Protocol of the Southern Cone and the Andean Region of the Americas.

To be submitted to WTO Ministerial Meeting.

Conclusions of the Second International Meeting "WTO and Southern Cone of the Americas".

Whereas the economic decontrol processes in the Americas, specially in the Southern Cone and the Andean Region, seek the hegemony consolidation of the developed countries through the generation of free trade areas, such as the agreements that the European Union has established with Chile and Mexico, and that tries to establish with the MERCOSUR, as well as the generation of the Free Trade of the Americas (ALCA), through regional negotiations, and the FTA´s that the United States is subscribing with several countries of the continent.

Whereas the case of the relationships with the European Union, although framework agreements integrate political and social dimensions, such as cooperation, political dialogue and democratic and social clauses, commercial aspects had prevailed.

Whereas in our countries the economic, commercial and financing presence of European countries and of the United States had made progress in the last year with the subscription to new Free Trade Agreements and their projection.

Whereas the inclusion within trade negotiations in order to incorporate public services in an area of international businesses; the announcements of new deregulations for men and women education, health, employment and social security; the non sustainable exploitation of the environment and natural resources -mining, fisheries, agriculture and forestry, specially- is used as trade off in the foreign market.

Whereas public services privatization and merging processes among national and international capitals, that traditionally were under the state property control, has been developed in most of the countries of the region without regulations that would protect Human, Economic, Social and Cultural Rights of the Peoples, and has not contributed to the development of our region.

Whereas the International Principles of Human Rights has indissolubly linked the Civil and Political Rights to the Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the latter being seriously jeopardized by privatization and transnational processes of the Collective Rights of the Peoples and Copyright.

Whereas none of the alleged benefits that the World Trade Organization (WTO) anticipated that would arise from the trade decontrol further deepen, since its foundation in 1995, such as the quantitative and qualitative increase in the access that the consumers would have to goods and services and the consequent improvement in their life quality, economy growth and democratic further deepen. Far from this situation, our countries have experienced a dramatic impairment in the GDP growth, reason why the region completes a "lost period of six years" in the times of the WTO; an increase of the vulnerability and dependence of our economies to the international speculative markets.

We reassert our objection to the neo-liberal policies promulgated by multilateral Organisms ruled by the WTO principles, with no legitimacy appealable within the United Nations International Right, that have been imposed in the Southern Cone and in the Andean Region and that have meant an increase in unemployment, impoverishment, flexibility and labor turnover, violations to human rights and collective rights to the peoples, harming in a restrictive way the rights of the native peoples and traditional communities rights.

We ratify that it is necessary to consider the natural resources monopolies and the exploitation of the natural resources as services that the States cannot alienate under any form, since they constitute a collective social patrimony and they are common property.

We emphasize that the privatization and transnational policies of services, natural, social and cultural resources, and the absence of public policies tending to protect the regulating role of the State and the community, can just be expressed as an effective loss of the development possibility of our nations.

We corroborate that the experience within these last eight years, since the Uruguay Round, which gave birth to the WTO, has just been translated into poverty and greater social and gender inequity to our region.

As citizens, we consider that it is essential the existence of a multilateral managing system for the International Trade, and that its focal point is constituted by the basic needs of the people and the mankind in general. Multilateral agreements should be used to overcome the most urgent problems that our societies face and also used to lay the foundations that would make possible a fair sustainable development of the region.

Also, we reassert that the rules of the international trade system should exist in order to make possible the control and regulation of the main corporations and not to limit the capacities of the Nations.

We object the decision of the developed countries that, instead of making progress in the "Development Round", focus their efforts trying to incorporate the so called "new issues", specially the ones related to governmental investment and purchases. We think it is unacceptable to move forward in these issues while other vital issues are loosing their relevancy for our development, such as special and differentiated treatment, that it is binding in developing countries; the end of the subsidies of developed countries; and the dismantling of the control and protection rules that used to provide stability and security to our citizens.

We trust the competence of the civil society in order to demand and urge the accomplishment of International agreements related to Human Rights, as well as to demand involvement in the negotiations of future Free Trade Agreements.

We strongly admonish the governments to:

    1. Take into account the reflections of this "Second Meeting", as well as to integrate and to protect the present negotiations and at International Organisms meetings to take the necessary guaranties to have public services as a Human Rights matter, and not as a tradable matter.

    2. Take the necessary measures in order to guarantee public services supply among the citizens.

    3. Safeguard our alimentary sovereignty by objecting trade impositions that attempt against it, and by taking the available legal protections.

    4. Protect the popular sovereignty by objecting the attempts of the International Organisms to define economical policies that postpone a development and respect agenda the Peoples Rights.

    5. Demand the Special and Differentiated Treatment for Developing countries.

    6. Demand their negotiators the elimination of all the subsidies to agricultural export, and the elimination by the developed countries of import barriers to their markets.

    7. Recognize, above commercial matters, the supremacy of the Right to health, education and alimentary security and the collective rights of the native peoples.

