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DAGAinfo

23 March 2000
No. 103


In this issue:
  1. FEATURE
    US-INDIA CITIZENS' DECLARATION FOR A NEW SOLIDARITY
  2. NEWS in Brief
    Burma - AUNG SAN SUU KYI SAYS WOMEN SUFFER MOST FROM HARDSHIP IN BURMA
    Singapore - Singapore heads for uncharted waters
    China - Globalisation spells risk, warns Jiang
    Pakistan - Sister dies in Convent raid
  3. Urgent APPEALS
    OUR DEMANDS OF THE IMF AND WORLD BANK
  4. ANNOUNCEMENT
    ASEM 2000 People's Forum

 

1. FEATURE - top
 

UNITED STATES - INDIA CITIZENS' DECLARATION FOR A NEW SOLIDARITY

 

*[Below is a US - India citizens declaration for a new solidarity and a Citizens Vision Statement for a new Millennium to articulate the India US partnership at the people's level to reverse globalisation. This statement has been prepared jointly by a wide spectrum of Indian movements and trade unions who were organising the Solidarity Convention. The Declaration and Statement have been written in the context of Clinton's visit to India, when Clinton and Vajyapee will issue their vision statement based on commerce and corporate interest]*

UNITED STATES - INDIA CITIZENS' DECLARATION FOR A NEW SOLIDARITY

We, the citizens of the two largest democracies of the world, India and the United States of America, are committed to deepening and defending the democratic rights of citizens guaranteed by our Constitutions.

The democratic rights of citizens both in the North and the South are being undermined as corporate rule is established worldwide through the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the rich G7 countries. This dominant world view puts global trade above all other economic activity, and places the market above society, and profits above people and the environment. Human lives are being rendered dispensable in the ruthless pursuit of limitless market share, profits, and economic growth.

The U.S. government in particular has promoted the globalisation of corporate rule and used its foreign policy and trade laws to colonise the markets of Third World countries for transnational corporations, especially in agriculture, pharmaceuticals, power, information, and communication.

There is a growing sense among citizens of diverse countries and cultures that globalisation is corporatisation and that the U.S. Government is using free trade treaties to establish a new global empire in which not only land and markets are colonised by global corporations, but knowledge as well. It is an economy that delinks financial gain from productive contribution.

While wages, labor unions, and the prices of basic commodities are suppressed, corporations collect rents on knowledge through the monopolization of intellectual property rights and speculators seek endless profits in the global financial casino by creating and bursting financial bubbles.

North-South inter-governmental relationships are being increasingly re-molded from relationships between sovereign countries into relationships between a global corporate empire and the colonized people of both the geographical South and the geographical North.

As citizens of free societies we do not believe that the 21st century and new millenium can be founded on extending the life of colonialism against which the world's freedom movement fought so valiantly. We are committed to continuing the citizens' agenda for democracy laid out on the streets of Seattle to make the global trade subservient to principles and values necessary for the protection of the of the environment, livelihoods and our diverse cultures. We seek to assure the protections that guarantee sustainability, justice and peace are achieved through open and democratic processes within each of our societies--not through imperialistic measures such as U.S. trade sanctions linked to labour and environmental standards set by the WTO as was proposed by President Clinton in Davos in response to the Seattle protests. The institutions and procedures of democracy are being set aside in both our countries as our government have given up their duty to protect the environment, jobs and livelihoods on the ground that these are barriers to free trade. Since ecological and economic security are foundations of our democratic freedoms and our very survival, defining them as "trade barriers" to be dismantled for the sake of corporate profits reveals the perversity of the globalisation paradigm and the free trade rules set and enforced by the WTO. These rules must change, as must the relationship between the governments of the United States and India.

The sovereign democratic space of peoples is being invaded by the WTO in both the North and the South. This is manifest in the distancing of people from the decision making processes on economic issues both within and between nations. This is a serious threat to the democratic principles embodied in both the Indian and the U.S. constitutions. International trade treaties should not be allowed to undermine our rights as members of democratic societies to participate in economic democracy by having security of livelihoods and the guarantee that our socio-economic needs will be met in accordance with our priorities, cultural preference, and available environmental resources.

