International Seminar The World Trade Organization

* 18/7/2001

In response to the invitation of the Afro-Asian Peoples’ Solidarity Organization and the Arab African Research Center, the representatives of the African Peasants’ Union, the Arab Lawyers Union, the Third World Forum, the Arab African Research Center and the Afro-Asian Peoples’ Solidarity Organization held a meeting on July 15, 2001, in the office of the general Secretariat of the Afro-Asian Peoples’ Solidarity Organization.

The participants emphasized that the aim of the meeting was to prepare for an international seminar, which is to be held before the World Trade Conference in Al-Doha, in order to present the important and necessary ideas and opinions from a non-governmental point of view, an alternative point of view specifying what we need and what we have to do, through a cultural scientific seminar aiming at cultivating and deepening the awareness of the Arab public opinion and affecting the decisions of the Arab governments and institutions.
The seminar aims as well at contributing in aborting the trial of the World Trade Organization to hold its meeting in Al-Doha away from the authority of the international NGOs, and where it will be easier to control the entry of the participants and the demonstrators. The seminar tries to declare a popular Arab stance, as the Arab protesting participation in all the past protesting events in Seattle, Davos and Porto Allegre was limited.
The debate was about the following main topics:
1- Voicing our opinion to the whole world in the issues that concern us, such as opening the door of exports, the debt issue, decreasing the tariffs, the intellectual property, especially in pharmaceuticals and agriculture, the investment treaty, the problem of settling conflicts, as we face a lot of difficulties to obtain our rights, and if that happens, we usually fail to enforce the decisions, the technology transference issue, and the aids issue.
2- Proving that the developing countries have the right to withdraw from certain commitments of which they had to approve under some pressures, or which turned out to be difficult to carry out.
3- Abiding by the principle of matching the commitments.
4- The severe review of the developed countries.
5- No need to hold new sessions, as they only mean more concession to the powerful countries. Calling for prolonging the transitive periods.
6- Opposing the enlargement of the authorities of the organization, as it began to interfere in everything, as if it were a new economic government.
The participants emphasized on the importance of preparing a “main opinion paper” by a group of specialists, so that paper can be the “working paper” of the seminar, as well as trying to propose an alternative strategy.
The participants agreed on the necessity of the fast political preparation of the seminar, through inviting the concerned local, Arab, and international organizations to hold a meeting in the last week of October.

* 26/2/2002

Global Anti-Globalization Front

AAPSO’s Permanent Secretariat organized a meeting with academician, prominent researcher and teacher of economy of Malaysia university Professor Jomo.K.S. in AAPSO’s residence in Cairo in Feb. 19/2/2002. Professor Jomo has paid a special visit to some countries of the region including Iran, Turkey, Jordan and Egypt.
His tour in the region was devoted to discuss all the aspects of the issue of establishing global anti-globalization front and drawing up a draft program for this front that is hoped to adjoin African, Asian and Latin American Countries. For this purpose, academic and scientific studies on the history of development in the countries of South are to be prepared Significant and famous writings, statements and predicaments of the western theorists like that of Huntington and Fokayama are to be studied well, as well as the impact of the economic globalization on the countries of South. The influence of 11/9 events on the problem of development and all other issues related are to be assessed so as to reach a comprehensive plan called/ South-South program/ for that front as Professor Jomo said.
AAPSO Secretary-general Mr. Nouri Abdul Razzak informed the participants of the meeting about AAPSO’s previous efforts, consultations and cooperation with other concerned NGOs, organisations and agencies on the question of establishing international solidarity to encounter the passive influences of economic globalization. AAPSO Secretary-general Mr. Nouri Abdul Razzak assured that such solidarity is supposed to adjoin all actors of international community. He expressed his satisfaction and pleasure that these efforts could meet the efforts of CODESRIA, where Professor Jomo is one of its prominent figures, so as to promote and strengthen the common goal of both sides.
Professor Jomo has referred to the importance of searching for alternatives to encounter American consensus of which, for instance, economic power of China, Russia and India. Professor Jomo went through the significance of focusing on two basic issues: liberation of international trade and liberation of international financial capital. about the first, it is noted that it led to the collapse of agriculture in the developing and less developed countries alongside with the collapse of a group of productive sectors that are based on agriculture, as Prof. said. Accordingly, liberating trade is not a goal as such for these countries unless they become able to benefit from this process. That is why the front we call for is supposed to resist the process of liberating trade. The same we can do with the process of liberating international financial capital, as the new and dangerous phenomenon in this field is that the movement of capital, which was from rich countries to poor ones in the past, became to be from poor to rich countries.
Participants of the meeting have agreed that world after 11/9 events imposed, on the top of the agenda and as never before, the idea of establishing, as broad and worldwide as possible, all kinds of global solidarity through establishing global anti-globalization coalition that is supposed to adjoin all resisting forces.