Written by KHRC    Wednesday, 22 July 2015 12:01   
Letter from Civil Society Regarding Future Agenda of the WTO Negotiations

July 8, 2015

To Members of the World Trade Organization (WTO):

As 34 organizations of civil society from over 100 countries of the global North and South, as consumer groups, environmentalists, trade unions, farmers, and other development advocates, we are writing regarding the wrong direction of the current WTO talks, and to urge you to substantially turnaround the negotiations in advance of the December Ministerial in Nairobi. Global trade policy must be evaluated by whether it contributes to global goals such as food security and food sovereignty, sustainable development, environmental conservation, financial stability, expanded access to quality public services, the creation of good jobs, and the reduction of poverty and inequality. Now after 20 years of experience with the WTO and its corporate-led model of globalization, it is clear that this particular model of trade has failed workers, farmers, the poor, and the environment, while facilitating the vast enrichment of a privileged few. Since its mandate is to further liberalization and increase trade, rather than ensuring that trade can be an engine of development and the other goals stated above, it is the wrong institution for governing the global trade system. Unfortunately, some members are seeking to further the failed model and even expand it; thus it is urgent to reverse this direction. The transformation of the system, starting with the amelioration of the worst rules, must be prioritized.

It is well known that most developing countries realized that the conclusions of the Uruguay Round created a set of agreements in the WTO that left them at a disadvantage in the global trade system. Since that time, they have circulated proposals to ameliorate the worst of those imbalances through what came to be known as the “Implementation Agenda.” Developing countries did not want a new round of “market access” negotiations launched, which is a position with which civil society concurs. When developing countries agreed to launch a new round in 2001, it was with the specific promise – and mandate – that the round would focus on development issues, which included correcting the existing problems and imbalances in the WTO, with a particular focus on improving the extremely unbalanced agriculture rules. Unfortunately, since then, some developed countries have insisted again and again on relegating the development agenda to the background, while insisting that their “market access” issues rise to the top priority in the negotiations. Thus, nearly 14 years after the launch of the Doha Round, the development issues which members agreed to prioritize still remain unresolved within the WTO. At this time, this imbalance in the negotiations can no longer remain status quo.

Wrong Agenda: Further Liberalization of Services and Goods and New Corporate Wish Lists

Negotiations to further liberalize “trade in services” through the expansion of the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) must be immediately halted. Strong public oversight over both public and private services is crucial for democracy, the public interest and development, as well as for the orderly functioning of the services market. The deregulation of the financial sector which was encouraged in part through 1990s–era rules of GATS led to the recent global financial crisis and the ensuing worldwide wave of recessions. In addition, we particularly oppose the inclusion of any public services such as health care and insurance, water and energy provision, postal distribution, education, public transportation, sanitation, and others that must be operated as accessible, quality public services in the public interest. Before any further services negotiations are discussed, proper assessments of the potential implications for consumers, workers, and the public interest must be undertaken, particularly as they relate to the future development of services for developing countries. For these and other reasons, detailed in a September 16, 2013 letter endorsed by 345 global civil society organizations, we oppose the proposed Trade in Services Agreement (TISA) pluri-lateral and also the potential expansion of GATS within the WTO.

For similar reasons we oppose the continuation of negotiations to further liberalize trade in goods through the Non-Agricultural Market Access (NAMA) pillar. In the negotiations, sectors are being targeted which are of particular interest to developed country corporations, rather than with a focus on export opportunities for developing countries. This would jeopardize job growth and the fomenting of industrial development, particularly in developing countries. The structural transformation that is required for many African countries and LDCs to create jobs and alleviate poverty – key aspects of the proposed Sustainable Development Goals – requires the protection of infant industries, the promotion of added-value exports, technology transfer, and other tools that were used by every developed country on their path to development. In addition, the global jobs crisis in which tens of millions of people remain unemployed cannot be resolved with more liberalization of trade in goods.

Any future negotiations on trade in goods – including those in the NAMA negotiations but also in the proposed pluri-laterals including the expansion of the Information Technology Agreement (ITA-II) and the negotiations on Environmental Goods – must focus on job creation and the Decent Work agenda developed by the International Labor Organization working in conjunction with the global labor movement, rather than on the narrow agenda of reducing corporate taxes. Expansion of the ITA, and the ITA itself, through setting zero tariff targets for industrial products is contradictory to the nature of policy space required to use tariff policy as a tool to advance industrial development and structural transformation of poor economies. Any discussions in regard to non-agricultural market access should focus on enabling the process of industrial development including through reviewing and enhancing flexibilities available to developing countries and through fulfilling the Special and Differential Treatment principle, such as providing essential flexibilities under the Agreement on Trade-Related Investment Measures (TRIMs) that would allow developing countries to use policy tools important for industrial development.

We also alert members that we are strenuously opposed to the inclusion of these “new issues” in a fundamentally flawed WTO that has yet to deal with the foundational flaws of the existing rules. We also understand that there is a pernicious desire on behalf of some developed members of the WTO, to set aside permanently the entire development mandate of the Doha Round, and to replace it with another agenda of issues that would further the profit interests of their corporations. These issues that have been strongly rejected by developing countries in the past, including investment, government procurement, and transparency (the so-called “Singapore issues.”) They also include negotiations on e-commerce (which would expand corporate dominance of Internet governance and erode digital privacy and other digital rights); disciplining state-owned industries; and negotiations on environmental goods and services (which simply appropriate the positive connotations of the “environmental” moniker to further liberalization). While there are many aspects of the Doha Round to which we are opposed, failing to fulfill the development aspects while replacing that mandate with a new mandate that focuses solely on the wrong issues is the opposite agenda of what needs to be prioritized in global trade.

And as we have previously argued, development must come before binding commitments on Trade Facilitation. We also understand that WTO members are being pressured to file their ratifications of the Protocol of Implementation for the entry into force of the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA). We reiterate our general opposition to the TFA, as we detailed in a letter from global civil society on June 6, 2013, particularly because the TFA carries significant implications at each of the regulatory, institutional, and legislative fronts, would require short-term and recurring long-term costs, and is likely to increase imports in some sectors while not contributing to building the productive and trade capacities of our country. Thus we continue to urge developing countries to delay ratification, and to file only minimal Category A (binding) commitments.

The Right Agenda: Agricultural Transformation and Special and Differential Treatment

Instead, developing countries and Least Developed Countries (LDCs) have made concrete proposals regarding the development mandate, including implementation issues, strengthening and operationalizing Special and Differential Treatment (SDT), agricultural reform, and LDCs issues, and it is these issues which must be re-prioritized as the agenda rather than discussing more “market access” for developed country corporations.

Along with the SDT agenda, members must urgently begin negotiations to change the current rules on trade in agriculture, and in particular to address long-standing concerns about the existing trade-distorting subsidies that developed countries agreed years ago to curtail or eliminate. It is outrageous that developed, but not developing, countries are allowed extensive levels of export subsidies as well as trade-distorting domestic support, and these damaging subsidies on exported agricultural exports must be urgently terminated; countries should not be permitted in the WTO to damage each other’s markets. Likewise, if there are any future negotiations on market access in agriculture, developing countries must be allowed to protect their domestic production; they must have recourse to a full range of self-designated Special Products and an effective and workable Special Safeguard Mechanism, in the event that their markets experience damaging import surges.

