As a farmer from Paraguay afected by genetically modified soy monoculture plantation, Jorge Galeano is part of the resistance against false solutions to climate change. He is a part of Trade to Climate Caravan, travelling from the 7th WTO ministerial conference in Geneva to the UN climate summit in Copenhagen (COP15), drawing the attention to the consequences neoliberal globalization and climate change have on the lives of the people in the south.
Sixty activists from the global South and Europe are currently touring Europe on their way to Copenhagen. Starting out at Seventh Sessions of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Ministerial Conference in Geneva from 30 November to 2 December, the tour passes through Italy, Germany, France and Belgium before arriving in Copenhagen on 9 December.
The language contained in agreements being negotiated by the EU through the WTO with their southern counterparts often deliberately diguises real political goals, obscuring the negative economic implications for those countries of the neoliberal agenda.
The controversial General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) of the World Trade Organisation has generated major social concern about the implications for the equitable provision of basic public services.
South Africa is playing a significant role in supporting and extending the power of the World Trade Organisation, a new system of global government. This not only entails South Africa surrendering its own policy-making rights and space, but also means bargaining away the South African peoples’ democratic rights to determine their country’s internal economic, environmental, social and cultural policies.
Betina from Isthmus of Tehuantepec (Oaxaca, Mexico) joined Tade to Climate Caravan to denounce the malicious practices behind the clean-energy windmills set up in Oaxaca, which are displacing indigenous communities from their land.
Amongst many other analyses and debates, the more extensive awareness of the active role of the state and of states in the purportedly highly successful 'market economies' in East Asia and South East Asia is bringing discussion of the role of state back into quite mainstream development discourse.
The international free trade and investment policies and the related WTO agreements played a major role in undermining so many developing countries' economies. The proponents of tese policies, including the EU, are now urging the govenrments of the world to end their resistance to such policies within the WTO.