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Call for International Actions against GATS - WTO & the Privatization of Basic Services

Posté le 6 décembre 2005 par PAPDA

Services Out of WTO, WTO out of Services !

No to GATS ! No New Deal in Hong Kong !


In the run up to the December 2005 Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in Hong Kong, trade negotiators are under intense pressure by their respective governments to achieve a “successful” outcome in the negotiations for the Doha Development Round, which includes expansion of the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS). As WTO leaders have tried to ensure by stealthily hatching the July Framework in 2004, services liberalization agreements should be accelerated and national polices must be made with greater flexibility, such that more markets are pried open to global trade not just in manufactured goods but in services as well.

In truth, there is more than just the acceleration of services liberalization in GATS. Contrary to how it is packaged, GATS is not the trade agreement that it is but one-sided investment tool that gives global corporations increasingly unhampered access to markets and human services, and grants them as much if not even greater rights than citizens to exploit such access. The WTO and the European Commission have said as much, respectively flaunting GATS as the first multilateral agreement on investments and principally as an instrument of business.

Practically all sectors, from water delivery and transportation to health and education are considered services under GATS. Any barrier to global capital in these sectors, including national safeguards against inhuman working conditions or environmental degradation will be steadily demolished. In fact, the very sovereign rights of nations to protect the interests of citizens and uphold their welfare, above all, have no place under the GATS framework.

Other agents of global corporate domination — the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund — have long imposed policy conditionalities of liberalization, deregulation and privatization upon South countries, with disastrous and fatal outcomes for entire populations and economies of the developing world. Governments have been pressured to deregulate and privatize public services, like water, power and health, depriving millions of the basic requirements for a decent life. Poor farmers, workers, women and children severely suffer the adverse impacts of surrendering control of public services to private corporations.

GATS-WTO further limits developing countries’ chances of development and survival. Water resources and services, recognized as crucial to development, are particularly in danger of commodification and privatization. European water giants have already been making large investments in many countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America. The interests of firms like Suez, Vivendi and Thames Water are clearly behind the European Union’s push for the inclusion of water services in the coverage of GATS.

Experiences across South countries show that the basic rights of people, especially the poor and the marginalized, are being progressively eroded by governments surrendering such critical services sectors as health, water, power, housing and education to private big business. Many countries in the South have suffered outbreaks of cholera and other gastro-intestinal diseases because safe water and basic health care are increasingly being made accessible only to those with the capacity to pay.

GATS proponents deceitfully argue that governments can choose to keep certain sectors closed and that privatization of basic social services is not a GATS requirement. But GATS has very clear bias for private business and non-transparent WTO mechanisms favor developed nations, and processes allow them to apply intense pressure on developing countries.

The undersigned manifest our strong opposition to the GATS and the WTO.

From now to December, we will mobilize in various countries and express our protests in various ways.

Signed :

GLOBAL

Jubilee South

ASIA/PACIFIC -Regional

-  Jubilee South - APMDD
-  Asian Regional Exchange for New Alternatives
-  Focus on the Global South- India, Thailand, Philippines
-  Via Campesina - Asia
-  Asia Forum for Human Rights and Development
-  Asian Migrants Center
-  Migrant Forum in Asia
-  NGO Forum on ADB
-  Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Dev’t
-  Documentation for Action Groups in Asia
-  International Gender and Trade Network - Asia
-  ISIS International - Manila
-  South Asia Alliance for Poverty Eradication

AFRICA - Regional

-  Africa Jubilee South
-  AFRODAD

LATIN AMERICA & THE CARRIBEAN - Regional

-  Jubileo Sur Americas
-  Latin American Council of Churches (CLAI)

