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Trade Talks Collapse
The Cordillera Peoples Alliance website
Posted: January 30, 2006
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The Cordillera Peoples Alliance declared the World Trade Organization (WTO) 6th Ministerial in Hongkong a failure due to the massive people’s protests from December 11-18, 2005. Key issues in agriculture, natural resources, services and industrial goods were not clinched, and even deadlocked at the 5th Ministerial in Cancun, Mexico.

The Alyansa dagiti Pesante iti Taeng Kordilyera (Apit-Tako or Peasant Alliance in the Cordillera Homeland), Migrante-Cordillera, Innabuyog Gabriela and Anakbayan Cordillera participated in the caucuses and workshops that took place at the people’s protests.

A unity statement was drafted by some 100 indigenous peoples and environmental activists from Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania, the Philippines, the United Kingdom and the United States of America resulting from the International Mining Caucus and the World Trade Organization.

“For the past decades, mining struggles have intensified as globalization policies swept through more than 120 mineralized countries all over the world . Mining transnational corporations (TNCs), with their agents and minions in bureaucracies and international financial institutions, have distorted, dismantled and amended constitutions, national policies and laws, systems and norms to be able to outrightly plunder and exploit what are left of the world’s mineral resources”, the declaration read, adding that these TNCs have deprived the peoples of the world of their inherent right to benefit from these natural resources for their own livelihood and for their countries' own development in the name of profit.

Cordillera migrant workers likewise forged a unity statement to defend land, life and resources in the Cordillera homeland, and to guard their rights as migrant workers, given the circumstances that surround them.

“Eventually, we realized the significance of forming ourselves into Cordillera migrant workers/overseas contract worker’s organizations which have helped us in many ways in confronting the problems we face like illegal and premature termination of our contracts, high cost of fees we pay to recruitment agencies and to various government agencies, discrimination and other forms of abuses from our employers. We linked up with other progressive migrant organizations including those of other nationalities”, the declaration read.

In a press conference in Baguio City on December 21, the Cordillera leaders called on the government to get out of the WTO.

A report by IBON Databank states that trade liberalization has not benefited the world’s poorest people, but has driven them into poverty. It adds that labor conditions and job insecurity have worsened since the country’s membership to the WTO. *** at bengwayan


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