For the members organizations of La Via Campesina and befriended organizations

Call to mobilisation against WTO in June and July

2006-06-06 00:00:00

Dear all,

During the WTO General Council meeting in May in Geneva a delegation of La Via Campesina took part in the actions, strategy meetings and exchanges with governmental delegates. It seems that negotiations are taking place on an ongoing basis at different places and it is difficult to know what is exactly being negotiated. A mini-ministerial was foreseen but Brazil and India cancelled their participation indicating that there was not enough progress. India says now that “no agreement is better than a bad agreement”
There are studies being published by the World Bank, Carnegie etc showing that most of the developing countries will be net losers which gives us more arguments to pressure to stop the negotiations.
The negotiations are “transversal” at the moment which means that there is a direct relationship between the negotiations on agriculture, services and Non Agricultural Market Access (NAMA, includes fisheries).
Pascal Lamy may be tempted to create a sense of crisis and force a draft text for the conclusion of the Round upon the governments, hoping that they will swallow his compromise. However this may go both ways: the Round is forced to an end or the text will be rejected.

Lamy is now pushing the negotiations on Agriculture and NAMA and a “Mini-Ministerial” is foreseen the end of June and some rumours exist that important negotiating moments may coincide with the final of the football world championship to avoid public attention….

On the 27-28th of July a General Council meeting of WTO is scheduled. This meeting can also become a moment where important decisions will be taken.

Some negotiators in Geneva admitted that the external pressure that has been exerted has been successful in influencing the negotiating process. It was said that key countries are susceptible to pressure, focussing on specific ministers.
We think that it is crucial to maintain therefore our presence and mobilisation during the next months.

Taking these elements into account and after our strategy discussions in Geneva the following strategies have to be reinforced:

1) To mobilise the next 7 weeks at national level.
At ministerial level and embassy level. Remember that it is not necessarily the agricultural Ministery who will do the negotiations. You may have to find out which are the key ministers to pressure. The agricultural and NAMA negotiations are more intensive towards the end of June so your pressure at the national level is crucial!

2) To prepare towards the WTO General Council 27-28th of July.
A like minded group has formed a small committee to prepare the actions (Fisher folk, Friends of the Earth, Campaign against FTAA, La Via Campesina and organisations from Geneva (Uniterre and local social movements ).
We want to mobilize in Geneva (500 people or more) with strong international participation. La Via campesina should also have a strong delegation in Geneva. We have planned that the food sovereitgnty committee will meet also during these dates. But more people are necessary!
We want “actions by sea, land and air”. We are now working with the fisherfolk and the local organsiations on the concrete initiatives.
During the WTO General Council on the 27-28 of July it will be important to have also actions in the different countries.

If you have questions are need more information please write to with copy to ,

For La Via Campesina
Paul Nicholson