Both in India and the United States, our governments have stopped representing the people even though it is the people that elect them to power. The U.S. government has long assumed that what is good for General Motors is good for America. As the U.S. government presses globalization on the world, it seems to assume that what is good for U.S. corporations such as Monsanto and Cargil is good for the United States, India, and the rest of the world.

The interests of global corporations are, however, in deep conflict with the interests of the world's people, who are paying a heavy price in terms of economic insecurity, environmental decay, social disintegration and growing polarisation and inequality. Large numbers of people are being politically and economically excluded by a system that caters only to corporate well-being to the disregard of citizen well-being.

Instead of bringing enhanced prosperity to all, as it claims, the WTO has in the five years of its existance concentrated ever more of the world's wealth in the hands of a favored few, further impoverished the majority of the world's people, and contributed to globalizing the environmentally unsustainable patterns of production and consumption of the rich industrialised countries.

The Uruguay Round Agreements have functioned principally to pry open markets for the benefit of transnational corporations at the expense of national economies; workers, farmers and other peoples; and the environment. In addition, the WTO's rules and procedures are undemocratic, non-transparent and non-accountable.

We see that economic globalization is increasing global economic instability, inequality and environmental and social degradation everywhere in its wake. Yet the governments of the North that dominate the WTO, especially the United States, have refused to recognize and address these problems. Instead they push for further liberalisation and seek to expand the mandate of the WTO by defining "trade related" in ever broader terms. At each step the resulting actions exacerbate the crises that the processes of economic globalisation and the WTO have wrought.

We will no longer allow the protection of our rights and freedoms to be labeled as trade protectionism. Trade ought only to be a means for achieving just and sustainable development for people of the North and South equally rather than perpetrating ever greater inequalities at all levels.

We therefore join in solidarity to put forward the principles of an alternative vision to guide cooperative relations between the peoples of our two countries.

INDIA-U.S. CITIZENS' VISION STATEMENT FOR A NEW MILLENNIUM

Following their meetings March 20 to 25 Indian Prime Minister Vajpayee and U.S. President Clinton are expected to issue a statement setting forth their vision of a new relationship between our two governments. While we agree that a new relationship is long overdue, we are concerned that so long as peoples voices are excluded from their dialogue their vision will reflect the interests of global corporations and financial institutions to the exclusion of those of the people of our two countries. Thus in our capacity as citizens of India and the United States we present here our vision for a new relationship between the peoples based on principles of democracy, equity, partnership, and respect for life.

Furthermore, as citizens of India and the United States we declare our commitment to work with one another and with the citizens of all other nations to replace the institutions of global competition and domination with institutions of global cooperation and partnership. To this end we set for the following principles to guide our relationships in six areas.

Democracy and Governance

We believe that democracy grounded in the sovereignty of the people must be the foundation of all relationships between our two countries. Negotiations between us must therefore be subject to open public debate and agreements subject to open and public review by established democratic processes. As the World Trade Organization (WTO) is a non-democratic and basically illegitmate organization created outside the framework of the United Nations, we do not accept WTO rules or decisions as an appropriate framework for cooperation between our countries.

Economy and Commerce

We believe that the interests of all people are best served when each nation is able to meet its own basic needs through its own industry and resources without excessive dependence on the economic resources of others.

We further believe that each community and nation has the right to determine what it will trade with whom and under what conditions. Similarly, each community and nation has the right to decide on what terms, if any, it will invite others to invest in its economy. Such decisions must be made freely and democratically with full and open public debate by the people concerned. We consider trade to be a means, not an end, to be welcomed only when it improves the living standards of all concerned and contributes to ecological sustainability.

