On December 3-6, 2013, the World Trade Organization (WTO) shall convene its ninth Ministerial Meeting (MC 9) in Bali, Indonesia. We expect the MC 9 to push for greater liberalization in agriculture, acceleration of least-developed countries (LDC) in the WTO, and expediting trade facilitation through restructuring of GATT articles on imports-exports and trade costs. At the same time, it shall attempt to mask the mal-development wrought by the WTO.

The commodification of nature and Mother Earth bounds to worsen if the WTO imposes more agreements. Neoliberal globalization and the WTO agreements have aggravated the multiple crises that we face today resulting in more violations of our collective rights as indigenous peoples to our lands, territories, resources, and self-determination. States enact, amend or repeal protective legislations on national industries, agriculture, and services that bar “free trade.” It legalizes liberalization, deregulation and privatization in compliance with WTO agreements and obligations. As a primary instrument of neoliberal globalization, the WTO further violates indigenous peoples’ permanent sovereignty, ownership, rightful control and management, access and benefit of their natural resources, lands, and territories.

Thus, it is for us to engage the WTO and free trade agreements and assert our collective rights, identity, and culture. In all multilateral and bilateral trade negotiations and agreements, our rights as enshrined in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, international human rights instruments, the Alta Outcome Document and other declarations must be recognized and upheld. We shall also intensify the defense of our lands, territories, waters and air.

We invite you to a series of activities on “Indigenous Peoples and the WTO: Resisting Globalization, Asserting Self-Determination” on December 2-6, 2013 in Bali, Indonesia. These activities are jointly organized by the International Indigenous Peoples Movement for Self-Determination and Liberation (IPMSDL), the Cordillera Peoples’ Alliance (CPA), Asia Pacific Indigenous Youth Network (APIYN), Centre for Research and Advocacy-Manipur, Committee on the Protection of Natural Resources in Manipur, Land is Life (LiL), the Archipelago Indigenous Youth Front-Indonesia (BPAN), Aliansi Masyarakat Adat Nusantara or AMAN, and the Asia Indigenous Peoples Network on Extractive Industries and Energy. The activities aim to gather indigenous peoples, IP advocates, environmental organizations, human rights organizations, and other civil society organizations (CSOs), with the following objectives:

1. Build deeper understanding and awareness on the WTO and neoliberal globalization, and its impacts on indigenous peoples. Position the struggles of indigenous peoples in the mainstream of the global campaign against WTO and globalization;

2. Act as a forum for exchange and learning on the impacts of WTO on indigenous peoples, and how we confront these. Forge solidarity among indigenous peoples and with other similarly affected sectors of society against neoliberal globalization; and

3. Formulate a Unity Statement of Indigenous Peoples that shall be submitted to the WTO MC 9 and shall be part of the PGC statement on WTO; and unite on an Action Plan in engaging the WTO and Neoliberalization.
Given these objectives, we are organizing a Workshop on Indigenous Peoples and the WTO on December 2-3, and a Public Forum on December 5. Please find the details of these activities, including other indigenous people’s activities in the attached Tentative Program.

We also invite you to the Peoples Global Camp against WTO and Neoliberalization (PGC) on December 3-6, 2013 as the overall CSO parallel activity to the WTO MC9. The PGC is a venue for collective learning, analysis and action against the WTO and Neoliberalization. It will be a hub where various organizations will conduct self-organized activities and contribute in the Camp’s plenary sessions where common goals and aspirations on alternatives to the current failed development model will be integrated. It will be held at the GOR Ngurah Rai Sports Center in Jalan Melati, Denpasar, Bali. Please find attached the information brochure for the People’s Global Camp.

Please contact the following for more information:

Chairperson, CPA

Administrator, APIYN

Coordinator, IPMSDL

President, BPAN