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CALL TO REJECT ANY PROPOSAL FOR MOVING THE MAI OR  AN INVESTMENT AGREEMENT TO THE WTO


1. The Multilateral Agreement on Investment in the OECD has run into problems because of strong public protests in many OECD countries as well as objections from developing-country groups and governments. Objections from the public include that the MAI would grant new unprecedented rights for corporations (whilst removing the authority of states to place obligations or regulations on them), threaten national sovereignty and the viability of domestic firms and farms, remove conditions for development in the South and magnify environmental and social problems. Since there is no sign that the OECD governments are willing to consider a basic change in the premises and framework of the MAI, we call for the termination of the negotiations and the treaty in the OECD.

2. We are very concerned by the moves of some OECD governments, including the European Union, to move the MAI process to the World Trade Organisation (WTO). The North countries have recently been pushing very hard in the WTO (including its Working Group on Trade and Investment) to get developing countries to agree to upgrade the present 'discussions' into negotiations for an MAI-type agreement.  They hope to get the Working Group to decide on this perhaps as early as at its next meeting in November 1998.

3. Some of the North countries claim this will make it fairer for developing countries and, moreover, environmental and labour concerns will be taken care of in the WTO. We reject these claims. Instead, shifting the investment issue to the WTO will place great pressure on developing countries to negotiate and eventually join an agreement that would have disastrous effects on their development prospects. Moreover, promises to include environmental and social concerns are likely to be only an eyewash to co-opt the public to accept the basic tenets of the MAI. The strong enforcement capability of the WTO through its dispute settlement system will also mean that all countries, especially developing countries, will be forced to comply. Domestic laws and policies in a wide range of issues will have to be changed, even if these were to cause job losses, closure of local enterprises and farms, financial instability, balance of payments deficits and environmental deterioration.

4. We therefore call on all governments, OECD and non-OECD alike, to reject any proposal to negotiate an investment agreement in the WTO. The trade and investment working group in the WTO should be confined to ONLY STUDY the trade and investment relation and should not be 'upgraded' into a NEGOTIATING forum for an investment AGREEMENT. The proposals by the EU and other major countries to start a 'Millennium Round' or a 'comprehensive future agenda' for the WTO should not be used as a devise to sneak in an investment negotiation process in the WTO.

5. On principle, we are against the kind of assumptions and framework that the MAI represents. As public knowledge on the MAI increases, many more people are rejecting this approach. We call on governments, international agencies and NGOs not to accept the MAI or a similar investment approach as inevitable or a 'given' but instead to choose a basically different approach in dealing with the investment issue.

6. Towards this alternative approach, we call for global and national guidelines, rules and regulations to place obligations on investors and corporations so that their activities and products serve the needs of people within a framework of internationally fair, socially just and environmentally sound development.


List of signatories:

