Solidarité internationale et luttes sociales en Afrique subsaharienne
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Europe/ACP - Accords de Cotonou - APE
Africa-Europe - What alternatives? Final Declaration
Towards Peoples Alternatives in Africa and Europe
9 December 2007
We, civil society activists engaged in a wide range of peoples’ movements and organisations in Africa and Europe met in Lisbon from 7-9 December 2007 to express our opposition and resistance to the neoliberal free trade and investment policies that European and African governments are implementing in our countries, and which they propose as a framework for the “Africa- EU Strategic Partnership”. While the leaders of two continents gathered in Lisbon to decide the future of Africa, we came together to further the social and political dialogue among our peoples because we defend our right to resist concretely and to propose alternatives, and we are confident of our capacity to put them into practice.
Both African and European participants noted the historical and contemporary role of European governments and corporations in Africa, and stressed that Europe constitutes the most direct source of threats and pressures on the peoples of Africa. We consider that the EU-AU Strategic Partnership represents a consistent and immediate threat for Africa and reject its principles and action plan.
During our wide-ranging exchanges of information and intense discussions on the four main areas of common concern we identified many crucial issues in the respective areas amongst which we prioritised the following key proposals.
On Economic development
Taking advantage of the external indebtedness of most African countries, European governments - acting in the IMF, the WB and more recently the WTO - have imposed radical structural adjustment programs on them. After more than two decades of trade liberalisation and the determined promotion of export-oriented economies, the liberalization of capital markets, the promotion of foreign investment, and the privatisation of public services in African countries, the negative effects are clearly evident and underpin our opposition to such policies and institutions. Most recently African (and Caribbean and Pacific) countries have been confronted with the reinforcement of such policies through the European Union’s proposed Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs).
In this context, we demand that
European governments end their imposition of destructive economic policies on African countries through the institutions of the IMF, WB, WTO and bilateral trade agreements
We call upon European citizens to reject the so-called Reform Treaty which reinforces the power of the European Commission in matters of trade and development and further reduces the capacity of citizens to influence democratically its policies.
On Food Sovereignty, agriculture and natural resources
We embrace the principle of food sovereignty which peoples’ movements throughout the world are building as an alternative to the neo-liberal model of corporate-controlled industrial agriculture and food production. Among the threats to communities’ rights to food and to produce food we denounce the following above all and we commit ourselves to fight jointly against them:
Liberalization of agriculture and trade through instruments such as structural adjustment, the neo-liberal reform of CAP, EPAs and the WTO Agreement on Agriculture
We defend the right of both African and European countries to support small scale farmers with public funds, provided that this support does not negatively affect other farmers outside their respective countries and regions.
On human rights
We denounce the support provided by EU to authoritarian and dictatorial regimes in Africa and the violations of human rights and the breaches of democracy that are frequent in Africa as well as in Europe. Conventions and guidelines exist but remain on paper. We call on all states of Africa and Europe and their regional organisations to serve democracy and human rights especially through the following commitments:
Support the development of a democratic culture particularly through transparent and credible electoral processes, with strong participation of civil society at all stages, from civic education up to the supervision of elections; in this perspective we condemn the responsibility of European Member states in international arms trade
the current migration policies are driven by security concerns and the exploitation of human beings, criminalize migrants and threaten their human and social rights both in Europe and Africa
The externalization of borders policy of the European Union which is imposed on the African governments for implementation
The policy of detention, expulsion and deportation and the readmission agreements
We demand that:
All migration policies be based on the recognition of the fundamental human rights and labour rights guaranteed in UN and ILO instruments and protocols, including the freedom of movement, and recognition, with asylum rights, of hunger and environmental refugees
These concerns and aspirations bring us together in Lisbon. We commit ourselves to strengthen interregional solidarity and cooperation among our social movements and organisations from Africa and Europe. We commit ourselves to joint resistance against neoliberal policies and to build people centred alternatives. In particular we continue to campaign together to
We will work towards new strategies for economic development based on solidarity, complementarity, peace and the realization of all human rights for peoples in Africa and Europe. We will use moments in the political calendar of African and European movements such as
to link our initiatives, build our alliances and create the conditions for a just world and for the ecological stability of our common global home.
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