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Call to Reject Any Proposal for Moving the MAI or an Investment Agreement to the WTO

List of Signatories to the Statement (last updated November 20, 1998)

  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 anbd Investment) to get developing countrie to agree to upgrade the present "discusions" 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.
A SEED Japan

Accao Ambiental para O Barlavento (Portugal)

Action Resource Center (USA)

AECO-Friends of the Earth Costa Rica

Africa Faith and Justice Network (AFJN)

Afro-Asiatisches Institut Salzburg (Austria)

Agora - Associatpo para projectos de Combate a Fome, Brasilia, Brazil

All India Association of Industries

Alliance for Democracy (USA)

Alliance for Justice, Medical Mission Sisters (USA)

Alternatieve Konsumenten Bond, The Netherlands

Alternative Information and Development Centre (South Africa)

Alternative Mediaoffice Dresden

ALTERNATIVREFERAT (Austrian Students Union, University for Agricultural Science)

Amazon Watch (USA)

American Lands, Washington DC

Amici della Terra (FoE Italy)

AMIGRANSA (Sociedad de Amigos en Defensa de la Gran Sabana, Venezuela)

ARGE Schopfungsverantwortung (Austria)

A-SEED Europe

Asia-Japan Women s Resource Center

Asian Indigenous Women s Network

Association of Organizations for Social and Educational Assistance (FASE, Brazil)

Barbara Allan-Shaw (FES, York University, Toronto, Ontario)

Baron Bradley, Chicago, Illinois

BC Spaces for Nature

Bioforum (Indonesia)

BIOTHAI (The Thai Network on Community Rights and Biodiversity)

Biowatch South Africa

Bob Olsen, Toronto, Ontario

Border Ecology Project, Arizona

Both ENDS (Netherlands)

British Columbia Teachers Federation (BCTF)

Bund FoE Germany

C.I.I.R. (UK)

California Fair Trade Campaign

Campaign Against Foreign Control of Aotearoa (CAFCA)

Canadian Environmental Law Association

Canadian Federation of Students - Manitoba

Canadians Concerned About Violence In Enterntainment

Carol Canterbury (Sea WA)

Caroline Dumonteil, Department of Planning, Oxford Brookes University (UK)

Cebu Environmental Initiatives for Development Center (CEIDEC), Inc. (Cebu City, The Philippines)

Center for Encounter and Active Nonviolence (Austria)

Center for Environmental Public Advocacy (Slovak Republic)

Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL), Washington D.C., USA

Central and Eastern European Bankwatch Network

Centre for Study of Global Patent System and Development (India)

Centro de Estudios Internacionales, Managua, Nicaragua

Centro Salvadoreo de Tecnologa Apropiada (CESTA)

Christian Aid

Christopher Keane, Sc. D., Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh

Citizens for a Democratic Renaissance (Ireland)

Claire Lhuillier

CNI/Minnesota

Coalition for Justice in the Maquiladoras, San Antonio, Texas

COCTS (Coordinaento delle organizzazioni non governative per la cooperazione internazionale allo sviluppo) Umbrella organisation for 27 development NGOs

Collectif Contre L AMI (French Coordination Centre against the MAI)

Columbian Fathers Justice and Peace Center

Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador (CISPES)

Committee on Monetary and Economic Reform (COMER)

Connecticut Green Party

Consumer Unity & Trust Society (CUTS), India

Consumers Association of Penang (Malaysia)

Consumers Union of Japan

Coordinamento Lecchese anti-MAI (Italy)

Corporate Europe Observatory

Corporate Watch (Oxford, UK)

Council for Responsible Genetics (USA)

Council of Canadians

Cumberland Countians for Peace & Justice, Tennessee

CUSO

Date T McKinley, South African Communist Party

Dean T Young, York University, Faculty of Environmental Studies, Ontorio

Defence of Canadian Liberty Committee

Defenders of Wildlife

DEI GRENG (Green Party of Luxembourg)

Democractice Socialists of America

Devon MAI Network (UK)

Diakonia, Sweden

Diverse Women for Diversity (India)

Earthwatch Friends of the Earth Ireland

Eco News Africa (Kenya)

Economic Justice Now (formerly Bay Area 50 Years Is Enough)

Economic Reform Australia (ERA)

ECOROPA

Ecumenical Coalition for Economic Justice

Elizabeth J Kumin, Prisons/Prisoners Rights

Enda Maghreb (Morocco)