Science and Technology

We believe that beneficial indigenous and scientific knowledge and technology are the common heritage of all humanity and should be freely and equitably shared accordingly based on mutual respect, reciprocal exchange and recognition of diverse knowledge systems. While it is appropriate to provide incentives for true innovation, the rights to intellectual property must be limited to those necessary to spur innovation and must be subordinated to the larger needs of society. In respect to the sanctity of life patenting of life forms, including genetic sequences, should be prohibited. We recognize potential benefits in molecular biology, but also recognize the need for extreme caution and strict safeguards at both national and international levels and call for a halt to any release of GMOs into food supplies or the environment until reliable public safeguards are in place and any GMO products are clearly labeled to allow informed consumer choice. Further, an international mechanism must be established under the United Nations to review and prohibit all research and production of technologies that present a universal threat to the life of the planet, such as the terminator gene.

Energy and Environment

Climatic changes resulting from a fossil fuel intensive economy based on cheap oil is creating increasingly severe environmental disasters around the world. Given the status of the United States as the leading economic and scientific power among Northern countries and India as a leading economic and scientific power among Southern countries we call for an open and equitable partnership between our two countries in leading the way toward converting our economies to a primary reliance on solar energy sources and the use of environmentally friendly renewable materials and technologies. This partnership should give due consideration to the important contributions of indigenous knowledge and technology to achieving sustainability. Because of the growing environmental interdependence of all nations, there is an essential need for international cooperation under the United Nations in setting and enforcing environmental standards. International agreements dealing with trade must necessarily be considered subordinate to international agreements on environmental standards.

Education and Culture

We rejoice in the rich cultural diversity of our two countries and in open cultural exchange. At the same time we affirm the right of every people to define and protect their cultural heritage from unwanted intrusions on their cultural integrity from global corporations, advertising, and foreign media. We further believe that education should prepare children to live fully as whole persons both within their own cultures and as citizens of an interdependent world. Education should be the province of public or private nonprofit schools and be free of advertising or other for-profit corporate influence.

Health and Food Security

Secure access to healthful food, a clean environment, and a healthy lifestyle are the foundations of good health. Governments therefore have not only the right, but also the responsibility, to secure such access in the face of often conflicting corporate interests. Food production to meet domestic needs properly takes priority over production for export and domestic producers are properly protected from unfair import competition arising from dumping of subsidised commodities. Furthermore, governments have a responsibility to protect agricultural ands and keep their ownership in domestic hands, encourage natural, diversified agricultural methods that require minimum chemical inputs, maintain maximum biodiversity, and favor small farmers. Governments also have a responsibility to protect their citizens from the advertising and sale of harmful products such as tobacco, and to prohibit the pirating and monopolization of indigenous knowledge through patenting, and to assure the availability of low cost generic drugs.

Peace and Demilitarization

We stand firmly opposed to the military expansion plans of both India and the United States and to the corporate promotion of cultures of violence in both our countries through advertising, media programming, and computer games. We believe that any military cooperation between our two countries should center on military demobilization and the transition to peace time economies.

AN IMMEDIATE APPEAL TO PRIME MINISTER VAJPAYEE AND PRESIDENT CLINTON

In line with these principles we call for immediate action by Prime Minister Vajpayee and President Clinton on the following issues:

  1. Freeze the implementation of TRIPS pending public review and put in place measures to end the piracy of indigenous knowledge and the world's biological heritage by U.S. corporations.

  2. Sign the Protocol on Bio-Safety and implement strong biosafety regulations.

  3. End any introduction of GMO seeds and foods into India and phase them out in the United States.

  4. End government subsidies for the introduction of E-commerce and assure that E-commerce carries its same rightful share of taxes as any other marketing channel so that small business and local economies are not undercut by unfair, subsidized competition.

  5. End the import of subsidized agricultural commodities into India to the detriment of India's small farmers.

  6. End government support for environmentally damaging projects such as the Enron project that the United States forced on India.