EUROPE

-  Europe Solidaire Sans Frontieres (ESSF)
-  Women in Development Europe

ARGENTINA

Dialogo 2000

AUSTRIA

Center for Encounter and Active Non-Violence

AZERBAIJAN

Center for Civic Initiatives

BANGLADESH

-  Community Development Library
-  Lokoj Institute
-  Bangladesh Agricultural Farm Labor Federation
-  Bangladesh Sramajibi Kendra
-  Karmojibi Nari
-  Bangladesh Jatiya Sromik Jote
-  Jatiya Krishok Jote
-  BanglaPraxis
-  Bangladesh NGOs Network for Radio and Communication
-  VOICE
-  WARBE
-  Coastal Development Partnership
-  Alliance of Food Sovereignty Campaigns
-  Jagrata Juba Shangha (JJS)

BELGIUM
-  11.11.11 Coalition
-  CADTM- Committee for the Abolition of the Third World Debt
-  Africa-Europe Faith & Justice Network
-  International Young Christian Workers (IYCW)

BRAZIL

Jubileo Sul - Brazil

CANADA

KAIROS : Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives

CAMBODIA

-  Womyn’s Agenda for Change
-  Partnership for Development in Kampuchea

CAMEROON

Centre for Promotion of Social and Economic Alternatives

CHAD

Association Tchadienne por la Non-Violence (AINV)

COLOMBIA

-  Mesa de Trabajo Mujeres y Economia
-  Asociacion Nacional de Empleados de la Republica
-  Marcha Mundial De Mujeres

COTE D’ IVOIRE

-  Forum National Su La Dette Et La Pauvrete

CUBA

CIEM - Center for World Economy Studies

ECUADOR

-  Accion Ecologica
-  Alianza De Los Pueblos Del Sur Acreedores De Deuda Ecologica/ SPEDCA
-  Comite Trabajadores Petroindustrial
-  Comite de Empresa Trabajadores Electrica Loja
-  CETAPE - Por La Unificacion Sindical

EL SALVADOR

Red Sinti Techan ( Maiz del Pueblo)

FINLAND

Network Institute for Global Democratisation- NIGD

FRANCE

Attac

GHANA

Centre for Budget Advocacy of ISODEC

HAITI

PAPDA

HONDURAS

Bloque Popular

HONG KONG

-  HKPA- Hong Kong People’s Alliance on WTO
-  Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions,
-  Hong Kong Christian Industrial Committee
-  Justice & Peace Commission of the Hong Kong Catholic Diocese
-  Filipino Domestic Helpers General Union
-  Zt Teng
-  Global Network
-  Union of Hong Kong Post Office Employees
-  Government Mod 1 Staff General Union
-  Association Of Government Technical And Survey Officers
-  Association of Government Cartographic Staff
-  Government Employees Solidarity Union
-  Food and Environmental Hygiene Department Foremen Grade Staff General Union
-  Hong Kong & Kowloon Life Guard’s Union

INDIA

-  Bharat Gyan Vigyan Samiti
-  National Confederation of Officers Associations of Central Public Sector Undertakings
-  India Social Action Forum
-  People’s Monitoring Group on Electricity Regulation
-  The Association of Karnataka Farmers
-  Centre for Organization, Research and Education
-  River Basin Movement
-  Rural Volunteers Centre-Assam
-  All Assam Krishak Mukti Sangram Samitee
-  Bhumi Putra Bhumi Adhikar Suraksha Mancha-Assam
-  Intercultural Resources and Lokayan
-  Centre for Organisation Research & Education
-  Delhi Forum

INDONESIA

-  Koalisi Anti-Utang
-  International NGO Forum on Indonesian Development
-  KRUHA - People’s Coalition for the Rights to Water
-  WALHI
-  Working Group on Power Sector Restructuring
-  Transportation and Delivery Workers Federation
-  Migrant CARE
-  Institute for Global Justice
-  NADI

IRELAND

Presentation Justice Network

ITALY

Redazione A Sud

JAPAN

-  Anti WTO / ATTAC
-  Jubilee Kyushu on World Debt and Poverty
-  Peace Boat

KENYA

Solidarity African Network Action

KOREA

-  Korean People’s Action Against FTAs and WTO (KOPA)
-  Korean Confederation of Trade Unions
-  Federation of Korean Trade Unions
-  Korean Public Services Union
-  Korean Government Employees’ Union
-  Korean Labour Social Network on Energy
-  People’s Health Coalitions for Equitable Society
-  Korean Catholic Farmers Movement
-  Korean Education Solidarity
-  Altogether
-  International Center for Labor Solidarity (ICLS)