On a parallel track, we urge members to immediately agree to a permanent solution on food security, by allowing public stockholding programs for resource-poor farmers to be allowed in the “Green Box.” WTO members must move beyond the outrageous blockage by the United States of the proposal to allow the developing countries to engage in public stockholding programs to support impoverished agricultural producers as well as ensure food security for their hungry populations. Members must urgently agree to remove this WTO obstacle to the Right to Food.

In conclusion, any future trade negotiations must focus on the urgent development needs of countries for global trade rules that facilitate rather than hinder development, including the transformation of existing rules on agriculture (including a permanent solution on food security), and the prioritization of Special and Differential Treatment, implementation proposals, and the LDC proposals; and must put aside the “market access” agenda of GATS and NAMA expansion – as well as other developed country corporate agendas. Many of the specific changes that are urgently required of the global trade system are detailed in the WTO Turnaround statement of the global Our World Is Not for Sale (OWINFS) network endorsed by civil society around the world. The first WTO Ministerial in Africa will not be a “success” if it furthers policies that are against the interests of African, LDC, and other developing country development. For Nairobi to be a “success” it must deliver on development and turn around the WTO.

Sincerely,

Signatories as of July 14, 2015:

International Organizations and Networks

1

ACP Civil Society Forum

The Forum is a coalition of 80 not-for-profit organisations working on issues relating to ACP-EU development cooperation. It seeks to cater for the diverse range civil society development issues within the wide geographic coverage of the ACP group.

2

Action for Solidarity, Equality, Environment, and Diversity Europe (ASEED Europe)

ASEED Europe is an international campaigning organisation, giving importance to involving youth in direct democracy activities. It targets the structural causes of environmental destruction and social injustice.

3

ActionAid International

ActionAid International is an international organisation, working with over 15 million people in 45 countries for a world free from poverty and injustice.

4

Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa (AFSA)

The AFSA is a Pan African platform comprising networks and farmer organizations working in Africa. The Core purpose of AFSA is to influence policies and to promote African solutions for food sovereignty.

5

Arab NGO Network for Development (ANND)

ANND is a regional network, working in 12 Arab countries with seven national networks (with an extended membership of 200 CSOs from different backgrounds) and 23 NGO members.

6

Asia Monitor Resource Centre (AMRC)

AMRC is an independent non-governmental organisation (NGO) which focuses on Asian labour concerns, and its mission has developed over the years. AMRC works to support a democratic and independent labour movement in Asia, promoting the respect of labour rights, gender equality, and active workers’ participation in work-related issues.

7

Asia Pacific Research Network (APRN)

APRN is a network of research 53 NGOs from 19 countries in Asia Pacific.

8

Asian Peasant Coalition (APC)

APC is a regional network of peasants, agricultural workers, dalits, pastoralist, indigenous peoples, peasant women and rural youth representing more than 15 million members coming from 34 organizations in 9 countries in Asia. The APC advocates for genuine agrarian reform and food sovereignty.

9

Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID)

AWID is an international, feminist, membership organisation committed to achieving gender equality, sustainable development and women’s human rights.

10

Caribbean Policy Development Centre (CPDC)

The CPDC is a coalition of Caribbean non-governmental organizations. It was established in 1991 to sensitize NGOs and the general public on key policy issues and to impact policy makers on decisions which put the interests of Caribbean people at the center of the Caribbean development strategy.

11

Consejo Sindical Unitario de Amèrica Central y el Caribe (CSU)

El Consejo Sindical Unitario (CSU) es una instancia que integra políticas, esfuerzos y voluntades de organizaciones sindicales de nivel superior de todos los países de América Central, México y el Caribe que por varios años han venido coordinando esfuerzos y tomando acuerdos de unidad de acción y programática.

12

Development Alternatives with Women for a New Era (DAWN)

DAWN is a network of feminist scholars, researchers and activists from the economic South working for economic and gender justice and sustainable and democratic development.

13

Friends of the Earth Internationl (FoEI)

World’s largest grassroots environmental network, uniting 75 national member groups and some 5,000 local activist groups on every continent. With over 2 million members and supporters around the world, FoEI campaign on today’s most urgent environmental and social issues.

14

Global Call to Action Against Poverty (GCAP)

GCAP is the world`s largest civil society movement calling for an end to poverty & inequality.

15

Health Innovation in Practice (HIP)

HIP is dedicated to the promotion and utilisation of innovation with a public health perspective. It works glocally – at the interface between global and national levels – to enhance countries’ understanding and participation in international debates and decision-making processes for innovation in the health field.

16

IBON International

IBON strengthens links between local campaigns and advocacies to international initiatives.

17

International Code Documentation Centre (ICDC)

ICDC works for better child health and nutrition through the elimination of irresponsible marketing of infant foods. It offers legal drafting and monitoring expertise to developing countries with the purpose to implement and enforce the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes.

18

International Grail Justice and Trade Agreements Network

A coalition of groups working for peace and justice in 20 countries worldwide.

19

International Labour Rights Forum (ILRF)

ILRF works with trade unions, faith-based organizations, and community groups to support workers and their families. ILRF is dedicated to achieving dignity and justice for workers worldwide.

20

International Trade Union Organisation of the African Region (ITUC-Africa)

ITUC-Africa is a pan-African trade union organisation created in November 2007 following the merger of two former African trade union organisations, namely ICFTU-Afro and DOAWTU. ITUC-Africa has 16 million declared members and 103 affiliated trade union centres in 51 African countries.

21

International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF)

"ITF is a global union federation comprised of 700 unions representing over 4.5 million transport workers from some 150 countries around the world."

22

International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers' Associations (IUF)

The IUF is currently composed of 385 trade unions in 123 countries representing a combined representational membership of over 12 million workers (including a financial membership of 2.6 million).

23

Justicia Alimentaria Global – VSF / Global Food Justice

Global Food Justice is an association of people who believe in the need to change the current food system that oppresses and expels rural communities and destroys the environment; working under the paradigm of the Food Sovereignty. Global Food Justice work at the regional level in Latin America, Africa and Europe.

24

LDC Watch

LDC Watch is a global alliance of national, regional and international civil society organisations (CSOs), networks and movements based in the Least Developed Countries (LDCs).

25

Medical Mission Sisters

The Medical Mission Sisters are a congregation of women in the Roman Catholic Church founded in 1925 and dedicated to providing the poor of the world better access to health care.

26

Movimiento Mesoamericano contra el Modelo extractivo Minero (M4)

Un movimiento trasnacional con miembros en México, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Costa Rica y Panamá.

27

Organisation pour la Communication en Afrique et la Promotion de la Coopération Economique Internationale (OCAPROCE)

L’OCAPROCE s'est fixé pour mission principale de servir la mise en œuvre des Droits Economiques Sociaux et Culturels des femmes, des droits des enfants et des jeunes défavorisés en Afrique, ainsi que d’encourager et soutenir la réalisation des Objectifs du Millénaire pour le Développement des Nations Unies (ONU).