1. Third World Network
2. ECOROPA
3. Observatoire de la Mondialisation
4. Collectif Contre L'AMI (French Coordination Centre against the MAI)
5. Council of Canadians
6. Health Action International
7. National Campaign against the MAI in Canada
8. Global Trade Watch, Public Citizen (USA)
9. Friends of the Earth (USA)
10. International Coalition of Development Action
11. People's Decade of Human Rights Education
12. Habitat International Coalition
13. Citizens for a Democratic Renaissance (Ireland)
14. Women's Environment and Development Organisation
15. Red Thread (Guyana)
16. Friends of the Earth International
17. National Wildlife Federation (USA)
18. Eco News Africa (Kenya)
19. Alternative Information and Development Centre (South Africa)
20. Global Publications Foundation (Sweden)
21. Peoples' Forum 2001 (Japan)
22. Focus on Global South (Thailand)
23. WEED-World Economy, Ecology and Development Association (Germany)
24. Germanwatch, North-South Initiative (Germany)
25. Polaris Institute (Canada)
26. Consumers Association of Penang (Malaysia)
27. UBINIG (Bangladesh)
28. Council for Responsible Genetics (USA)
29. Washington Biotechnology Action Council (USA)
30. GATT WTO Campaign (Norway)
31. Network Women in Development Europe (WIDE)
32. Oscar Zamora, University of the Philippines Los Banos (the Philippines)
33. All India Association of Industries
34. A-SEED Europe
35. Biowatch South Africa
36. Genetic Resources Action International (GRAIN)
37. Institute for Sustainable Development (Ethiopia)
38. Women's International League for Peace and Freedom
39. Southern African Traditional Leaders' Council for the Management of Natural Resources
40. C.I.I.R. (UK)
41. Gaia Foundation (UK)
42. Forum of Parliamentarians on Intellectual Property and WTO Issues (India)
43. National Working Group on Patent Laws (India)
44. Centre for Study of Global Patent System and Development (India)
45. Amazon Watch (USA)
46. Towards a Different Europe
47. Corporate Europe Observatory
48. Friends of the Earth The Netherlands
49. The Corner House (UK)
50. Asia-Japan Women's Resource Center
51. Instituto Brasileiro de Analises Sociais E Economicas (IBASE - The Brazilian Institute for Social and Economic Analysis)
52. Indigenous Peoples' International Center for Policy Research and Education (TEBTEBBA, Philippines)
53. Asian Indigenous Women's Network
54. Lithuanian Green Movement/Friends of the Earth (Lithuania)
55. The Edmonds Institute (USA)
56. Friends of the Earth Sweden
57. Center for Environmental Public Advocacy (Slovak Republic)
58. Campaign Against Foreign Control of Aotearoa (CAFCA)
59. Pacific Asia Resource Center (Japan)
60. Central and Eastern European Bankwatch Network
61. National Society of Conservationists/Friends of the Earth (Hungary)
62. A SEED Japan
63. ALTERNATIVREFERAT (Austrian Students Union, University for Agricultural Science)
64. Yayori Matsui (Japan)
65. CUSO
66. JAPEC Monitor NGO Network (Japan)
67. Canadian Environmental Law Association
68. Institute of Alternative Policies for the Southern Cone of Latin America (PACS)
69. Sarawak Campaign Committee (Japan)
70. Alliance for Justice, Medical Mission Sisters (USA)
71. Alliance for Democracy (USA)
72. Josh Karliner, Transnational Resource and Action Center (USA)
73. Nancy Allen (Co-Chair), Maine Green Party (USA)
74. Bioforum (Indonesia)
75. Foundation for Public Interest
76. People-Centered Development Forum (USA)
77. The Ecologist (UK)
78. World YWCA
79. Urgewald (Germany)
80. Rainforest Information Center (USA)
81. ISMUN
82. International Society for Ghandian Studies
83. Religious of the Sacred Heart International Commission for Justice and Peace
84. World Development Movement (UK)
85. Accao Ambiental para O Barlavento (Portugal)
86. AMIGRANSA (Sociedad de Amigos en Defensa de la Gran Sabana, Venezuela)
87. Oil Alert Network (Orinoco Oilwatch, Venezuela)
88. Public Information Network (USA)
89. SOL Communications (USA)
