2015 is a significant year in the history of the International Free trade regime, as its key multilateral instrument, the World Trade Organization (WTO), completes 20 years. Two decades of the WTO have raised many questions, most significantly, is the WTO relevant to small and marginal farmers in the Global South? This question remains relevant as developing countries continue to fight for protection and gains for their small and marginal farmers.

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 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to take stock of the new generation of mega regional free trade agreements (FTAs) emerging in the region. The group shared concerns on the threats to people’s lives and livelihoods posed by the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).

 

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!

Humanity and Nature Cover Image

An economy is often defined as "the wealth and resources of a country or region". Few would contest that the greatest wealth and most fundamental resource for humanity is the earth on which we live; yet most do not see our environment as an economy in itself.  Conversely, nearly all contemporary economic and development models see the natural economy as a resource to be exploited (or at best managed) to serve the needs of the monetized economy.

Since the early 1990s, Cambodia has been heavily reliant on foreign aid. The Cambodian Government is seeking to reduce donor-dependence and increase self-reliance, aiming to lift the country to the status of higher middle-income country by 2030. This goal depends heavily on increasing private investment, and the Government has described the private sector as the “engine of economic growth” for Cambodia.

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 effective regulation of the mining industry in the Philippines.

In the last decade, the resource-rich Philippines has bet heavily on the mining industry as a development strategy, an approach that has come under growing scrutiny. With 47 large-scale mines in operation and growing evidence of their social and environmental costs, all the presidential candidates in May 2016 election were forced to explain their position on, and their financial ties to, the extractive industry.

The first round of negotiations for an EU-Philippines Free Trade Agreement will commence next week (May 23-27) in Brussels, Belgium. A 60-person strong Philippine delegation led by outgoing DTI Secretary Adrian Cristobal, Jr will negotiate on behalf of the Philippines.  The EU-PH FTA has been criticised by civil society groups for its ambitious agenda that will imperil peoples rights and national sovereignty.

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