  7. Assure that all trade between the United States and India contributes to the increased well-being and improved labor, social and environmental rights of people in both countries.

  8. Commit to relations of peace rather than relations of militarization.

 

2. NEWS in Brief - top
 

BURMA

AUNG SAN SUU KYI SAYS WOMEN SUFFER MOST FROM HARDSHIP IN BURMA

BANGKOK, Thailand (AP) -- Suu Kyi urged the United Nations to help protect women from poverty and violence. In an address smuggled out of Myanmar to mark International Women's Day, pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi said her countrywomen bear the brunt of economic and political hardship in the military state.

"Our political problems are such that there are now many political prisoners in Burma," said Suu Kyi in a videotaped statement made available to news organizations in Bangkok. "When men are taken prisoners, it is the womenfolk who are left to struggle."

Suu Kyi won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991 for her peaceful struggle for democracy against the military regime in Burma. The military regime overturned her party's resounding victory in general elections the previous year, but refused to recognize the result.

Hundreds of members of her National League for Democracy have since been jailed in Burma, one of the world's poorest countries. Suu Kyi was under house arrest for six years before her release in 1995. Her movements and political activities remain heavily restricted.

"The longer I work in politics, the more I am convinced that there is a need to work for
women's rights," she said. "Women and children are always the ones who suffer most in times of crisis."

Suu Kyi said men had a privileged position in Burmese culture, although it was often women that were the source of courage for men, and women who had a greater spirit of endurance.

"This is not to say that I do not appreciate what men have done for our cause. But on this day, I would like to express my admiration for women all over the world, in Burma and elsewhere," she said.

She appealed to the United Nations and international financial institutions to take immediate action to help protect women and children worldwide against violence and poverty, and to employ women to design and implement programs of assistance.

Suu Kyi also lent her support to the World's March of Women 2000 by women's groups in 139 countries, to lobby governments and international organizations to overcome violence and poverty afflicting women.

-------------

In another report, the military government has denied claims by some 700 Karenni refugees who have entered Thailand from Burma in recent days who said they were forced out of their homes.

The refugees have told Thai authorities that they were seeking shelter in Thailand to
escape forced relocation by Burmese troops from southern Karen state to a drought-stricken area in northern Burma.

In a faxed statement to The Associated Press, the military government said that no such
relocation was under way. The Thai border with Burma, is strung with camps holding some 120,000 refugees.

Many in recent years have said they were driven from their homes in scorched-earth campaigns by the Burmese military, which has ruled the country since 1962, aimed at reducing support for ethnic rebels.

In the past decade, the government has reached cease-fires with most rebel armies that
once operated along the border, but it still faces increasingly ineffective challenges from groups fighting on behalf of the Karennis and ethnic Karens.

SINGAPORE

Singapore heads for uncharted waters

by Anbarasu Balrasan (MalaysiaKni)

Passionate. That was the only word that best describes the Think Centre's latest forum. Titled "Every Singaporean Matters", the forum focused on the development and scope for human rights in the island. With an array of speakers from different backgrounds and disciplines, the forum signalled for public education of human rights and more interestingly, the establishment of a study committee to explore the feasibility of a human rights commission or a judicial ombudsman to safeguard fundamental liberties of Singaporeans.

Professor Val Winslow of the National University of Singapore, Khoo Heng Kheow, President of Aware, Sinapan Samydorai of the Asia Human Rights Commission and Dr Chee Soon Juan, Secretary General of the Singapore Democratic Party, were the keynote speakers of the forum.

James Gomez, the centre's point man, in usual savvy style, chaired the forum. Definitions of human rights are vast and most of the time controversial. However, all the speakers did not focus on abstract notions or theoretical frameworks; they all went to the heart of the matter of making human rights a very Singaporean matter.

Even though the different speakers began with different premises, they all agreed that it was time to openly discuss human rights in Singapore. "All governmental and non-governmental organisations should come together to map a plan for a successful implementation of human rights in this country," said Samydorai.

