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UN Committee recommends that India assess likely impacts of EFTA and EU trade talks
Dear friends and colleagues
A leading UN Committee has recommended that India review all aspects of its trade negotiations - particularly those with EU and EFTA - to ensure that they do not result in a situation which undermines the rights of people within the country, particularly the most disadvantaged and vulnerable.
Meeting last month in Geneva, the Committee also noted its concern about the impact of genetically-modified seeds in India on farmers’ livelihoods.
These recommendations were made by the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, an independent body entrusted with monitoring the implementation of the International Covenant on Economic Social and Cultural Rights around the world.
The full text of the recommendations are below - as well as in the attached document. These recommendations and concerns provide a useful basis for civil society advocacy, particularly for those working for fairer trade agreements and against the ownership of plants and life.
Paragraph 46, on page 8: ‘The Committee recommends the State party to review all aspects of its negotiations with trade agreements, including those with the EU and the EFTA, in light of its obligations under the Covenant to ensure that economic, social and cultural rights, particularly of the most disadvantaged and marginalized groups, are not undermined.’
Paragraph 29 starting on page 5: ‘The Committee is deeply concerned that the extreme hardship being experienced by farmers has led to an increasing incidence of suicides by farmers over the past decade. The Committee is particularly concerned that the extreme poverty among small-hold farmers caused by the lack of land, access to credit and adequate rural infrastructures, has been exacerbated by the introduction of genetically modified seeds by multinational corporations and the ensuing escalation of prices of seeds, fertilisers and pesticides, particularly in the cotton industry.’
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News from the movements
25-Aug-2016 RTSome 2,000 members of the American Postal Workers Union have gathered in Miami where they are officially opposing the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
24-Aug-2016 Deutsche WelleHundreds of thousands of protesters are expected to take to the streets in several German cities to rally against plans to move forward with two key international trade agreements - one year after a similar protest managed to attract similar numbers.
23-Aug-2016 APRNNeither the TPP nor the RCEP, neither the US nor China and their corporations will ever address the long-standing people’s aspiration for an international trading system that responds to their needs.
23-Aug-2016 ScoopCivil society groups, trade unions, church groups, environmentalists, gender activists and many more are calling for Ministers to make no decision on PACER-Plus — a free trade agreement between Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands — until there has been a proper social impact assessment and mandate from the Pacific people who are most likely to be affected.
22-Aug-2016 Radio New ZealandA meeting on Pacific labour mobility under the PACER Plus trade deal has a glaring omission – the voices of organised labour.
Avec de nouveaux accords commerciaux, le vol organisé par les multinationales est légalisé et les semences paysannes deviennent illégalesDe nouveaux accords de libre-échange légalisent le vol organisé par les grandes entreprises et mettent en péril la possibilité pour les agriculteurs de conserver, produire et échanger des semences.
22-Aug-2016 El PaísEl secretario de Relaciones Internacionales del Pit-Cnt, Fernando Gambera, afirmó tras participar del XVI Foro Social Mundial realizado en Montreal (Canadá) que los Tratado de Libre Comercio (TLC) son una preocupación para todas las centrales sindicales porque "apuntan a degradar las conquistas de los trabajadores".
22-Aug-2016 Premium TimesSocial Action has asked the federal government to not to sign the Economic Partnership Agreement with the European Union. Ghana and Ivory Coast have also resisted the EPA
bilaterals.org is a collaborative space to share information and support movements struggling against bilateral trade and investment deals which serve corporations, not people. Multilingual. Global. No one owns it. Open publishing. Get involved.