28

Oxfam International

Oxfam is an international confederation of 17 organizations networked together in more than 90 countries, as part of a global movement for change, to build a future free from the injustice of poverty.

29

Pacific Network on Globalization (PANG)

The Pacific Network on Globalisation is a regional network focused on promoting economic self-determination and justice in the Pacific Islands.

30

People's Coalition on Food Sovereignty (PCFS)

The People's Coalition on Food Sovereignty is a growing network of various grassroots groups of small food producers particularly of peasant-farmer organizations and their support NGOs, working towards a People's Convention on Food Sovereignty.

31

Plataforma Interamericana de Derechos Humanos, Democracia y Desarrollo (PIDHDD)

Organización de derechos humanos de carácter regional con presencia en América Latina y el Caribe, a través de 15 Capítulos Nacionales, cuyas prioridades son los DESCA, los procesos de integración, la ciudadanía sudamericana, el poder corporativo y los derechos humanos, y las obligaciones extraterritoriales, entre otros ámbitos.

32

Public Services International (PSI)

Public Services International (PSI) is a global trade union federation dedicated to promoting quality public services in every part of the world. PSI brings together more than 20 million workers, represented by 650 unions in 150 countries and territories.

33

Red Latinoamericana sobre Deuda, Desarrollo y Derechos (LATINDADD)

La LATINDADD está integrada por instituciones, equipos y campañas de países latinoamericanos que trabajan por la solución de los problemas derivados de la crisis sistémica y para crear condiciones que permitan el establecimiento de una economía al servicio de la gente, en la que los derechos económicos, sociales y culturales se hagan vigentes.

34

Society for International Development (SID)

SID is an international network of individuals and organizations founded in 1957 to promote social justice and foster democratic participation in the development process.

35

South Asia Peace Alliance(SAPA)

South Asia Peace Alliance (SAPA) came into existence in 2006 to demystify and reinforce the value of nonviolence by addressing structural and other forms of violence that affect a large number of marginalized people across the South Asian region.

36

Southern Africa Trade Union Coordination Council (SATUCC)

SATUCC is a regional trade union organization representing 21 national trade union federations in 14 Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) countries with a combined membership of about 6 million working men and women. SATUCC aims to unite working people and the poor and voiceless in the struggle to free Southern Africa from exploitation, injustice and oppression through providing a dynamic, inclusive and sustainable platform to influence regional policy in favour of the working populations and the poor.

37

The Rules

The Rules is a worldwide network of activists, artists, writers, farmers, peasants, students, workers, designers, hackers, spiritualists and dreamers, linking up, pushing the global narrative in a new direction.

38

The Southern Africa Development Community Council of Non Governmental Organisations (SADC-CNGO)

SADC-CNGO is an independent apex organisation of umbrella NGO formations in all the 15 SADC Member States. The SADC-CNGO was formed in 1998 to facilitate meaningful engagement of the people of the region with SADC Secretariat at regional level, and with the Member States at national level through national NGO umbrella bodies.

39

Third World Network (TWN)

TWN is an independent non-profit international network of organisations and individuals involved in issues relating to development, developing countries and North-South affairs.

40

WIDE+

WIDE+ is a European network on trade, development and gender justice with feminist experts, women's human rights and development associations across Europe.

National Organizations

Country

41

Fórum das Organizações Não Governamentais Angolanas (FONGA)

Angola

42

Gilbert Agricultural and Rural Development Centre (GARDC)

Antigua and Barbuda

43

Federación Argentina de Empleados de Comercio y Servicios (FAECYS)

Argentina

44

Movimiento de Trabajadores Excluidos (MTE)

Argentina

45

Confederación de Trabajadores de la Economía Popular (CTEP)

Argentina

46

Coordinadora Latinoamericana de Economía Popular (CLEP)

Argentina

47

Foro Ciudadano de Participación por la Justicia y los Derechos Humanos FOCO de Argentina (FOCO)

Argentina

48

Australian Fair Trade and Investment Network (AFTINET)

Australia

49

Communication Workers Union (CWU)

Australia

50

Catholics in Coalition for Justice and Peace

Australia

51

AID/WATCH

Australia

52

New South Wales Nurses and Midwives Association (NSWNMA)

Australia

53

Informationsgruppe Lateinamerika (IGLA)

Austria

54

Finance & Trade Watch

Austria

55

Civil Society Bahamas

Bahamas

56

Bahrain Transparency Society (BTS)

Bahrain

57

EquityBD

Bangladesh

58

Coastal Association for Social Transformation Trust (COAST)

Bangladesh

59

Bangladesh Krishok Federation

Bangladesh

60

Integrated Social Development Effort (ISDE)

Bangladesh

61

VOICE

Bangladesh

62

Karmojibi Nari (KN)

Bangladesh

63

Initiative for Right View (IRV)

Bangladesh

64

Bangladesh agricultural labour federation

Bangladesh

65

Barbados Association of Non Governmental Organizations

Barbados

66

11.11.11

Belgium

67

Belize Enterprise for Sustainable Technology

Belize

68

Afrique Performance (AFRIPERF)

Benin

69

Groupe de Recherche et d'Action pour la Promotion de l'Agriculture et du Développement (GRAPAD)

Benin Republic

70

Botswana Council of Non Governmental Organisations (BOCONGO)

Botswana

71

Rede Brasileira Pela Integração dos Povos (REBRIP)

Brazil

72

Instituto Justiça Fiscal

Brazil

73

Rede Social de Justiça e Direitos Humanos

Brazil

74

Federação dos Trabalhadores na Administração e do Serviço Público Municipal no Estado de São Paulo (FETAM)

Brazil

75

Cadre de concertation des OSC pour le suivi du CSLP (CdC/CSLP)

Burkina Faso

76

Civil Society Organization Network for Development (RESOCIDE)

Burkina Faso

77

Action Développement et Intégration Régionale (ADIR)

Burundi

78

Forum des Organisations de Producteurs Agricoles du Burundi (FOPABU)

Burundi

79

Save the Earth Cambodia

Cambodia

80

Independent Civil-Servant Association

Cambodia

81

Save the Earth

Cambodia

82

Africa Development Interchange Network (ADIN)

Cameroon

83

Conseil des ONG Agrees du Cameroun (CONGAC)

Cameroon

84

Association of Canadian Financial Officers

Canada

85

Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) / Syndicat canadien de la fonction publique

Canada

86

National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE)

Canada

87

Trade Justice Network

Canada

88

Council of Canadians

Canada

89

Association Commerciale, Agricole, Industriel et du Service (ACAISA)

Cape Verde

90

Conseil Inter ONG En Centrafrique (CIONGCA)

Central African Republic

91

Centre d’Information et de Liaison des ONG (CILONG)

Chad

92

AMASOT (Association pour le Marketing Social au Tchad)

Chad

93

Políticas Farmacéuticas

Chile

94

Centro de Estudios Nueva Gaceta

Colombia

95

Asociación de Servidores Públicos Departamentales y Municipales de Antoquia, ADEA

Colombia

96

Federación de Vocales de Región Centro y Distrito Capital de Colombia

Colombia

97

Unión de Sindicatos de EMCALI (USE)

