiswa LAKSI 31 (KAM LAKSI 31), Indonesia 

Kilusang Mangingisda (Fisherfolk Movement) Philippines

Koalisi Anti Utang, Indonesia

Komite Mahasiswa Anti Imperialisme (KMAI), Indonesia

Labour League Foundation, India

Lingkar Studi-Aksi untuk Demokrasi Indonesia (LS-ADI) 

Makabayan Pilipinas (Nationalist Alliance of Peasants in the Philippines)

NOAH – Friends of the Earth Denmark

NOrdBruk, Sweden 


Perhimpunan Bantuan Hukum dan Hak Asasi Manusia Indonesia (PBHI)

Petani Mandiri, Solidaritas Buruh Sumatera Utara (SBSU), Indonesia

Prakruti and Save Bombay Committee, India

REAPS Foundation Inc, Philippines 

River Basin Friends(NE).Assam India

Serikat Buruh Migran Indonesia

Serikat Buruh Jabotabek, Indonesia

South African Municipal Workers' Union, South Africa

Stop the New Round Coalition, Philippines 

Transnational Institute

Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti, India

Wahana Lingkungan Hidup Indonesia (Walhi)

Walhi Jakarta, Indonesia 

Women Solidarity For Human Rights (Solidaritas Perempuan), Indonesia

Yayasan Lembaga Konsumen Indonesia (YLKI)



To endorse this statement, please send an email to: 


Tejo Pramono [email protected]
<mailto:[email protected]>  or Mary Lou Malig
[email protected] 



Declaration of Nyéléni, Nyéléni Village, Selingue, Mali, Tuesday 6
March 2007. The full statement can be read at www.nyeleni2007.org

(2) ibid