MALAYSIA

-  Monitoring Sustainability of Globalization
-  Friends of the Earth

MALDIVES

Society for Health Education

MEXICO

DECA Equipo Pueblo

MOZAMBIQUE

Economic Justice Coalition

NEPAL

-  Rural Reconstruction Nepal
-  All Nepal Women’s Association
-  General Federation of Nepalese Trade Unions
-  Center for Human Rights and Democratic Studies
-  Nepal Forum of Environmental Journalists

NETHERLANDS

-  Dutch GATS Platform
-  Transnational Institute- TNI

NEW ZEALAND

-  ARENA- Action Research and Education Network of Aotearoa

NICARAGUA

Centro De Informacion Y Servicios De Asesoria En Salud - CISAS

NORWAY

The IGNIS Foundation

PAKISTAN

-  Muttehida Labour Federation
-  People’s Rights Movement
-  Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum
-  Anjuman Asia Awam (Association of Peoples of Asia Pakistan Chapter)
-  Labor Party Pakistan

PANAMA

Pastoral Social-Laita

PARAGUAY

Foro Popular Por La Energia

PHILIPPINES

-  Freedom from Debt Coalition
-  Stop the New Round Coalition
-  JPICC- Association of Major Religious Superiors of the Philippines
-  BMP- Filipino Workers Solidarity
-  Railway Workers Union
-  SANLAKAS
-  KALAYAAN - Movement for People’s Freedom
-  BISIG
-  Kilusan Para Sa Pambansang Demokrasya
-  Partido ng Manggagawa
-  Makabayan - Pilipinas
-  MAKALAYA
-  Confederation of Independent Unions
-  KPP- Philippine Housing Rights Coalition
-  Alternate Forum for Research in Mindanao
-  WomanHealth Philippines
-  Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement
-  Kanlungan Center Foundation, Inc.
-  Welga ng Kababaihan
-  Tambuyog Development Center
-  Medical Mission Sisters
-  Alliance of Progressive Labor

PUERTO RICO

Puertoriquena Contra Al Alca

SENEGAL

-  African Forum on Alternatives
-  African Women Millennium Initiative on Poverty and Human Rights

SOUTH AFRICA

-  SEATINI
-  Alternative Information and Development Center (AIDC)

SRI LANKA

-  Movement for National Land and Agricultural Reform
-  National Fisheries Solidarity
-  United Federation of Labor
-  Lawyers for Human Rights and Development
-  Center for Environmental Justice
-  Sri Lanka Working Group on Trade & IFIs
-  Free Trade Zones & General Services Employees Union

TAIWAN

Workers’ Democracy Association

TANZANIA

-  Tanzania Gender Networking Program
-  Tanzania Association of NGOs (TANGO)

THAILAND

-  PSI Thai Affiliates Council
-  Assembly of the Poor
-  Labour Union of Metropolitan Waterworks Authority
-  Labour Union of Provincial Waterworks Authority
-  Labour Union of Electricity Generating Authority
-  NHA Union
-  Public Health
-  Communication Worker’s Union
-  Farmer’s Federations Association for Development
-  MEAWU
-  Global Alliance Against Trafficking in Women
-  People’s Coalition Party

UNITED KINGDOM

-  World Development Movement
-  Christian Aid
-  Jubilee Scotland

USA

-  Jubilee USA Network
-  Center for Economic Justice.
-  Development Gap
-  50 Years is Enough !
-  Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns
-  Stop HIV/AIDS in India Initiative, Washington DC
-  Africa Action
-  Gender Action

ZIMBABWE

-  Ecumenical Support Services
-  Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development
-  Southern Africa Peoples’ Solidarity Network

* Also adopted by the participants of the Conference on WTO, Development and Migration, July 2005



 

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