The sentiment of the 150-strong crowd at the end of the forum was to support a local human rights institutional framework. In this sense, the potential initiatives can tap into the recommendations of the 1966 Wee Chong Jin Constitutional Commission, which called for legislation to protect fundamental liberties and also to check executive authority. As Winslow calmly stated, then the government of the day had other "pressing priorities". Now with an economically vibrant state, the underpinnings of nationhood can be built upon our own ideas of human rights. Winslow was also not far off the mark when he claimed that the trends of international politics are forcing states to negotiate a balance between security and human rights.

Khoo's thorough presentation on the nature of patriarchal legislation in Singapore showed both her personal knowledge and experience of women's rights. Her methodical style illuminated some of the inconsistencies and contradictions in our system and she went on to show that there needs to be some serious legislative changes and public education initiatives if there are to be any changes. She also said that Aware was closely monitoring the workings of the Australian Human Rights and Equal Opportunities Commission to learn how to enact positive legislation.

This is an interesting development because it would mean that there is an ongoing momentum for other local NGOs to make plans for more human rights legislation. Samydorai, the third speaker, approached the subject of human rights with humour. Entertaining, informative and with a tendency to draw laugther from the audience, he managed to sketch out concrete plans for a potential human rights programme and institution in Singapore. (The full text of Samydorai's speech is available at www.politics21.mainpage.net) These were useful recommendations, primarily because of his experience with the Asian Human Rights Commission, and they must be astutely analysed.

Chee painted a pessimistic and hopeless future for human rights in Singapore and surprised everybody. Whether it was a tactic to capture the headlines or simply to embody that he was "beyond human rights" remained unclear. However, Chee has been a steadfast fighter for human rights and was jailed for attempting to speak without a licence. His scathing criticisms of the PAP's tactics provided some measure of evidence of why he believed a human rights programme in Singapore would be futile .On the other hand, he remained hopeful and was willing to participate in discussions pertaining to the establishment of a committee to set up a human rights commission.

The question and answer sessions covered a wide scope from political apathy right up to a comparative study of human rights. However, the most interesting question was posed when a member of the audience asked whether having Chee on the human rights study committee would be a liability. It was a valid question especially when Chee himself admitted that there was a media black out on him. However, Chee retorted that he would be willing to sit on any committee if invited and hoped that those pushing for the initiative would not consider him a liability. It is a sad state of affairs that sometimes-noble issues cannot be pursued because of domestic politics.

The forum ended with a firm commitment that the next step would be to conduct a feasibility study on opening up a human rights commission. The Think Centre is already working on the Public Entertainment Act and this can be incorporated into the study committee for a Human Rights response for Singapore. This could be a turning point for civil society and all non-governmental organisations in Singapore. The opportunities are limitless and heading towards uncharted waters is indeed exciting. Are we going to make history or is history going to prove that Singapore is not worth the effort? Whatever it is, James Gomez personifies the Singaporean of the 21st Century when he said: " I am prepared to throw myself into uncharted waters for the benefit of Singapore because every Singaporean matters. What about you?" Well, that is the spirit of S21, isn't it?

ANBARASU BALRASAN is a post-graduate student researching human rights at the National University of Singapore.

CHINA

Globalisation spells risk, warns Jiang

China must be aware of the challenges and risks created by globalisation, President Jiang Zemin told delegates attending the National People's Congress. Speaking at a meeting with delegates from Beijing, Mr Jiang reminded cadres that although globalisation brought many opportunities, it could also spell crisis and danger.

"We must speed up our study of the danger and negative impact of globalisation," Mr Jiang was quoted by the official media as saying. But he also encouraged cadres to seize the opportunity now to develop the economy. "No progress equated to going backwards, ...We must seize the chance to speed development, and try our utmost to catch up," Mr Jiang said.

