INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON FOOD SOVEREIGNITY AND AGAINST GENETICALLY MODIFIED ORGANISMS
www.movimientos.org –Comunidad Web de Movimientos Sociales
Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia
July 2 & 3, 2002
Over 500 delegates from indigenous and peasant organizations gathered in the city of Santa Cruz, Bolivia. Organizations represented at the gathering included the National Peasant Women’s Federation of Bolivia-Bartolina Sisa, the Organization of Ecological Producers of Bolivia, the Confederation of Peasant Economic Organizations, and the Union of Colonizers Confederation. Delegates discussed issues putting food sovereignty at risk and drew the following conclusions:
During the second "World Summit on Food" held on June 2002, as well as the parallel forum convoked by the Civil Society Organizations, both entities agreed that there are currently 800 million people suffering hunger in the world and that the goal to cut the number of hungry in half by 2015, established during the previous Summit, was not attainable.
Our analysis of the situation in Latin America and Bolivia reveals that this lack of success is due to several factors:
-unfair distribution of land and access to natural resources impeding the ability of indigenous people and farmers to provide their own sustenance, as well as that of the nations, while maintaining their traditions, preserving their natural patrimony to the benefit of all, and living a dignified life.
This situation is rooted in the wrongful social and agrarian policies implemented by our governments, which are often subjugated to policies and pressures stemming from international organizations such as the World Bank, the OMC, the FAO and others. These free-market oriented policies transform food production into a business prospect. The use of our natural resources is viewed without taking into consideration the social and cultural consequences to the people involved, nor care of the Earth for future generations. The so-called Green Revolution establishes the production and distribution of food in the world as a business dominated by a few transnational corporations to the detriment of small rural producers and the majority of the low-income and poor consumers in the cities.
Over the past few years these corporations have aggressively marketed genetically modified seeds which are protected by patents and trade laws. We see GMO’S as a grave threat to small farmers, the health of the general population, and to the ecosystem.
In light of this situation and these policies, we strongly declare that food security is a BASIC HUMAN RIGHT to our people. Every individual and all peoples have a right to sufficient food –a diet adequate in quantity, healthy and free of toxic substances. Food cannot be a business prospect, generating unfair wealth. We denounce as false the notion that GMOs increase the availability of food and are a means of combating hunger. To the contrary, people have a right to produce their own food, using their own methods, and to consume this food as custom dictates –not to depend on imports, nor to purchase seeds and food products produced abroad. In sum, we have the right to contribute healthy food to the rest of humanity. For this reason we have established FOOD SOVREIGNITY as a basic human right to be respected by all.
Plan of Action
In light of the currently unstable food environment, and, above all, with regard to the substantial production and distribution of GMO seeds and products, we commit ourselves to the following actions:
Within our communities and organizations
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