Colombia

98

Sintracuavalle

Colombia

99

Conseil de Concertation des ONGs de Développement (CCOD)

Congo

100

Recherche et Action pour un Développement Multisectoriel(RADEM)

Congo (DRC)

101

Ligue Pour le Droit de la Femme

Congo (DRC)

102

Cook Islands Association of Non-Governmental Organisations (CIANGO)

Cook Islands

103

Asociación Nacional de Profesionales en Enfermería (ANPE)

Costa Rica

104

Comisión Nacional de Enlace (CNE)

Costa Rica

105

Forum National Dette et Pauvreté de Côte d'Ivoire

Côte d'Ivoire

106

Sociedad Económica de Amigos del País

Cuba

107

la Red En defensa de la humanidad

Cuba

108

Ecumenical Academy

Czech Republic

109

Conseil National des ONG de Développement (CNONGD)

D.R. Congo

110

National Council of Dominican Women

Dominica

111

Kalingo Carib Council

Dominica

112

Confederación Nacional de Unidad Sindical (CNUS)

Dominican Republic

113

Alianza ONG

Dominican Republic

114

Fundacion etnica integral de la Republica Dominicana

Dominican Republic

115

Ecuador Decide

Ecuador

116

Centro de Documentación en Derechos Humanos “Segundo Montes Mozo S.J.” (CSMM)

Ecuador

117

Red De Ambientalistas Comunitarios De El Salvador (RACDES)

El Salvador

118

National Justice & Peace Network (NJPN)

England & Wales

119

Forum des ONG pour le Développement Durable (FONGDD)

Eq. Guinea

120

Cotonou Task Force

Ethiopia

121

Poverty Action Network in Ethiopia (PANE)

Ethiopia

122

Ecumenical Centre for Research, Education & Advocacy (ECREA)

Fiji

123

Concertation Nationale Des Organisations paysannes et des Producteurs (CNOP)

Gabon

124

Worldview

Gambia

125

World Economy, Ecology & Development (WEED)

Germany

126

Agricultural Workers Union of TUC

Ghana

127

EKPIZO

Greece

128

Naturefriends

Greece

129

Inter Agency Group of Development Organizations (IAGDO)

Grenada

130

Federation de Femmes Enterpreneurs et Affairs de la CEDEAO (FEFA)

Guinea

131

Centre du Commerce International pour le Développement (CECIDE)

Guinea

132

Instituto Nacional de Estudos e Pesquisa (INEI)

Guinea-Bissau

133

Women Across Differences (WAD)

Guyana

134

Plateforme Haïtienne de Plaidoyer pour un Développement Alternatif (PAPDA)

Haiti

135

Programme de Plaidoyer Pour une Intégration Alternative (PPIA)

Haïti

136

Organizacion Fraternal Negra Hondureña (OFRANEH)

Honduras

137

Consejo Cívico de Organizaciones Populares e Indígenas de Honduras (COPINH)

Honduras

138

Bharatiya Krishak Samaj (BKS)

India

139

All India Union of Forest Working People (AIUFWP)

India

140

Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU)

India

141

Socialist Party

India

142

Asha Parivar

India

143

Citizen News Service (CNS)

India

144

Right to Food Campaign

India

145

Indian Social Action Forum (INSAF)

India

146

Swadeshi Andolan

India

147

Campaign for Affordable Trastuzumab

India

148

Sunray Harvesters

India

149

Alliance for Sustainable & Holistic Agriculture (ASHA)

India

150

Tamil Nadu Organic Farmers Federation

India

151

Initiative for Health & Equity in Society

India

152

Diverse Women for Diversity

India

153

Andhra Pradesh Vyavasaya Vruthidarula Union (APVVU)

India

154

National Center For Labour (NCL)

India

155

National Agricultural Workers Forum (NAWF)

India

156

Telengana Vyavasaya Vruthidarula Union (TVVU)

India

157

Andhra Pradesh Sampradaya Matyakarula Union

India

158

Tamil Nadu Women's Forum (TNWF)

India

159

Tamil Nadu Dalit Women's Movement (TNDWM)

India

160

Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU)

India

161

ToxicsWatch Alliance (TWA)

India

162

Gene Campaign

India

163

Shetkari Sanghatana Paik

India

164

Public Awareness on GM food

India

165

National Working Group on Patent Law and WTO issues

India

166

Intercultural Resources

India

167

National Campaign Committee for Rural Workers

India

168

Hazards Centre

India

169

All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC)

India

170

Chetana Society

India

171

Resistance and Alternatives to Globalization (RAG)

Indonesia

172

Berdikari Institute

Indonesia

173

Gabungan Serikat Buruh Indonesia (GSBI) / (Federation of Indonesian Trade Union)

Indonesia

174

Confederation of Indonesian People's Movement (KPRI)

Indonesia

175

Galway One World Centre

Ireland

176

Fairwatch

Italy

177

Istituto per il Mediterraneo (IMED)

Italy

178

Alliance Pour la Reconstruction et le Developpement Post-Conflit (ARDPC)

Ivory Coast

179

GROOTS Jamaica

Jamaica

180

Institute of Gender and Development Studies (IGDS), Mona Unit

Jamaica

181

Globalization Watch Hiroshima

Japan

182

AM Net

Japan

183

Lawyers for Defending Human Right Society

Jordan

184

Econews Africa

Kenya

185

Action Green for Trade and Sustainable Development (AGTSD)

Kenya

186

Kenyan Human Rights Commission (KHRC)

Kenya

187

Southern and Eastern African Trade Information and Negotiations Institute (SEATINI)

Kenya

188

Pan-African Baraza

Kenya

189

Action for Change and Progress (AFCAPO)

Kenya

190

Workers Rights Watch

Kenya

191

Bunge La Mwananchi (Parliament of the People) Social Movement

Kenya

192

Social Democratic Party

Kenya

193

The Dockworkers Union

Kenya

194

Kenya Debt Relief Network (KENDREN)

Kenya

195

National Council of NGOs

Kenya

196

Smallholder Farmers Association (SFA)

Kenya

197

Rural Projects Support Facility

Kenya

198

Kenya Small Scale Farmers Forum (KESSFF)

Kenya

199

Organic Consumers Alliance(OCA)

Kenya

200

Kenya Food Sovereignty

Kenya

201

Kiribati Association of Non-Governmental Organisation (KANGO)

Kiribati

202

Lesotho Council of NGOs (LCN)

Lesotho

203

West African Women Association (WAWA)

Liberia

204

Plate-Forme Nationale des Organisations de la Societe Civile de Madagascar

Madagascar

205

Réseau des jeunes pour les OMD Madagascar

Madagascar

206

Malawi Economic Justice Network

Malawi

207

Monitoring Sustainability of GlobalizatioN (MSN)

Malaysia

208

Consumers Association of Penang (CAP)

Malaysia

209

Sahabat Alam Malaysia or Friends of the Earth Malaysia (SAM)

Malaysia

210

Appui Solidaire Pour Le Renforcement De L 'Aide Au Developpement (ASRAD)

Mali

211

Foundation pour le Developpment au Sahel (FDS)