PAKISTAN

Bangladeshi Garment Workers Campaign for Weekly Holiday

Sister dies in Convent raid

Bandits raided the Lourdes Convent in Malir, Karachi on March 12, 2000. A 78 year old nun, Sr. Christine Sequeira was attacked and seriously wounded. She succumbed to death on March 16, due to dislocation of the spinal cord at the neck.

Six bandits armed with sophisticated weapons, raided the Lourdes Convent of the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary, in Miran Goth, Malir City, Karachi, Pakistan, at 2 a.m. and ransacked it and decamped with Rs.200,000.

The Convent is located in the rural suburb of Karachi. The sisters have been serving the seasonally employed population of Muslims for more than 40 years, through their clinic, carpet training unit, embroider, and educational centres.

The bandits entered the convent by scaling the main gate and held the nuns as hostage at gunpoint. They ransacked the rooms of the convent searching for valuables, misbehaved and beat up some of the nuns while asking for information about money and gold.

While they were entering Sr. Christine's room, she objected to them doing so. She was then pushed, and she fell on the ground, where she remained motionless. She died in the hospital on March 16, 2000.

Letters of solidarity may be sent to Idara-e-Amn-o-Insaf, at: idara@fascom.com.
Idara-e-Amn-o-Insaf (Commission for Justice & Peace) was established in 1972 as an ecumenical venture of the Roman Catholic Church and the Church of Pakistan of the Karachi Diocese. It is an embodiment of the church's concern and involvement among the marginalised and disadvantaged inhabitants of non-regularised urban and rural settlements and victimised workers.

 

3. Urgent APPEAL - top
 

OUR DEMANDS OF THE IMF AND WORLD BANK
A
*[This is a call for endorsements of demands that 50 Years Is Enough Network is making to the World Bank and IMF in relation to their semi-annual meetings in April. We encourage broad
circulation and sign-ons by ORGANIZATIONS supporting the mobilization and/or who support global socio-economic justice.]*



OUR DEMANDS OF THE IMF AND WORLD BANK
March/April 2000

On the occasion of the first meetings of the governing bodies of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank in the 21st century, we call for the immediate suspension of the policies and practices that have caused widespread poverty, inequality, and suffering among the world's peoples and damage to the world's environment. We assert the responsibility of these anti-democratic institutions, together with the World Trade Organization, for an unjust world economic system. We note that these institutions are controlled by wealthy governments, and that their policies have benefited international private sector financiers, transnational corporations, and corrupt officials.

We issue this call in the name of global justice, in solidarity with the peoples of the Global South and the former "Soviet bloc" countries who struggle for survival and dignity in the face of unjust, imperialistic economic policies. We stand in solidarity too with the millions in the wealthy countries of the Global North who have borne the burden of "globalization" policies and been subjected to policies that mirror those imposed on the South.

Only when the coercive powers of the international financial institutions are rescinded shall governments be accountable first and foremost to the will of their peoples. Only when a system that allocates power chiefly to the wealthiest nations for the purpose of dictating the policies of the poorer ones is reversed shall nations and their peoples be able to forge bonds - economic and otherwise - based on mutual respect and the common needs of the planet and its inhabitants. Only when integrity is restored to economic development, and both the corrupter and the corrupted held accountable, shall the people begin to have confidence in the decisions that affect their communities. Only when the well-being of all, including the most vulnerable people and ecosystems, is given priority over corporate profits shall we achieve genuine sustainable development and create a world of justice, equality, and peace where fundamental human rights, including social and economic rights, can be respected.

With these ends in mind, we make the following demands of those meeting in Washington April 16-19, 2000 for the semi-annual meetings of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund:

1. That the IMF and World Bank cancel all debts owed them. Any funds required for this purpose should come from positive net capital and assets held by those institutions.

2. That the IMF and World Bank immediately cease imposing the economic austerity measures known as structural adjustment and/or other macroeconomic "reform," which have exacerbated poverty and inequality, as conditions of loans, credits, or debt relief. This requires both the suspension of those conditions in existing programs and an abandonment of any version of the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative which is founded on the concept of debt relief for policy reform.