    8. Recognize the sovereignty of all the countries in order to regulate their services, natural, social and cultural resources and to assess the decontrol processes before starting an increment in these.

    9. Object living organism licenses and approve the production and import of generic medicines.

    10. Object the negotiation of the "new issues" at the WTO: governmental purchases.

    11. Keep the civil society fully informed, by the clearing up and the socialization of the different perspectives of all the actors in regard to the commitments that the states engage in at trade and finance matters. To include or expedite the right to linking participation of the citizens in the decision making in regard to these matters.

    12. Ratify and enforce the international legislation related to native peoples rights.

    13. Adopt and accomplish the resolutions and conclusions of the European Union in regard to native peoples: European Union resolution, November 30th, 1978; Board Conclusions of the European Union, June 25th, 2001; Board Conclusions of the European Union, November 18th, 2002.

We claim the national and international Parliaments:

  • To keep the civil society informed by clearing up trade negotiations mechanisms and processes.
  • To control and modify the agreements that do not accomplish the rules of the Human Rights International Right and International Right, and to make sure about the civil participation. In the case of the national rules, we consider them to be a priority, as long as they are consistent with the international right system.
  • We claim to the international members of the Parliament, to be aware in order to disapprove agreements of such a nature to the countries of the area, and to carry out a strict follow up of the democratic clauses of the agreements already signed, and also to extend them and to further analyze them in the agreements to be signed in the future.

We urge Civil Societies:

  • To create socialization nets and information follow up of conflicts as well as to create a follow up of the transnational companies behavior and of the states that participate in these privatization processes.
  • To create and elaborate alliances in specific matters related to these issues.
  • To seek new organization, campaign and proposal generation ways that would allow us to act in a global manner in this type of conflicts, by engaging the support of popular strengths and by engaging the actors of other nations that endure these same problems, including the countries that the multinational companies belong to or where the investment is originated.
  • To promote a system that would safeguard that human needs are achieved through a fair trade, and that would tend to the integration and development of our peoples.
Santiago de Chile, August 28th and 29th, 2003.

* * *

National Organizations involved:

  • Chilean Alliance for a Fair, Ethic and Responsible Trade, Alianza Chilena por un Comercio Justo, Etico y Responsable (National Corporation of Chilean Consumers and Users, Corporación Nacional de Consumidores y Usuarios de Chile, CONADECUS; Consumers International, International Gender and Trade Network, Red Internacional de Género y Comercio, RIGC; Political Ecology Institute, Instituto de Ecología Política, IEP; Chile Consumers and Users Organization, Organización de Consumidores y Usuarios, ODECU; Immigrant Associaton for Latinamerican Integration, APILA; Ayún Corporation; Study Center of Contemporary Reality, Centro de Estudios de la Realidad Contemporánea, CERC; Conscious Consumers League, Liga de Consumidores Conscientes; Business School, Universidad Bolivariana)
  • National Association of Rural and Native Women, Asociación Nacional de Mujeres Rurales e Indígenas, ANAMURI
  • Workers Union, Central Unitaria de Trabajadores, CUT
  • Education and Technology Center for the South Development, Centro de Educación y Tecnología para el Desarrollo del Sur, CET Sur
  • Study and Training Center, Women and Work, Centro de Estudios y Capacitación Mujer y Trabajo
  • National Confederation of Chileasn Municipal Employees, Confederación Nacional de Empleados Municipales de Chile, ASEMUCH
  • National Confederation of Chilean Non Industrial Fishermans, Confederación Nacional de Pescadores Artesanales de Chile, CONAPACH
  • National Confederation of Food Industry Workers, Confederación Nacional de Trabajadores de la Industria Alimentaria, COTIACH
  • Aukinko Zomo Mapuche Women Corporation, Corporación de Mujeres Mapuche Aukinko Zomo, Temuco
  • Human Rights and Indigenous Studies Department, Departamento de Derechos Humanos y Estudios Indígenas, Universidad ARCIS
  • National Federation of Sanitary Works Workers, Federación Nacional de Trabajadores de Obras Sanitarias, FENATRAOS
  • Lafkenche Territorial Identity, Identidad Territorial Lafkenche, IX Region
  • ESSAL Workers Union, Puerto Montt
  • Universidad Bolivariana
  • Vicariate of the Workers Pastoral, Vicaría de la Pastoral Obrera, Concepción

International Organizations involved:

  • Integration Coordinator of Rural Economic Organizations, Coordinadora de Integración de Organizaciones Económincas Campesinas, CIOEC - Bolivia
  • Inter.-Union Department of Statistics and Social-Economic Studies, Departamento Intersindical de Estadística y Estudios Socio-Económicos, DIESSE - Brasil
  • Nizkor Team - Spain
  • Forum for the civil society participation, Foro para la participación de la sociedad civil, FOCO - Argentina
  • Development labor program, Programa laboral de desarrollo, PLADES - Perú

Economic and Social Rights

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This document has been published on 04Sep03 by the Equipo Nizkor and Derechos Human Rights