Doha is the problem, NOT the solution – Reject the Doha Round!

Call to Action

We, representatives of peasant organizations, women, migrants, workers,
urban and rural poor, fisherfolks, social movements and civil society
organizations from East and Southeast Asia call for the rejection of the
Doha Round.

We condemn and urgently call the attention of others to the attempts to
conclude the Doha “Development” Round through a Mini-Ministerial in Geneva
this July 21-26, 2008. This informal meeting to be convened by WTO Director
General Pascal Lamy will begin July 21 and last for up to one week. Only
around 30 trade ministers were invited to take part in this informal and
exclusive phase of negotiations with unfair and imbalanced texts as the
basis for the talks.

The current texts show that the ambitious agenda to open up markets for
agricultural and industrial goods, and services and not development and
flexibilities for developing countries has become the core element of these
negotiations. The texts continue to reflect the intransigence of developed
countries to give in on demands for reduction of farms subsidies on the one
hand and their aggressive push for substantive market access in goods and
services on the other hand. The major concessions given for the sake of the
Doha round have consistently been made by developing countries.

We reiterate our call to end the Doha Round and reject all attempts to
revive it, knowing that in the three major areas of negotiations ­
agriculture, NAMA and services ­ the majority of proposals under discussion
are designed to protect and promote the interests of the rich countries and
transnational corporations.

Lamy along with the leaders of the World Bank and IMF are pushing for the
conclusion of the Doha Round as the solution to the current global crisis of
rising food prices. This is yet another false claim as years of trade
liberalization have shown that promises of development are empty.

Doha is the problem, not the solution. Further trade liberalization and
forcing open of markets in the developing countries will leave them even
more vulnerable to not only the food price crisis but also the financial
crisis. If the current texts are agreed to and the Round is concluded, this
will foreclose any chance for development for developing countries.

We call on our governments to reject the attempts to conclude the Doha
“Development” Round, at the expense of the people.

We commit to mobilize at the national, regional and international levels to
stop the revival of the Doha “Development” Round from July 21 to July 26,
2008. We call on other movements, peoples¹ organizations and civil society
groups to join us in our struggle.

Globalize hope, globalize the struggle!

Alliance of Progressive Labor, Philippines
Asia Pacific Movement on Debt and Development-Jubilee South
Focus on the Global South
FTA Watch Thailand
Gerak Lawan, Indonesia (People’s Movement Against
Globalization Monitor, Hong Kong
Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions (HKCTU)
International Gender and Trade Network – Asia
Institute for Global Justice, Indonesia
KALAYAAN!(Movement for People’s Freedom) Philippines
Kilusang Mangingisda (Fisherfolk Movement-Philippines)
Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU)
Migrant Forum in Asia
Serikat Petani Indonesia (Indonesian Peasants Union)
Stop the New Round! Coalition Philippines
WELGA (Women Against Globalization and Poverty)
WomanHealth Philippines

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