3. That the IMF and World Bank accept responsibility for the disastrous impact of structural adjustment policies by paying reparations to the peoples and communities who have borne that impact. These funds should come from the institutions' positive net capital and assets, and should be distributed through democratically-determined mechanisms.

4. That the World Bank Group pay reparations to peoples relocated and otherwise harmed by its large projects (such as dams) and compensate governments for repayments made on projects which World Bank evaluations rank as economic failures. A further evaluation should determine which World Bank projects have failed on social, cultural, and environmental grounds, and appropriate compensation paid. The funds for these payments should come from the institutions' positive net capital and assets, and should be distributed through democratically-determined mechanisms.

5. That the World Bank Group immediately cease providing advice and resources through its division* devoted to private-sector investments to advance the goals associated with corporate globalization, such as privatization and liberalization, and that private-sector investments currently held be liquidated to provide funds for the reparations demanded above.

6. That the agencies and individuals within the World Bank Group and IMF complicit in abetting corruption, as well as their accomplices in borrowing countries, be prosecuted, and that those responsible, including the institutions involved, provide compensation for resources stolen and damage done.

7. That the future existence, structure, and policies of international institutions such as the World Bank Group and the IMF be determined through a democratic, participatory and transparent process. The process must accord full consideration of the interests of the peoples most affected by the policies and practices of the institutions, and include a significant role for all parts of civil society.

The accession to these demands would require the institutions' directors to accept and act on the need for fundamental transformation. It is possible that the elimination of these institutions will be required for the realization of global economic and political justice.

We commit to work towards the defunding of the IMF and World Bank by opposing further government allocations to them (in the form of either direct contributions or the designation of collateral) and supporting campaigns such as a boycott of World Bank bonds until these demands have been met.

*The International Finance Corporation (IFC) is a division of the World Bank Group. Also included is the Multilateral Investment Guaranty Agency (MIGA), which insures private investments in Southern countries.

SIGNED:
50 Years Is Enough Network
Campaign for Labor Rights - Washington, DC
Ecumenical Support Services - Harare, Zimbabwe
Food First - Oakland, CA (USA)
Freedom from Debt Coalition - Manila, Philippines
Institute for Policy Studies, Global Economy Project - Washington, DC
Kenya Human Rights Commission - Nairobi, Kenya
LALIT - Port Louis, Mauritius
Nicaragua Network - Washington, DC (USA)
Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt & Development - Harare, Zimbabwe
Documentation for Action Groups in Asia - Hong Kong
CCA Urban Rural Mission - Hong Kong

PLEASE ADD YOUR ENDORSEMENT AND RETURN IT TO :

<demands50years@yahoo.com>

PLEASE DO NOT USE YOUR "REPLY MESSAGE" FUNCTION!

4. ANNOUNCEMENT - top

 

ASEM 2000 People's Forum

This NGO forum, will be held in from October 17th-22st, just prior to the official ASEM Meeting. Work has already begun on the organisation of this forum.

The dates proposed are:
Tuesday, October 17 arrival and registration
Wednesday, October 18 plenary and workshops
Thursday, October 19 plenary and workshops / media conf / mass cultural activity
Friday & Saturday , October 20-21 creative mass action / media conf-engagement with inter-governmental forum.

It is anticipated that the Conference will be mainly workshops which will happen parrallel, while there will be 3-4 Plenaries on issues of major Asia-Europe concerns at the core of the Conference. A number of media conferences will be held as well as a Cutural event and a number of street activities

Thirteen theme areas have been proposed: Labour,Agriculture,Trade, Poverty & Development, Culture, Women, Peace & Security, Human Rights, Environment, Media, Adolescence/Youth, Spirituality and Globalisation.

For more information, contact the Seoul International Secretariat at: pspdint@pspd.org
Additionally, TNI has established a special WebSite on ASEM entitled 'Putting People on the ASEM Agenda'. www.tni.org/asia


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