Environmental Action Community (Montana)

Environmental Monitoring Group (South Africa)

Epicenter Boulder, Colorado, USA

Equipo Pueblo (Mexico)

Erklaerung von Bern - Berne Declaration

Essential Action

EURONATURE, Germany

European Federation of Green Parties

European marches comitee Dresden

Fair Deal Coalition NZ

Focus on Global South (Thailand)

Focus on the Global South

Forum of Parliamentarians on Intellectual Property and WTO Issues (India)

Foundation for Public Interest

Frank Lieser Hill, USA

freier zusammenschluss von student Innenschaften fzs (free federation of student unions) Federal Republic of Germany

Friends of Lily Lake

Friends of the Earth (England, Wales and N Ireland)

Friends of the Earth (USA)

Friends of the Earth Austria (SOL)

Friends of the Earth Belgium

Friends of the Earth El Salvador

Friends of the Earth Finland

Friends of the Earth International

Friends of the Earth Japan

Friends of the Earth Norway

Friends of the Earth Spain

Friends of the Earth Sweden

Friends of the Earth The Netherlands

Front Range Fair Trade Coalition, Colorado

Gaia Foundation (UK)

GATT WTO Campaign (Norway)

Genetic Resources Action International (GRAIN)

George Robinson, President, George Robinson Communications, New York

Georgia Greens Movement/FoE Georgia

German Forum for Environment and Development, WG Biodiversity

Germanwatch, North-South Initiative (Germany)

GLOBAL 2000, The Austrian Environmental Organisation

Global Exchange

Global Form on Sustainable Food and Nutritional Security, Brazil

Global Publications Foundation (Sweden)

Global Resource Action Center for the Environment (USA)

Global Trade Watch, Public Citizen (USA)

Green Action, Lancester University, UK

Green Highlands Project

Green Party of England and Wales

Habitat International Coalition

Halifax Initiative (coalition of 10 groups), Canada

Health Action International

Hnuti DUHA - FoE Czech Republic

Howard County Friends of Latin America (Columbia, MD USA)

Hugh Lewis, Attorney at Law

Hull on Earth

HUNUA Alliance (New Zealand)

Indigenous Peoples International Center for Policy Research and Education (TEBTEBBA, Philippines)

Initiative gegen das MAI an der Ruhr-Uni Bochum (Initiative against the MAI at the Ruhr-University Bochum, Germany)

Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy

Institute for Planetary Synthesis, Geneva, Switzerland

Institute for Sustainable Development (Ethiopia)

Institute of Alternative Policies for the Southern Cone of Latin America (PACS)

Instituto Brasileiro de Analises Sociais E Economicas (IBASE - The Brazilian Institute for Social and Economic Analysis)

Instituto del Tercer Mundo (ITeM, Uruguay)

Inter-Church Action (coalition of 6 Canadian churches based in Toronto)

International Association of Educators for World Peace

International Coalition of Development Action

International Labor Rights Fund

International Society for Ghandian Studies

ISMUN

James Mallet

James Wilson

Japan Catholic Council for Justice and Peace

JAPEC Monitor NGO Network (Japan)

Jeff Wilson, President, Wilson Computing, Missouri

Jonathan B Scourfield, Tutorial Fellow, School of Social and Administrative Studies, University of Wales, Cardiff

Jonathan Pattenden

Josh Karliner, Transnational Resource and Action Center (USA)

JustAct - Youth ACTion for Global JUSTice (formerly known as the Overseas Development Network)

Kairos Europe - Towards a Europe for Justice, Germany

Kentucky Appalachian Ministry Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)

Kettle Range Conservation Group Republic, WA

KONPHALINDO (Indonesia)

Labor/Community Alliance (Central California Jobs with Justice)

Latin America Solidarity Committee Aotearoa (New Zealand)

Laurie Winogrand, Seattle

Legal Alternatives for Women Center (LAW), Inc. (Cebu, The Philippines)

Lithuanian Green Movement/Friends of the Earth (Lithuania)

London Human Rights Forum

Los Angeles/Orange County Legislative Committee, Uniterd Steelworkers of America AFI-CIO-CLC

M. Henri Day, Oslo

Macrin Desa, Romanian coordinator, CEE Bankwatch Network, Romania

MAI al M.A.I. Italian Campaign

MAI-free-Innsbruck, Austria

Maine Green Party

Marcus Colchester, Forest Peoples Programme

Maria Mies, Committee Resistance against the MAI (Germany)