Mali

212

Sahel Afrique

Mali

213

Marshall Islands Council of NGOs (MICNGOS)

Marshall Islands

214

Association pour le développement et de la promotion des droits humains (ADPDH)

Mauritania

215

Mauritius Council of Social Service (MACOSS)

Mauritius

216

Mauritius Trade Union Congress

Mauritius

217

Migration and Sustainable Development Alliance

Mauritius

218

Federation of Democratic Labour Unions

Mauritius

219

Procesos Integrales para la Autogestión delos Pueblos (PIAP)

Mexico

220

Otros Mundos

Mexico

221

Asociación Nacional de Empresas Comercializadoras de Productores del Campo (ANEC)

Mexico

222

La Unión Popular Valle Gómez

Mexico

223

Red Mexicana de Afectados por la Minería (REMA)

Mexico

224

Red Nacional Género y Economía (REDGE)

Mexico

225

Asociación Nacional De Industriales De Transformación, A. C. (ANIT)

Mexico

226

Centro de Estudios Sociales y Culturales Antonio de Montesinos (CAM)

Mexico

227

Grupo Tacuba

Mexico

228

Comité de Derechos Humanos de Base de Chiapas Digna Ochoa

Mexico

229

Asesoría e Investigación

México

230

FSM Alliance of NGOs (FANGO)

Micronesia

231

Réseau Marocain de Défense des Biens Publics (RMDBP)

Morocco

232

Réseau Euromed Maroc des ONG

Morocco

233

National Forum for Mozambiquan NGOs and CBOs (TEIA)

Mozambique

234

MuGeDe - Women, Gender & Development

Mozambique

235

Mozambican Rural Women Movement

Mozambique

236

Namibia Non-Governmental Organisations Forum Trust

Namibia

237

Nauru Island Association of NGOs (NIANGO)

Nauru

238

All Nepal Peasants Federation (ANPFa)

Nepal

239

Platform Aarde Boer Consument

Netherlands

240

Both ENDS

Netherlands

241

Wemos Foundation

Netherlands

242

Association Nigérienne des Scouts de l'Environnement (ANSEN Niger)

Niger

243

Reseau des ONGs de Developpement et Associations de Defense des Droits de L'Homme et de la Democa tie (RODADDHD)

Niger

244

l'ONG GOULBI

Niger

245

Labour,Health and Human Rights Development Centre (LHAHRDEV)

Nigeria

246

National Association Of Nigerian Traders (NANTS)

Nigeria

247

NGO Coalition for Environment (NGOCE)

Nigeria

248

Centre for Human Rights and Climate Change Research

Nigeria

249

Niue Island (Umbrella) Association of NGOs (NIUANGO)

Niue

250

The Development Fund

Norway

251

Institute for Development Initiatives (IDI)

Pakistan

252

NOOR PAKISTAN

Pakistan

253

Dharti Development Foundation Sindh

Pakistan

254

Pakistan Kissan Mazdoor Tehreek (PKMT)

Pakistan

255

Roots for Equity

Pakistan

256

Roshni Taraqiyati Tanzeem

Pakistan

257

Institute for Social and Economic Justice Pakistan (ISEJ)

Pakistan

258

Peoples Common Struggle Center (PCSC)

Pakistan

259

Human Unity Movement (HUM)

Pakistan

260

All Pakistan Wapda Hydro Electric Workers' Union (CBA)

Pakistan

261

Dharti Development Foundation

Pakistan

262

Colectivo Voces Ecológicas (COVEC)

Panama

263

Melanesian NGO Centre for Leadership (MNCL)

Papua New Guinea

264

Confederación General de Trabajadores del Perú (CGTP)

Peru

265

Red Peruana por una Globalización con Equidad (RedGE)

Peru

266

Federación Nacional De Trabajadores Del Agua Potable Y Alcantarillado Del Perú (FENTAP)

Peru

267

Frente De Defensa Del Agua Y La Vida De Junin

Peru

268

Frente De Defensa Del Agua Y La Vida De Piura

Peru

269

Frente De Defensa Del Agua Y La Vida De Lambayeque

Peru

270

Sindicato Único De Trabajadores De Sedapar Arequipa

Peru

271

Federación Departamental De Trabajadores De Arequipa

Peru

272

Frente De Defensa De Las Empresas Estratégicas Y Los Servicios Públicos Del Perú

Peru

273

Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas or Peasant Movement of the Philippines (KMP)

Philippines

274

Unyon ng mga Manggagawa sa Agrikultura (UMA)

Philippines

275

Institute of Global Responsibility (IGR)

Poland

276

Rwanda Civil Society Platform

Rwanda

277

Samoa Umbrella for Non Governmental Organisation (SUNGO)

Samoa

278

Forum das Ong de São Tomé e Principe (FONG-STP)

Sao Tomé and Principe

279

Union Des Femmes Chefs D'entreprises Du Senegal (UFCE)

Senegal

280

Association pour la Promotion de la Femme Sénégalaise (APROFES)

Senegal

281

Africaine de Recherche et de Coopération pour l’Appui au Développement Endogène (ARCADE)

Senegal

282

Plate-forme des acteurs non étatiques pour le suivi de l'Accord de Cotonou au Sénégal

Senegal

283

Liaison Unit of the non-governmental organisations of Seychelles -(LUNGOS)

Seychelles

284

Civil Society Movement of Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone

285

Development Service Exchange (DSE)

Solomon Islands

286

Centre for Civil Society

South Africa

287

Institute for Economic Research on Innovation (IERI)

South Africa

288

South Durban Community Environmental Alliance (SDCEA)

South Africa

289

South African NGO Council (SANGOCO)

South Africa

290

Citizens’ Coalition for Economic Justice (CCEJ)

South Korea

291

Community Empowerment for Progress Organization (CEPO)

South Sudan

292

ATTAC

Spain

293

National Organization of National Fisheries Solidarity Movement of Sri Lanka (NAFSO)

Sri Lanka

294

National Free Trade Union

Sri Lanka

295

Progress Union

Sri Lanka

296

Iyanola (St.Lucia) Council for the Advancement of Rastafari Incorperated (ICAR)

St. Lucia

297

Windward Islands Farmers’ Association (WINFA)

St. Vincent and the Grenadines

298

Stichting Projekta

Suriname

299

Council for NGOs (CANGO)

Swaziland

300

International-Lawyers.Org

Switzerland

301

Geneva Infant Feeding Association (GIFA)

Switzerland

302

Alliance Sud

Switzerland

303

Berne Declaration

Switzerland

304

Solidarité-Bosnie

Switzerland

305

Cartel intersyndical de Genève

Switzerland

306

Tanzania Trade and Economic Justice Forum (TTEJF)

Tanzania

307

Governance Links Tanzania

Tanzania

308

Tanzania Organization for Agricultural Development (TOfAD)

Tanzania

309

Irrigation Training and Economic Empowerment Organization (IRTECO)

Tanzania

310

Tanzania Coalition for Sustainable Development (TCSD)

Tanzania

311

Tanzania Association of NGOs

Tanzania

312

The Asia Foundation

Timor-Leste

313

WELFARE TOGO

Togo

314

Groupe d'Action et de Reflexion sur l'Environnement et le Développement (GARED)

