Open letter from Hiyam Noir, editor of Palestine Free Voice, to EU-Isral Association Council
Despite the claims of the Colombian government and those in the U.S., Canada and the EU eager to consummate "free trade" pacts with that regime, the human rights situation in that country is deteriorating fast. Indeed, by key measures — the killing of unionists, extra-judicial killings by the military, and the forced displacement of civilians — Colombia’s human rights situation is amongst the worst in the world and getting worse. In the case of union killings, it remains the very worst.
Despite calls from labour and human rights organizations across Canada, on May 1 Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff announced that the party would support the ratification of a proposed Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement (CCFTA).
Free trade talks between the GCC and the European Union have been suspended again after the two sides failed to reach an agreement on human rights and customs duties on GCC exports to Europe.
As the European Union this week launches another round of negotiations with Colombia on a free trade agreement, trade unionists who live daily under the gun of right-wing paramilitaries linked to the government have in Brussels in the last week pleaded with the EU executive to suspend the talks.
Canada gambled on a losing strategy: that free trade will inherently bring democracy to what some would consider a lawless society. Ottawa should only have looked to its neighbor in Washington to see the futility of this approach.
Colombian, American, and European union workers pressed the European Parliament not to sign a free trade agreement with Colombia if human rights don’t improve here.
United States foreign trade policies should insist on seeking more ethical economic practices which do not rely on the exploitation of lives and environmental resources, but which thrive off of sustainable relationships of production. Additionally, the United States should recognize the role it has historically played in protracting violence in Colombia, and the influence it has on Colombian forms of governance and economic policy
Close to one hundred activists gathered outside the White House Monday, asking President Obama to make a radical change to the US’s political relationship with Colombia.
"Concerned" over "child and bonded labour" in India, the European Parliament has strongly pressed the European Union to include the issues in the Free Trade Agreement talks with New Delhi, which is stoutly against inclusion of social issues in commercial deals.
EFTA FTAs negotiations have taken a complicated turn, with Norway withdrawing from talks on intellectual property, which is a serious priority for Switzerland. In addition, Norway deferred the submission for ratification by the Norwegian Parliament of the FTA with Colombia, an act seen by many as a move on the part of the Norwegians to renegotiate many terms within the agreement.
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is appealing to the federal Liberal Party to join with other opposition parties to block the new Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement.
Parliamentary hearings will give a fulsome airing to critics of Canada’s proposed free-trade agreement with Colombia, says the Harper government’s Latin American cabinet minister, Peter Kent, the minister of State for Foreign Affairs.
While trade can support development and the realization of human rights, the authors find that neither the political conditions in Colombia, nor the terms of this FTA meet the criteria that would allow that to happen.
What right does the Australian government have to impose a free trade agreement on the peoples of ASEAN, without any sort of systems in place to represent their views or interests (rather than the views or interests of their rulers) in negotiations? And how many Australians want a free trade agreement with vicious, murderous regimes like Burma’s military junta anyway?
India’s trade negotiations with the 27-nation European Union, the country’s largest trade partner accounting for 21 percent of merchandise exports, are threatened to collapse because of the non-trade issues like human rights and democracy issues including investigations into the alleged “extra judicial killings” in Jammu and Kashmir injected in the talks.
A draft report prepared by Members of the European Parliament could potentially derail negotiations between India and the European Union on a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement involving duty-free trade of goods, services and investment. The report calls for the inclusion of human rights and democracy issues in the CEPA talks and an international investigation into “extra judicial killings” in Jammu & Kashmir.
While some in the EU have voiced concern about Colombia’s human rights failures, Europe’s top politicians do not seem interested in linking this problem to the FTA.
Profiles a series of lawsuits that have arisen between foreign investors and their host states — where state compliance with investment treaty obligations is in question and where human rights concerns have resulted from investment projects.
Guillermo Rivera Fuquene’s widow says her husband was kidnapped, tortured and killed just because he fought for the rights of Colombian workers and opposed President Alvaro Uribe’s free-market policies.