The Maghreb seminar proclaims: “No to colonial agreements, for the defence of people’s sovereign right on their agricultural, food and environmental systems.”

19 February by War on Want


In December, ATTAC Morocco, a member of the global network for the abolition of illegitimate debts (CADTM), organised a seminar in Agadir, Morocco with the participation of activists from Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco, to discuss the devastation caused by free trade agreements in the Mahgreb – and the movement for a radically different future.

Also present was Hamza Hamouchene, War on Want’s senior international programmes officer for North Africa and West Asia (NAWA), who says:

“This regional gathering was a very important event for two reasons:

  • a) it was truly grassroots and succeeded in bringing together agricultural workers, small farmers and fishermen as well as activists from four countries in North Africa; and
  • b) it was able to link issues of food sovereignty, trade justice and neo-colonialism together, therefore offering a structural analysis of the issues at hand.”


The NAWA programme

The North Africa and West Asia (NAWA) programme is a new initiative at War on Want that aims to platform the voices of our partners in the region, giving emphasis to resistance and social justice struggles. Our areas of work include: natural resources and extractivism; land and food sovereignty; as well as worker’ rights.

Check out the following summary, or read the full declaration.

The assembly affirmed:
- That so-called ‘free trade’ agreements and the debt system are the two faces of imperialism. New colonial agreements in the interests of multinationals, to pillage the lands of indigenous peoples for profit Profit The positive gain yielded from a company’s activity. Net profit is profit after tax. Distributable profit is the part of the net profit which can be distributed to the shareholders. .
- Support for the struggles of peasants and small fishermen in Tunisia, Egypt, Algeria, Morocco and other countries, against the theft of agricultural land by corporate and real estate speculators.
- Absolute rejection of all technology-based capitalist ‘alternatives’ in the agriculture and fishing, which deplete resources and energy, destroy biodiversity, pollute the environment and harm public health.

The assembly writes: “We are convinced that the peoples’ food sovereignty is closely linked to their right to self-determination at the political, economic, social, cultural and environmental level. It is equally linked to a rupture with the imperialist centres and international financial and commercial institutions, and also to the struggle against regimes and governments that implement these policies in favour of global and domestic capital.

Food sovereignty is the antithesis of the productivist capitalist food system, which is responsible for the destruction of natural resources and a climate chaos that threatens the lives of millions of people. It is peasant agriculture and subsistence fishing that feed humanity and preserve the environment, rather than the intensive, industrial, commercial and chemical agriculture promoted by capitalism.”


A radical call to action

The assembly called for deeper regional and global solidarity in struggle against the World Trade Organization, International Monetary Fund IMF
International Monetary Fund
Along with the World Bank, the IMF was founded on the day the Bretton Woods Agreements were signed. Its first mission was to support the new system of standard exchange rates.

When the Bretton Wood fixed rates system came to an end in 1971, the main function of the IMF became that of being both policeman and fireman for global capital: it acts as policeman when it enforces its Structural Adjustment Policies and as fireman when it steps in to help out governments in risk of defaulting on debt repayments.

As for the World Bank, a weighted voting system operates: depending on the amount paid as contribution by each member state. 85% of the votes is required to modify the IMF Charter (which means that the USA with 17,68% % of the votes has a de facto veto on any change).

The institution is dominated by five countries: the United States (16,74%), Japan (6,23%), Germany (5,81%), France (4,29%) and the UK (4,29%).
The other 183 member countries are divided into groups led by one country. The most important one (6,57% of the votes) is led by Belgium. The least important group of countries (1,55% of the votes) is led by Gabon and brings together African countries.

http://imf.org
and World Bank World Bank
WB
The World Bank was founded as part of the new international monetary system set up at Bretton Woods in 1944. Its capital is provided by member states’ contributions and loans on the international money markets. It financed public and private projects in Third World and East European countries.

It consists of several closely associated institutions, among which :

1. The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD, 189 members in 2017), which provides loans in productive sectors such as farming or energy ;

2. The International Development Association (IDA, 159 members in 1997), which provides less advanced countries with long-term loans (35-40 years) at very low interest (1%) ;

3. The International Finance Corporation (IFC), which provides both loan and equity finance for business ventures in developing countries.

As Third World Debt gets worse, the World Bank (along with the IMF) tends to adopt a macro-economic perspective. For instance, it enforces adjustment policies that are intended to balance heavily indebted countries’ payments. The World Bank advises those countries that have to undergo the IMF’s therapy on such matters as how to reduce budget deficits, round up savings, enduce foreign investors to settle within their borders, or free prices and exchange rates.

, “which enslave people through the debt system.”

It also advocated innovative experiments in popular farming “to break free from food dependence” and voiced support for the resistance of the Palestinian people as well as the families expelled from and resisting eviction from their territories in Maraba, Brazil.



Source: War on want

Other articles in English by War on Want (2)

CADTM

COMMITTEE FOR THE ABOLITION OF ILLEGITIMATE DEBT

35 rue Fabry
4000 - Liège- Belgique

00324 226 62 85
info@cadtm.org

cadtm.org