Togo

315

Humanitaire Plus

Togo

316

Civil Society Forum of Tonga (CSFT)

Tonga

317

Grassroots Organisations of Trinidad & Tobago (GOTT)

Trinidad & Tobago

318

Tuvalu Association of NGOs (TANGO)

Tuvalu

319

Consumer Education Trust

Uganda

320

Southern and Eastern African Trade Information and Negotiations Institute (SEATINI)

Uganda

321

Food Rights Alliance

Uganda

322

The Corner House

United Kingdom

323

Trade Justice Movement

United Kingdom

324

Global Justice Now

United Kingdom

325

Friends of the Earth

United States

326

Local Futures / International Society for Ecology and Culture

United States

327

Foundation Earth

United States

328

Banana Link

United States

329

Center for Reflection, Education and Action (CREA)

United States

330

Task Force on the Americas

United States

331

The Oakland Institute

United States

332

OWS Special Projects Affinity Group

United States

333

OWS Outreach Working Group

United States

334

The TradeJustice New York Metro coalition

United States

335

Just Foreign Policy

United States

336

The Rules

United States

337

Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador (CISPES)

United States

338

Family Farm Defenders

United States

339

Vanuatu Association of NGOs (VANGO)

Vanuatu

340

Center for Sustainable Community Development (S-CODE)

Vietnam

341

Aljawf Women Organization for Development

Yemen

342

Eastern and Southern Africa smalls-scale Farmers Forum (ESAFF)

Zambia

343

Zambia Council for Social Development

Zambia

344

Southern and Eastern African Trade Information and Negotiations Institute (SEATINI)

Zimbabwe

345

National Association of NGOs (NANGO)

Zimbabwe



[1] Originally signed by 341 organizations as on July 8, 2015

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Last Updated ( Wednesday, 22 July 2015 12:36 )
 
Written by KHRC    Tuesday, 07 July 2015 14:30   
Civil Society Declaration on Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir’s visit to South Africa without Arrest

1 July 2015

The undersigned civil society groups, working on international criminal justice and human rights, express our deep disappointment with the actions of South African officials in allowing Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, under charges of the most serious crimes, to depart the country in defiance of a court order and South Africa’s international legal obligations. We applaud the efforts of the Southern Africa Litigation Centre (SALC), which sought to ensure that the government of South Africa abided by its international obligations by arresting al-Bashir.

President al-Bashir, charged with genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity in connection with the conflict in Darfur was in South Africa from 13-15 June for an African Union Summit.  South Africa was under a clear obligation to arrest him pursuant to two warrants of arrest issued against him by the International Criminal Court (ICC) on 4 March 2009 (for war crimes and crimes against humanity) and on 12 July 2010 (for genocide).

South Africa is a party to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. Pursuant to the terms of that treaty mandating international cooperation and assistance with the ICC, South Africa was required to facilitate the arrest and surrender of President al-Bashir to The Hague in the Netherlands, the seat of the International Criminal Court. In addition, South Africa’s domestication of the Rome Statute of the ICC makes the government’s failure to arrest President Omar al-Bashir a contravention of domestic law as well.

On 13 June, ICC Presiding Judge Cuno Tarfusser issued a decision declaring that “there exists no ambiguity or uncertainty with respect to the obligation of the Republic of South Africa to immediately arrest and surrender Omar al-Bashir to the Court, and that the competent authorities in the Republic of South Africa are already aware of this obligation.”

Against this background, and because the South African authorities did not appear to intend to effect the arrest of President al-Bashir, the Southern African Litigation Centre moved an application once al-Bashir was in South Africa to compel the Government of South Africa to discharge its legal obligations to arrest al-Bashir and surrender him to the ICC. During the proceedings before the Pretoria High Court, Justice Hans Fabricius made an interim order “compelling Respondents to prevent President Omar al-Bashir from leaving the country until an order is made in this court” after the State opposed the application.

We noted with deep concern reports that rather than arresting President al-Bashir, South African officials apparently allowed him to leave the country in direct defiance of the order by the Pretoria High Court. The actions pose serious consequences for the independence of the judiciary in South Africa and demonstrate a flagrant lack of respect for the rule of law and the rights of Darfur’s victims to have access to justice.

As made clear by ICC Presiding Judge Cuno Tarfusser in his 13 June decision: “the immunities granted to Omar Al Bashir under international law and attached to his position as a Head of State have been implicitly waived by the Security Council of the United Nations by resolution 1593 (2005) referring the situation in Darfur, Sudan to the Prosecutor of the Court, and that the Republic of South Africa cannot invoke any other decision, including that of the African Union, providing for any obligation to the contrary.”

The recent actions by South Africa have the potential to erode the people’s confidence in the administration of justice particularly because it raises issues of equality before the law, the legitimacy of the courts and court orders being binding on everyone as provided for in Article 165 (2), (4) and (5) of the Constitution of South Africa (1994) respectively. If State officials can disregard with impunity the interim order of the Pretoria Court, what will stop them from undermining future court orders? That is the question foremost on the minds of many South Africans today.

We call on the courts of South Africa to establish accountability and on the government to undertake an independent investigation into the circumstances that allowed for the departure of President al-Bashir in defiance of the Pretoria Court order and international arrest warrant and for full cooperation with the Court’s own inquiry on the matter. Those responsible must be brought to prompt justice, including for contempt of court. We also call on the Assembly of States Parties of the ICC to take appropriate action to address non-compliance by South Africa and other States who breach their obligations of cooperation and assistance under the ICC Statute. We call on the United Nations Security Council which was briefed by the ICC Prosecutor on the situation in Darfur on 29 June to strongly reaffirm the obligation of States parties to duly cooperate with the ICC. Members of the Security Council, who referred Darfur to the ICC, have a special responsibility to fully support and facilitate the prosecutor’s continued work.

We also call on governments and political parties alike to respect the space afforded to civil society organisations, pursuant to the South African Constitution, to litigate in the interests of the public. Matters of justice and accountability are pursued in the interests of the public, and civil society organisations have a mandate that warrants action when government authorities act in contravention of constitutionally protected values. Access to justice is a constitutionally enshrined right that all are entitled to utilise.