90. World Information Transfer
91. Action Resource Center (USA)
92. Global Resource Action Center for the Environment (USA)
93. Proutist Universal, Inc, (North America)
94. KONPHALINDO (Indonesia)
95. Environmental Monitoring Group (South Africa)
96. Watch Indonesia
97. Saskia Ozinga, FERN (UK)
98. Maurizio Farhan Ferrari, World Rainforest Movement (UK)
99. Marcus Colchester, Forest Peoples Programme
100. Association of Organizations for Social and Educational Assistance (FASE, Brazil)
101. Play Fair Europe (Germany)
102. Third World Forum (international, Senegal)
103. Rainforest Action Network (USA)
104. Center for Encounter and Active Nonviolence (Austria)
105. Platform Vorarlberg for an MAI-free Austria
106. Afro-Asiatisches Institut Salzburg (Austria)
107. Sipho Moyo, African Development Bank
108. Enda Maghreb (Morocco)
109. ARGE Schopfungsverantwortung (Austria)
110. Diverse Women for Diversity (India)
111. BIOTHAI (The Thai Network on Community Rights and Biodiversity)
112. German Forum for Environment and Development, WG Biodiversity
113. Neckargemund Talks of Women And Environment
114. United Metal Workers Union (Turkey)
115. Equipo Pueblo (Mexico)
116. Red Mexicana de Accion Frente al Libre Comercio (RMALC)
117. Pesticide Action Network North America
118. Both ENDS (Netherlands)
119. The Foundation for Global Dialogue, Johannesburg, South Africa
120. London Human Rights Forum
121. Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy
122. Instituto del Tercer Mundo (ITeM, Uruguay)
123. Partido Comunista de los Pueblos de Espanya (PCPF)
124. Essential Action
125. The Preamble Center
126. Los Angeles/Orange County Legislative Committee, United Steelworkers of America AFI-CIO-CLC
127. Economic Reform Australia (ERA)
128. Jeff Wilson, President, Wilson Computing, Missouri
129. Epicenter Boulder, Colorado, USA
130. Focus on the Global South
131. Claire Lhuillier
132. Green Party of England and Wales
133. Red Green Alliance, Denmark
134. The United Church of Christ Network for Environmental and Economic Responsibility, USA
135. M. Henri Day, Oslo
136. The Appalachian Peace and Justice Network, Ohio, USA
137. Kairos Europe - Towards a Europe for Justice, Germany
138. Africa Faith and Justice Network (AFJN)
139. Theo Ruyter, MFI coordinator Both ENDS, Netherlands
140. Sisters of St Joseph of Carondelet, Albany Province
141. Democractice Socialists of America
142. Jonathan B Scourfield, Tutorial Fellow, School of Social and Administrative Studies, University of Wales, Cardiff
143. Amici della Terra (FoE Italy)
144. Pennsylvania Consumer Action Network
145. Pennsylvania Fair Trade Campaign
146. Thalia Syracopoulos, Seattle
147. Minnesota Fair Trade Coalition
148. Resource Center of the Americas
149. New Jersey Fair Trade Coalition
150. STOP MAI (Australia)
151. Wastewise (Halton Hills) Community Resource Centre (Canada)
152. The Pesticide Trust, London
153. Front Range Fair Trade Coalition, Colorado
154. Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center, Boulder, Colorado
155. Economic Justice Now (formerly Bay Area 50 Years Is Enough)
156. Latin America Solidarity Committee Aotearoa (New Zealand)
157. Legal Alternatives for Women Center (LAW), Inc. (Cebu, The Philippines)
158. Cebu Environmental Initiatives for Development Center (CEIDEC), Inc. (Cebu City, The Philippines)
159. Michel Chossudovsky, Dept of Economics, University of Ottawa
160. Women's Institute for Freedom of the Press (WIFP), Washington D.C.
161. Canadians Concerned About Violence In Enterntainment
162. Alternatieve Konsumenten Bond, The Netherlands
163. COCTS (Coordinaento delle organizzazioni non governative per la cooperazione internazionale allo sviluppo) Umbrella organisation for 27 development NGOs
164. Maine Green Party
165. Defence of Canadian Liberty Committee
166. Connecticut Green Party
167. MATA G. Berlin, Germany
168. Scalabrini Migration Center, Philippines
169. Border Ecology Project, Arizona
170. Global Exchange
