December 4, 2013

Indigenous Youth Resound Call to Junk the WTO

Indonesia – JUNK WTO! BUBARKAN WTO! This was the call of indigenous youth to conclude the Workshop on indigenous Peoples and the World Trade Organisation: Resist Globalisation, Assert our Self determination  held from December 2-3 here in Bali, organised by the Indigenous Peoples Movement for Self Determination and Liberation (IPMSDL), Asia Pacific Indigenous Youth Network (APIYN), Alyansi Masyarakat Adat Nusantara (AMAN), Barisan Pemuda Adat Nusantara (BPAN), Land is Life, the Committee on the Protection of Natural Reources in Manipur, and the Cordillera Peoples Alliance (CPA).

CPA Secretary General Abie Anongos provided an overview of globalisation and its impact to indigenous peoples, to serve as a framework for the two day workshop, whose highlights included a Declaration and Plan of Action on indigenous peoples’ issues and demands in relation to globalisation and the WTO, and defining ways forward on how indigenous peoples can further engage. To further understand the impacts of WTO on indigenous People, concrete examples from Indonesia, Philippines, North America, Ecuador and Sweden was shared. APIYN Program Coordinator Julius Daguitan provided an input on the particular impact of globalisation and the WTO to indigenous youth, highlighting the role of indigenous youth as inheritors of cultural heritage.

“Indigenous youth should fully and effectively participate in decision making matters affecting them and their communities, as inheritors of the earth. As a wellspring of idealism, creativity and leadership, Indigenous youth can help in the overall campaign of oppressed peoples to end neoliberal globalisation and to junk the WTO,” Daguitan said. In his presentation, Daguitan identified land grabbing, development aggression, extractive industries, systematic discrimination, cheap labor and commodification of culture and education in indigenous territories as urgent issues affecting indigenous youth, who number about 67 million worldwide.

Following the rich sharing of stories and struggles  from other participants, the workshop declaration and draft action plan were discussed, containing the different issues and problems of the indigenous peoples regarding the WTO, indigenous Peoples demands to state and corporations, indigenous peoples alternative and the position to resist neoliberal globalization, assert self-determination and JUNK WTO.

The participants also agreed to the plan of action on how do we engage the WTO from Bali and beyond. This includes raising the awareness and understanding of the WTO and linking with other organizations that are seeking also to junk WTO.

Tom Goldtooth of the Indigenous Environment Network closed the program challenging the youth to further strengthen their unity, learn from the rich lessons of our struggles and be active in their communities and international to end the neoliberal globalization and JUNK WTO!***



Julius Caesar Daguitan

Asia Pacific Indigenous Youth Network (APIYN)