This document has been signed by the following organizations:

  1. Associação de Reintegração dos Jovens/Crianças na Vida Social, Angola
  2. Associação Justiça Paz e Democracia, Angola
  3. Missão de Beneficência Agropecuária do Kubango, Inclusão, Tecnologias e Ambiente, Angola
  4. Omunga Association, Angola
  5. DITSHWANELO – The Botswana Centre for Human Rights, Botswana
  6. Coalition Burundaise pour la Cour Pénale Internationale, Burundi
  7. Cameroon Coalition for the International Criminal Court, Cameroon
  8. Associação Caboverdiana de Mulheres Juristas, Cape Verde
  9. Coalition pour la Cour Pénale Internationale de la République Centrafricaine, Central African Republic

10. Coalition Ivoirienne pour la Cour Pénale Internationale, Côte d’Ivoire

11. Groupe de Travail sur les Instruments Internationaux de l’ONU, Côte d’Ivoire

12. Observatoire Ivoirien des Droits de l’Homme, Côte d’Ivoire

13. Réseau Equitas, Côte d’Ivoire

14. Action Congolaise pour le Respect des Droits Humains, Democratic Republic of the Congo

15. Club des Amis du Droit du Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo

16. Observatoire decentralize de la RADDHO pour la Région des Grands Lacs, Democratic Republic of the Congo

17. Vision Sociale, Democratic Republic of the Congo

18. Human Rights Concern - Eritrea

19. African Centre for Democracy and Human Rights Studies, Gambia

20. Africa Legal Aid, Ghana, Netherlands

21. Media Foundation for West Africa, Ghana

22. International Center for Policy and Conflict, Kenya

23. International Commission of Jurists, Kenya

24. Kenya Human Rights Commission, Kenya

25. Kenyans for Peace with Truth and Justice, Kenya

26. Transformation Resource Centre, Lesotho

27. Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation, Malawi

28. Centre for Human Rights Education, Advice and Assistance, Malawi

29. Centre for the Development of People, Malawi

30. Network of Religious Leaders Living with or Personally Affected by HIV and AIDS, Malawi

31. Maphunziro Foundation, Malawi

32. Coalition Malienne pour la Cour Pénale Internationale, Mali

33. Femmes et Droits Humains, Mali

34. Association Mauritanienne des Droits de l’Homme, Mauritania

35. Associação, Mulher, Lei e Desenvolvimento, Mozambique

36. AIDS & Rights Alliance for Southern Africa, Namibia

37. NamRights, Namibia

38. Access to Justice, Nigeria

39. Civil Resource Development and Documentation Centre, Nigeria

40. Coalition for Eastern NGOs, Nigeria

41. Legal Defence & Assistance Project, Nigeria

42. National Coalition on Affirmative Action, Nigeria

43. Nigerian Coalition for the International Criminal Court, Nigeria

44. Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, Nigeria

45. West African Bar Association, Nigeria

46. Women Advocates’ Research and Documentation Center, Nigeria

47. Rencontre Africaine pour la Défense des Droits de l’Homme, Senegal

48. African Center for Democratic Studies, Sierra Leone

49. Centre for Accountability and Rule of Law, Sierra Leone

50. Society for Democratic Initiatives, Sierra Leone

51. Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, South Africa

52. Corruption Watch, South Africa

53. Gay and Lesbian Network, South Africa

54. Global Interfaith Network on Sex, Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, and Expression, South Africa

55. International Crime in Africa Programme, Institute for Security Studies, South Africa

56. Human Rights Institute of South Africa, South Africa

57. Khulumani Support Group, South Africa

58. Ndifuna Ukwazi, South Africa

59. Section27, South Africa

60. Sonke Gender Justice, South Africa

61. Street Law South Africa, South Africa

62. New Sudan Council of Churches, South Sudan

63. Voice for Change, South Sudan

64. Darfur Bar Association, Sudan

65. Darfur Relief and Documentation Centre, Switzerland

66. Children Education Society, Tanzania

67. Kisarawe Paralegals Organization, Tanzania

68. LGBT Voice, Tanzania

69. Services Health & Development For People Living Positively HIV/AIDS, Tanzania

70. Tanzania Network of Women Living with HIV and AIDS, Tanzania

71. African Centre for Justice and Peace Studies, Uganda

72. African Freedom of Information Centre, Uganda

73. Empowered at Dusk Women’s Association, Uganda

74. Foundation for Human Rights Initiative, Uganda

75. Human Rights Network, Uganda

76. Initiative for Rural Development, Uganda

77. Uganda Coalition for the International Criminal Court, Uganda

78. Uganda Victims Foundation, Uganda

79. Initiative for Civil Liberties, Zambia

80. Southern Africa Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes, Zambia

81. Counselling Services Unit, Zimbabwe

82. Research and Advocacy Unit, Zimbabwe

83. Zimbabwe Human Rights Association, Zimbabwe

84. Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum, Zimbabwe

85. Sudan Zero Conflict, UK

86. Waging Peace, UK

87. Act for Sudan, USA

88. Coalition for Darfur & Marginalized Sudan, USA

89. Darfur Women Action Group, USA

90. Dear Sudan, Love Marin, USA

91. International Justice Project, USA

92. Investors Against Genocide, USA

93. Massachusetts Coalition to Save Darfur, USA

94. Pittsburgh Darfur Emergency Coalition, USA

95. San Francisco Bay Area Darfur Coalition, USA

96. Sudan Unlimited, USA

97. Coalition for the International Criminal Court

98. Fédération Internationale des Droits de l’Homme

99. Human Rights Watch

100. International Commission of Jurists

101. Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom

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Written by KHRC    Tuesday, 26 May 2015 12:05   
KHRC Applauds African Commission Resolutions from 56th Session

The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) held its 56th Ordinary Session from April 21 – May 7, 2015 in Banjul, Gambia during which it adopted 3 resolutions. The KHRC would in particular, like to take this opportunity to applaud the ACHPR for adopting a Resolution on Terrorist Acts in the Republic of Kenya and a Resolution on the Right to Rehabilitation for Victims of Torture.

In its resolution speaking to the escalation of terror activities in Kenya by the Al Shabab group, the ACHPR stands in solidarity with Kenya expressing its dismay at the tragic loss of life and acknowledges the role played by Kenya in combating terror within and outside its borders as part of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM). The ACHPR however goes on to caution the Kenyan government against the use of retaliatory measures such as collective punishment, expulsion of refugees, freezing of funds, suspension of various civil society organizations and the threat of closure of refugee camps suspected of having links with terrorism. This is a positon that KHRC ascribes to and is reflected in its Country Brief on the Human Rights Situation in Kenya which was submitted to the ACHPR for consideration during this session.

Davis Malombe, the Ag. Executive Director at KHRC stated, “This resolution critically reaffirms that the fight against terror must not be allowed to undermine the fundamental rights and freedoms of the public in the guise of enhancing security. Kenya’s strength lies in its diversity and values of human rights, equality, freedom, democracy, social justice and the rule of law. We must not reward Al Shabab by turning our backs on these values”

The resolution on the right to rehabilitation provides a critical reflection on rehabilitation as a core component of the broader right to reparation, noting that it lacks sufficient clarity and is hampered primarily by financial constraints. The ACHPR however urged States to implement domestic laws prohibiting torture with clear provisions on rehabilitation. The resolution further calls for States to offer appropriate medical care and access to appropriate social rehabilitation to victims of torture and their dependents. KHRC stands in support of this resolution, having co-convened a side-event with partners entitled, “Realizing the Right to Rehabilitation and Reparation in Africa”, on the margins of the session and submitting a proposed Resolution on the Right to Rehabilitation for consideration by the ACHPR during this session.

Andrew Songa, the Program Manager- Transformative Justice at KHRC described the resolution as “A significant step in enhancing the meaning of reparation for victims of torture. Our experience in working with victims of torture and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) from the post-election violence points to a clear gap in State interventions in as far as rehabilitation is concerned. Furthermore, the Kenyan government should consider the resolution as a wakeup call to finally enact legislation on the prohibition of torture.”