171. Seedcorn Council
172. Ohio Fair Trade Campaign
173. Northern Rockies Preservation Project
174. Dean T Young, York University, Faculty of Environmental Studies, Ontorio
175. Maria Mies, Committee Resistance against the MAI (Germany)
176. Saral Sarkar, Committee Resistance against the MAI (Germany)
177. Sisters of the Holy Names, California Province Justice & Peace Committee
178. Baron Bradley, Chicago, Illinois
179. Labor/Community Alliance (Central California Jobs with Justice)
180. EURONATURE, Germany
181. Transnational Institute (TNI), Amsterdam, The Netherlands
182. Coordinamento Lecchese anti-MAI (Italy)
183. European Federation of Green Parties
184. Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL), Washington D.C., USA
185. SOLIFONDS, Switzerland
186. Corporate Watch (Oxford, UK)
187. GLOBAL 2000, The Austrian Environmental Organisation
188. Green Highlands Project
189. Southern Appalachian Biodiversity Project
190. People Against Corporate Takeover (PACT)
191. Christopher Keane, Sc. D., Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh
192. Friends of the Earth (England, Wales and N Ireland)
193. Global Form on Sustainable Food and Nutritional Security, Brazil
194. Agora - Associatpo para projectos de Combate a Fome, Brasilia, Brazil
195. Sisters of Mercy U.S. Province
196. Unitarian Universalists for a Just Economic Community (National), Pennsylvania
197. Roman Havlicek, Slatinka Association, Slovak Republic
198. Centro Salvadoreo de Tecnologa Apropiada (CESTA)
199. Friends of the Earth El Salvador
200. Suedwind-Association for information and education on development politics - Niederoesterreich-West (Austria)
201. Voice of the Environment (V.O.T.E.), Bolinas, California
202. Carol Canterbury (Sea WA)
203. Laurie Winogrand, Seattle
204. Peter T Connick, Seattle
205. Hnuti DUHA - FoE Czech Republic
206. Georgia Greens Movement/FoE Georgia
207. Macrin Desa, Romanian coordinator, CEE Bankwatch Network, Romania
208. AECO-Friends of the Earth Costa Rica
209. Friends of the Earth Spain
210. Bund FoE Germany
211. Friends of the Earth Belgium
212. Cumberland Countians for Peace & Justice, Tennessee
213. Trinity One World Society (Dublin, Ireland)
214. Barbara Allan-Shaw (FES, York University, Toronto, Ontario)
215. Friends of the Earth Austria (SOL)
216. Silvio De Nigris, Italy
217. Earthwatch Friends of the Earth Ireland
218. The Ecumenical Service for Socio-Economic Transformation (ESSET) South Africa
219. Halifax Initiative (coalition of 10 groups), Canada
220. Centro de Estudios Internacionales, Managua, Nicaragua
221. Sander van Bennekom, Tools for Transition, Netherlands
222. Friends of the Earth Finland
223. The Lancaster Greens/Lancaster Women In Black/PA Green Party, Pennsylvania
224. Student Action Network, University of Oklahoma
225. The Sierra Club, Washington D.C.
226. CNI/Minnesota
227. JustAct - Youth ACTion for Global JUSTice (formerly known as the Overseas Development Network)
228. ONE DAY Foundation, United Nations Youth Assembly Project
229. Canadian Federation of Students - Manitoba
230. Ecumenical Coalition for Economic Justice
231. Erklaerung von Bern - Berne Declaration
232. DEI GRENG (Green Party of Luxembourg)
233. Workers Advice Center (WAC), Nazareth, Israel
234. The Austrian Mountain Farmers Association (Oesterreichische Bergbauernvereinigung) - member of European Farmers Coordination (CPE)
235. George Robinson, President, George Robinson Communications, New York
236. Environmental Action Community (Montana)
237. Howard County Friends of Latin America (Columbia, MD USA)
238. Sustainable Alternatives to the Global Economy (SAGE)
239. Green Action, Lancester University, UK
240. American Lands, Washington DC
241. Elizabeth J Kumin, Prisons/Prisoners' Rights
242. The Metro-Detroit Alliance for Democracy
243. The Center for Energy Research, Salem, OR
244. University at Buffalo Environmental Network
245. Office of the Americas, Los Angeles