Maria Vittoria Migaleddu and Ajkabache Dyaa, Italy

MATA G. Berlin, Germany

Maurizio Farhan Ferrari, World Rainforest Movement (UK)

Michel Chossudovsky, Dept of Economics, University of Ottawa

Minnesota Fair Trade Coalition

Mitchell Plitnick, Middle East Children s Alliance, Berkeley, California

Nancy Allen (Co-Chair), Maine Green Party (USA)

National Campaign against the MAI in Canada

National Society of Conservationists/Friends of the Earth (Hungary)

National Wildlife Federation (USA)

National Working Group on Patent Laws (India)

Neckargemund Talks of Women And Environment

Network Women in Development Europe (WIDE)

New Jersey Fair Trade Coalition

Northern Rockies Preservation Project

NZ University Students Assn.

Observatoire de la Mondialisation

Office of the Americas, Los Angeles

Ohio Fair Trade Campaign

Oil Alert Network (Orinoco Oilwatch, Venezuela)

ONE DAY Foundation, United Nations Youth Assembly Project

OPIRG-Carleton

OPIRG-Ottawa

Oscar Zamora, University of the Philippines Los Banos (the Philippines)

Pacific Asia Resource Center (Japan)

Partido Comunista de los Pueblos de Espanya (PCPF)

Pennsylvania Consumer Action Network

Pennsylvania Fair Trade Campaign

People Against Corporate Takeover (PACT)

People s Decade of Human Rights Education

People-Centered Development Forum (USA)

Peoples Forum 2001 (Japan)

Pesticide Action Network North America

Peter T Connick, Seattle

Platform Vorarlberg for an MAI-free Austria

Play Fair Europe (Germany)

Polaris Institute (Canada)

Polish Ecological Club, Friends of the Earth Poland

Proutist Universal, Inc, (North America)

Public Information Network (USA)

Public Interest Research Group (India)

Rainforest Action Network (USA)

Rainforest Information Center (USA)

Red Green Alliance, Denmark

Red Mexicana de Accion Frente al Libre Comercio (RMALC)

Red Thread (Guyana)

Religious of the Sacred Heart International Commission for Justice and Peace

Resource Center of the Americas

Rittenhouse, Toronto

Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center, Boulder, Colorado

Roman Havlicek, Slatinka Association, Slovak Republic

Rural Advancement Foundation International (Canada)

Rural Association For Mutual Support-ORAM (Mozambique)

Salzburg Action-Forum against the MAI (Austria)

Sander van Bennekom, Tools for Transition, Netherlands

Saral Sarkar, Committee Resistance against the MAI (Germany)

Sarawak Campaign Committee (Japan)

Saskia Ozinga, FERN (UK)

Scalabrini Migration Center, Philippines

Seedcorn Council

Sequoia Forest Alliance, Weldon, California

Sheila Ruth Goldner, USA

Silvio De Nigris, Italy

Sipho Moyo, African Development Bank

Sisters of Mercy U.S. Province

Sisters of St Joseph of Carondelet, Albany Province

Sisters of the Holy Names, California Province Justice & Peace Committee

SODA (Solidaridad desde afuera)

SOL Communications (USA)

SOLIFONDS, Switzerland

Southern African Traditional Leaders Council for the Management of Natural Resources

Southern and Eastern African Trade, Information & Negotiations Initiative (SEATINI)

Southern Appalachian Biodiversity Project

Steve Hanrahan, Portland, OR

Steve Orel, Birmingham Rank & File Project, AL

STOP MAI (Australia)

Student Action Network, University of Oklahoma

Suedwind-Association for information and education on development politics - Niederoesterreich-West (Austria)

Sustainable Alternatives to the Global Economy (SAGE)

Swedish Society for Nature Conservation

Thalia Syracopoulos, Seattle

The Africa Groups of Sweden, Stockholm

The Appalachian Peace and Justice Network, Ohio, USA

The Austrian Mountain Farmers Association (Oesterreichische Bergbauernvereinigung) member of European Farmers Coordination (CPE)

The Center for Energy Research, Salem, OR

The Corner House (UK)

The Cross Border Network for Justice and Solidarity of Kansas City

The Ecologist (UK)

The Ecumenical Service for Socio-Economic Transformation (ESSET) South Africa

The Edmonds Institute (USA)

The Foundation for Global Dialogue, