archives of global protests - archives des protestations mondiales - archivos de los protestos globales -

globalization alphabet soup

FAO Food and Agriculture Organisation
subsidary organization of the UN. The FAO stated mission is to protect the interests of the small farmers in the Third World. Instead, the FAO Chief publicly supported the biotechnology industry to influence the decisions of the G-8 Summit at Okinawa, where genetically engineered food was an issue. In addition, a leaked internal document of Monsanto, the largest biotech corporation, reveals how it has systematically influenced FAO and WHO confirming the corporate hijacking of the UN. Furthermore, the FAO World Food Program (WFP) set up to feed the hungry is being used to dump GE foods rejected by Northern consumers, on women and children in the Third World. The financial resources meant for providing the poor with safe, adequate and culturally appropriate food are being transformed into a subsidy for the biotech industry.

FDI Foreign Direct Investment
Direct investment by a transnational corporation (TNC). following the neoliberal rhetoric FDI should replace all former sorts of development aid.
The MAI, and now the investment proposals before the WTO, are pushed on the basis that, without an attractive (i.e. deregulated) investment regime, nations will not attract FDI and will not 'develop'. This concept is bogus on two counts. First, FDI is not necessarily beneficial and does not necessarily result in 'development' or increased employment. Second, there is no link between deregulating foreign investment rules and attracting FDI.

Free Trade
"Free Trade" within the use of neoliberal rhetoric has nothing to do with freedom or democracy. "freedom in trade" means free access for western business to markets in "poorer" countries. It means the right to explore human and natural ressources, at least it is a new kind of colonialism.
Free trade theory is based on the immobility of capital. Yet in 1997 some $400 billion moved around the globe as direct investments. Also, the currency crisis that hit South East Asia in 1997 saw massive 'capital flight', resulting in, for example, the Malaysian stock market losing 40% of its value (some M$250 billion) in just six months.
Free market theory is based on the ideal of 'perfect competition' where, amongst other things, there is perfect knowledge about all products and markets, all prices reflect the true costs - economic, social and environmental - of a product and there are no monopolies, oligopolies or cartels. This just does not happen.

FTAA Free Trade Area of the Americas (spanish: ALCA)
The FTAA, currently being negotiated by 34 countries of the Americas (all american states with the exception of Cuba) and expected to be implemented by 2005, is intended by its architects to be the most far-reaching trade agreement in history. Although it is based on the model of the NAFTA, it goes far beyond NAFTA in its scope and power. The FTAA, as it now stands, would introduce into the Western Hemisphere all the disciplines of the proposed services agreement of the WTO - the GATS - with the powers of the failed MAI, to create a new trade powerhouse with sweeping new authority over every aspect of life in Canada and the Americas.
meetings: Quebec 2001 Quito Ecuador 2002
read: FTAA - ALCA - ZLEA

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