246. International Association of Educators for World Peace
247. Witness for Peace, Southwest Office
248. Sequoia Forest Alliance, Weldon, California
249. Work Environmental Council of New Jersey
250. Bob Olsen, Toronto, Ontario
251. Friends of the Earth Norway
252. Sheila Ruth Goldner, USA
253. Jonathan Pattenden
254. MAI al M.A.I. Italian Campaign
255. HUNUA Alliance (New Zealand)
256. WATER FOR ALL (NZ)
257. Fair Deal Coalition NZ
258. NZ University Students Assn.
259. MAI-free-Innsbruck, Austria
260. Salzburg Action-Forum against the MAI (Austria)
261. Friends of the Earth Japan
262. Committee on Monetary and Economic Reform (COMER)
263. Diakonia, Sweden
264. Caroline Dumonteil, Department of Planning, Oxford Brookes University (UK)
265. California Fair Trade Campaign
266. Date T McKinley, South African Communist Party
267. Rittenhouse, Toronto
268. Hull on Earth
269. The Group for Environmental Monitoring, South Africa
270. Consumers Union of Japan
271. Mitchell Plitnick, Middle East Children's Alliance, Berkeley, California
272. The Cross Border Network for Justice and Solidarity of Kansas City
273. Maria Vittoria Migaleddu and Ajkabache Dyaa, Italy
274. Consumer Unity & Trust Society (CUTS), India
275. Steve Hanrahan, Portland, OR
276. Coalition for Justice in the Maquiladoras, San Antonio, Texas
277. Institute for Planetary Synthesis, Geneva, Switzerland
278. Devon MAI Network (UK)
279. OPIRG-Carleton
280. OPIRG-Ottawa
281. Polish Ecological Club, Friends of the Earth Poland
282. Initiative gegen das MAI an der Ruhr-Uni Bochum (Initiative against the MAI at the Ruhr-University Bochum, Germany)
283. Kettle Range Conservation Group Republic, WA
284. Defenders of Wildlife
285. Wild Alabama Inc.
286. British Columbia Teachers' Federation (BCTF)
287. Columbian Fathers Justice and Peace Center
288. Public Interest Research Group (India)
289. Tom Kucharz, Newspaper YA BASTA
290. European marches comitee Dresden
291. SODA (Solidaridad desde afuera)
292. Alternative Mediaoffice Dresden
293. Japan Catholic Council for Justice and Peace
294. Swedish Society for Nature Conservation
295. Voice of Irish Concern for the Environment (VOICE), Dublin
296. Southern and Eastern African Trade, Information & Negotiations Initiative (SEATINI)
297. Inter-Church Action (coalition of 6 Canadian churches based in Toronto)
298. Christian Aid
299. The Socialist Youth League of Norway
300. Rural Advancement Foundation International (Canada)
301. International Labor Rights Fund
302. Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador (CISPES)
303. Frank Lieser Hill, USA
304. Rural Association For Mutual Support-ORAM (Mozambique)
305. The Africa Groups of Sweden, Stockholm
306. Kentucky  Appalachian Ministry - Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
307. Hugh Lewis, Attorney-at-Law
308. Friends of Lily Lake
309. Steve Orel, Birmingham Rank & File Project, AL
310. James Mallet
311. BC Spaces for Nature
312. James Wilson
313. Unitarian Church of St Catherines, Ontario, Canada
314. Freier zusammenschluss von student Innenschaften fzs (free federation of student unions), Federal  Republic of Germany
315. Citizens for Alternatives to Chemical Contamination (CACC), USA
316. Economic Security Project
317. The International Society for Ecology and Culture (UK)
318. Albertans Against the MAI, Edmonton, Alberta
319. Student Organized Resistance Movement (STORM), Edmonton, Alberta
320. The Green Party of Canada
321. The Global Compliance Research Project (Canada)
322. The Swedish Youth Association for Nature Studies
323. Actionaid Brasil, Brazil
324. The Green Alternatives Institute of Alberta (G.A.I.A.), Canada
325. PAN Indonesia
326. The Greenbelt Committee
327. Uganda Debt Network
328. Foro Boliviano Sobre Medio Ambeinte Y Desarrolo (FOBOMADE)
329. American Association of Workplace Persons
330. Friends of the Earth Middle East
331. Marie Sutter - The Grail (USA)
