A broad coalition of social movements from Latin America and Europe organise three days of mobilisation (8-10 June) in Brussels and Strasbourg to mark the EU-CELAC Summit (10-11 June). The broad coalition aims at strengthening and giving visibility to existing resistances and struggles taking place in the two regions. Furthermore, they highlight new initiatives which move away from the trade and investment architecture promoted by multinational corporations.
During this same week the European Parliament in Strasbourg will vote on the TTIP (the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership) agreement between the EU and the US.
The three days of mobilisation started this morning with a public debate involving representatives of governments, parliaments, social movements and trade unions on the highly contested austerity policies in Europe; Free Trade Agreements and Bilateral Investment Treaties; and corporate crimes and human rights violations; by European and Latin American multinationals, as well as the global ‘resource grab’.
Bernd Nilles (CIDSE Secretary General) stated: “Heads of States present at the EU/CELAC summit must listen to the voices of peoples affected by Social and Environmental impacts induced by the activities of transnational corporations, especially in the extractive industry sector. For this, the upcoming negotiation on the UN binding treaty is a key moment”.
Maria Fernanda Espinosa (Ecuador Permanent Mission to the UN in Geneva) said: “There is a mandate for the United Nations Human Rights Council to negotiate a legally binding instrument on Transnational Corporations and Human Rights. At this point the most important thing is to have all member states participate in an open and constructive way in the first Inter Government Working Group meeting (6-10 July) in Geneva."
Brussels-based civil society networks which monitor EU-CELAC relations launched an animated video during the event. The video explains how a trade relationship - mainly based on the extraction of raw materials - is contributing to depletion of non-renewable natural resources, global warming and social conflicts.
Civil society organisations have warned repeatedly about the dangers of unbalanced trade relations, and have urged the EU to promote more symmetrical relations contributing to effective respect for human rights while promoting sustainable alternatives to the current economic model.
Social movements participating in the Days of Mobilization reaffirmed their call for a shift in the correlation of forces favoring corporate capture of the public interest. For that, they urged all governments to participate in the historic process at the United Nations for a binding instrument on multinational corporations.
- CIDSE together with other Brussels-based networks working on EU/CELAC relations have produced an animated video explaining the impacts of EU’s trade policies in Latin America (June 2015): https://vimeo.com/130036707.
- An alliance of groups around the world is working to support the development of a binding international instrument to address corporate human rights abuses. Treaty Alliance statement available here (May 2015).
Stefan Reinhold – reinhold(at)cidse.org – +32 233 3751
LIST OF CO-CONVENORS (in alphabetical order):
Alternative Information and Development Center (AIDC) Attac Argentina, Brazilian Network on Peoples Integration (REBRIP), Committee for the Abolition of Third World Debt (CADTM), CADTM AYNA., Center of United and Progressive Workers (SENTRO), CIDSE, Copenhagen Initiative for Central America and Mexico (CIFCA), Collectif Venezuela 13 Avril, Bruxelles, Comité pour les Droits Humains "Daniel Gillard", Corporate European Observatory (CEO), Ecologistas en Acción, Enginyeria Sense Fronteres, Enlazando Alternativas, Entrepueblos, France America Latina, Food First Information and Action Network (FIAN), Friend of the Earth Colombia (CENSAT) , Friend of the Earth Guatemala (CEIBA) , Friends of the Earth International , Friends of the Earth Latin America and the Caribbean, Friends of the Earth Uruguay (REDES), Global Campaign to Dismantle Corporate Power and Stop Impunity, European Network of NGOs Grupo Sur, Hemispheric Social Alliance (HSA), Institute of Policy Studies- Global Economy Project, Mémoires des Luttes France, Mouvement VEGA, Movement of Peoples Affected by Dams in Brazil (MAB), Observatori del Deute en la Globalització (ODG), Observatorio de Multinacionales en América Latina (OMAL, Paz con Dignidad), Oficina Internacional de los Derechos Humanos - Acción Colombia (Oidhaco), Party of the European Left, Red Latinoamericana sobre Deuda, Desarrollo y Derechos (LATINDADD), Red Mexicana de Accion frente al Libre Comercio (RMALC), Rosa Luxembourg Foundation Brussels, Solidaridad Suecia - America Latina (SAL), TIYE International (Black, Migrant and Refugee women in the Netherlands), Transnational Institute (TNI), WIDE +, World March of Women.