KHRC continues to value the ACHPR as a regional platform for illuminating and addressing human rights concerns and will avail itself as a strategic partner in seeking to implement the objectives of these resolutions and by extension realize the vision of Human Rights States and Societies. Read more on KHRC’s activities at the 56th session here.

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Last Updated ( Tuesday, 26 May 2015 12:07 )
 
Written by KHRC    Thursday, 21 May 2015 10:08   
Statement from EAC-EU EPA meeting

 

We, members of civil society organisations, small scale farmers’ organisations and workers’ organisations from East Africa and beyond, assembled in Nairobi on 4-5 March 2015, deliberated on the recently concluded Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between the East African Community Partner states and the European Union.

Various papers were presented at the conference written by experts with deep theoretical and practical knowledge of the subject. We were pleased to have amongst us top-level officials from the Kenya Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, responsible for trade negotiations at various bilateral, regional and international levels, EALA representative as well as a representative from the European Union. They, too, presented papers at the Conference, and were given ample time to explain their positions.

HAVING NOTED, AMONG OTHER THINGS, BUT IN PARTICULAR:

  • That the EPA is concluded but not yet signed, pending legal scrubbing, translation, ratification and due legal processes at national and East African regional levels;
  • That the signing, after the above mentioned due processes are completed, might take place at the earliest in August/September 2015;
  • That the Government of Kenya has started a “sensitisation” process in more than 13 counties in Kenya
  • That Kenya will host the 10th WTO Ministerial Conference in December 2015

ABOVE ALL, WE NOTED, IN PARTICULAR:

That the East African intra-regional trade consists largely of value-added manufactured products, whereas the exports to Europe consist almost entirely of raw materials, which is a carry-over from the colonial period.

EXPRESS DEEP CONCERN, ON SEVERAL MATTERS, BUT IN PARTICULAR:

  • That Kenya and EAC will be under immense pressure to deliver a “successful” 10th Ministerial conference in December, 2015.
  • That consultation of stakeholders including trade unions, small scale manufacturers, Small and Medium Enterprises and parliament were not adequately consulted even after Kenya small scale farmers took government to court.
  • That the governments of East Africa were severely constrained in the negotiations process on account of their financial dependence on the very party – the EU – with which they were negotiating; and they were subjected to meeting unreasonable deadlines unilaterally set by the European Union.
  • That the East African governments, during the negotiations process, faced some challenges trying to harmonize their common positions;
  • That four of the five countries – Burundi, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda – being `
  • LDC countries were not obliged to enter into this agreement, and yet they now stand to face trade liberalization of 82.6 per cent over the next 25 years
  • That the East African Partner States face considerable supply side constraints that have not been adequately addressed; and
  • That in the next phase, after the signing of this agreement (assuming this takes place), the East African countries have agreed, under the so-called “Rendezvous Clause”, to begin the process of negotiating on the “Singapore Issues” – competition policy, Procurement, and investment – which have been thrown out of the Doha Round, and thus this new envisaged phase would contradict the letter and spirit of the WTO, and hence WTO-incompatible. These issues obliging EAC countries to give foreign investors national treatment will allow our countries the tools to support local firms and are inappropriate for our level of development.
  • That regional production and trade therefore regional integration will be deeply and negatively affected by the EPA since the EAC would form a common market with the EU. Given that the EU is much more competitive, EU products will have an advantage in the common market. This will marginalize intra-EAC trade, production and effectively, integration.
  • That the level of liberalisation proposed in the EPA will adversely affect food production and food security.
  • That tariff revenues arising from increasing EAC imports from EU, is a source of income from the EAC that is growing every year. This revenue will not be foregone as a result of the EPA and experience elsewhere has shown that it cannot be replaced easily by value added tax.

WE CONCLUDE:

  1. That the negotiations processes have been seriously flawed and UNDEMOCRATIC.
  2. That EPA should not be signed and ratified since the costs (industrial development, small scale farmers’ livelihoods and regional integration, and tariff revenue) outweigh the benefits (maintenance of preferences only for very few sectors e.g. flowers).
  3. Instead, the region should look into alternatives to the EPAs which include:
  4. Ways of supporting the affected industries if the EPA is not signed
  5. Enhancing intra-EAC and intra-African trade and also trade with other partners.

WE, THEREFORE, URGE ON THE EAST AFRICAN GOVERNMENTS AND THE EAST AFRICAN COMMUNITY:

  1. To take immediate steps to consult with the small scale farmers, small scale manufacturers, and workers - unionised and non-unionised – as the major stakeholders who have repeatedly expressed their legitimate grievance that they have been excluded from the process of negotiations;
  2. To ensure that the recently concluded EPA must be properly discussed in the national and regional parliaments at the local district and provincial levels, and that Kenya, in particular, the discussions should also be taken to the county assemblies;
  3. To ensure that due processes are completed at both national and regional levels before ratification of an agreement that has serious potential fiscal consequences and revenue losses, and put to risk food security, and value-added regional industrialisation.
  4. To ensure that the 10th Ministerial conference in Nairobi puts that African concerns and issues at the centre stage and are not marginalised as witnessed in the previous Ministerial Conferences.
  5. To ensure that policy space and sovereignty of the East African countries are respected, and no action is taken by the governments or the East African community for the signing of the agreement in haste without proper consultations using the EU-recognised “principle of subsidiarity” which obliges our governments to properly consult with people at the lowest levels of our society that might be affected by decisions taken from above.
  6. As far as is possible, not sign and ratify the EPA but for EAC governments to create alternatives to the EPAs so that the sub-region’s current economic development and growth processes will not be derailed.

Dated in Nairobi this 5th March 2015

Endorsements:

ORGANIZATION

COUNTRY

KENYA HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION (KHRC)

KENYA

SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT NETWORK (SODNET)

KENYA

SOUTHERN AND EASTERN AFRICA TRADE INFORMATION AND NEGOTIATIONS INSTITUTE (SEATINI)

KENYA, UGANDA and ZIMBABWE

FAIRTRADE AFRICA

KENYA

ACTION AID KENYA

KENYA

KATIBA 2010

KENYA

CENTER FOR TRADE AND DEVELOPMENT

RWANDA

WORKERS RIGHTS WATCH

KENYA

SOCIETY FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT (SID)

KENYA

NCBS

RWANDA

CUTS AFRICA RESOURCE CENTRE

KENYA

ATGSD

KENYA

ECONEWS AFRICA

KENYA

KENYA SMALL SCALE FARMERS FORUM (KESSFF)

KENYA

SAWA

KENYA

HIVOS

KENYA

KENYA DEBT RELIEF NETWORK (KENDREN)

KENYA

TTESF

TANZANIA

THIRD WORLD NETWORK – AFRICA (TWN)

GHANA

FRA

UGANDA

SFA

KENYA

RPSF

KENYA

SCG

BURUNDI

FOPABU

BURUNDI

SOUTH CENTRE

GENEVA

TRAID CRAFT

KENYA

EAUF

RWANDA

OUR WORLD IS NOT FOR SALE (OWINFS)

U.S.A

HUMAN RIGHTS NETWORKS (HURRINETS)

KENYA

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Last Updated ( Thursday, 21 May 2015 10:26 )
 
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