332. Finnish Association for Nature Conservation, Helsinki, Finland
333. The Institute for Global Futures Research, Australia
334. Queens Bay Residents Association, Nelson, BC
335. Daryl P Domning, Professor of Anatomy, Howard University, Washington DC
336. Philip D Williams
337. Barbara M Williams
338. Southern Marmara Environment Association-G_MED-Turkey
339. Civil Initiative Against Chemical Mining-KMDAKS-Turkey
340. Association of Financial Advisors and Accountants, Turkey
341. The Platform Against Privatisation, Turkey
342. Stuart Hutchinson, Treasurer, Green Party of New Jersey, USA
343. Asia Pacific Center for Justice and Peace, Washington DC
344. Health Alliance International, Seattle, Washington, USA
345. Caribbean Network for Integrated Rural Development
346. Associazione Ad Gentes, Pavia, Italy
347. Democracy Watch
348. The Greens/Green Party USA
349. Center of Concern, Washington DC
350. Union Nacional de Organizaciones Regionales Campesinas Autonomas (UNORCA), Mexico
351. Alberta Greens (Green Party of Alberta)
352. Edmonton Friends of the North Environmental Society
353. De Fabel van den Illegaal (The Netherlands) - Dutch anti-MAI campaign
354. BC Conference World Development Education Unit of the United Church of Canada
355. Women's International League for Peace and Freecom (WILPF) BC Branch, Canada
356. International Association of Democratic Lawyers (IADL)
357. Society of the Sacred Heart (Canada)
358. Green Party of NM
359. Corvallis Area Forest Issues Group (CAFIG), Oregon
360. NeoSynthesis Research Center, Mirahawatte, Sri Lanka
361. Rainforest Rescue International, Quito, Ecuador
362. Women & Work, Berkeley, California
363. Oxfam-Wereldwinkels, Belgium
364. Canadian Auto Workers (CAW)
365. Friends of the Siberian Forests (FSF)
366. Sardis Secondary School's Human Rights Group (Canada)
367. Association Working Against Keweenaw Exploitation (AWAKE)
368. Keweenaw Bioregion Chapter of the Alliance for Democracy
369. Cortes Island Forest Committee
370. Italian Campaign anti-MAI - Dire mai al M.A.I. (Italy)
371. Working Group Against MAI in Turkey
372. Geoffrey Chan, Hong Kong
373. Coordinating Committee of the Association of State Green Parties
374. Poldi Meindl, President, Maples of Canada Consulting Inc., Burnaby, BC, Canada
375. LINK, London
376. GATT Watchdog
377. Global Sisterhood Network, Australia
378. Ed Scott
379. Internationales Menschenrechtsverein, Bremen, Germany
380. Richmond L Gardner, Florida, USA
381. Randy Cover, North East, Maryland
382. Ron Bowman, Queensland, Australia
383. Margarete Wetrhus, University of East Anglia
384. Bruce Wolcott, Web Editor, Seattle Independent Media Coalition
385. Korsvei, Norway
386. Tiago M. Bevilqua, Sao Paulo, Brazil
387. ATTAC-Ireland
388. Andreas Rockstein, Saarbruecken, Germany
389. Remi Brulin, France
390. Lea Dutton, Global Stewards, USA
391. The Farm Connection, Vermont, USA
392. Samajavadi Jana Parishad, India
393. Dr Yves Ekoue Amaizo
394. Windsor Area MAI-Day Coalition for Human Rights
395. Concerned Citizens
396. Theresa O'Connell
397. SAVE OUR WORLD (UK)
398. NSPU, Indonesia
399. Richard B Wilcox, Japan
400. Nelia Rodriguez
401. Patrick B Cannon, Labour Education and Action Project, Georgia State University
402. Michael J Sackin
403. Pascale Bonnefoy, Santiago, Chile
404. Jo Wainer, M.A., Senior Lecturer, Monash University Centre for Rural Health, Australia
405. Costas Giannakenas MD PhD, Greece
406. Posibilidad, USA
407. Wahida Shah, Kenya
408. Gregory D Kipling, MA, Equity Research Group, Ottawa, Canada
409. STOPMAI, Queensland, Australia
410. Shahana S Ahmed, Kenya
411. Bent Haagerup, Appropriate Environment Technology, Canada
412. Ronald Labonte, PhD, Saskatoon, Canada
413. African Development Education Network (Aden), Zimbabwe
414. Robert Shaw, Germany

(As at 7 September 1999)

(Please send your sign-ons to mstrand@citizen.org or to Third World Network at twn@igc.apc.org )

 


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