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WTO protests in Hongkong
Posted: December 27
, 2005
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Hong Kong – About 100 indigenous peoples and environmental activists representing people's movements from different countries gathered here Thursday in a caucus on mining and the World Trade Organization to take stock of and further advance the international resistance to continuing plunder of natural resources by mining transnational corporations.

In their unity statement, participants from Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Ghana, Kenya, the Philippines, and Tanzania declared that international opposition to corporate mining intensified across the globe as liberalization policies swept through more than 120 mineralized countries for the past decades.

“Globalization distorted and dismantled laws and norms, hence, the sovereignty and right to self-determination of peoples across the world, to pave the way for the plunder of and profit-making from what is left of the world’s mineral resources,” said Clemente Bautista of Philippine’s Kalikasan-People’s Network for the Environment and convenor of the caucus.

Windel Bolinget, Secretary General of the Cordillera Peoples Alliance from the Philippines also condemned the collusion of governments and mining transnational corporations in violating the economic, social and cultural rights of indigenous peoples and aboriginals across the world.

“Large-scale mining has caused massive displacement of indigenous peoples and peasants , displacement of peoples, disruption of livelihoods, destruction of ecosystems, militarization, political killings, violations of workers’ rights, among others in the name of profit,” Bolinget lamented.

Adi Widyanto of JATAM-Indonesia which co-sponsored the caucus also expressed opposition to the exploitation of natural resources by transnational mining corporations whose much avowed corporate responsibility does not translate to adequate benefits to local communities.

“We would not allow the WTO to further legitimize and perpetuate the plunder of patrimonies and oppression of mining affected communities,” Widyanto adds.

Participants of the caucus denounced the 6th WTO Ministerial Meeting as it seeks to further liberalize local industries and gain direct control of the world's mineral resources through Non-Agricultural Market Access and General Agreement on Trade in Services. As of press time, developed countries are aggressively pushing for the favorable conclusion of the negotiations on GATS.

Roger Moody of Mines and Communities said that it is apt and just for the international movement against the liberalization of mining to take the struggle to the streets of Hong Kong to demand that NAMA and GATS be junked together with the WTO itself.

Participants of the caucus staged a protest Friday afternoon in front of the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center, venue of the WTO Ministerial Conference. #

Reference: Clemente Bautista/Voltz Tupaz, 98094798,,
Roger Moody

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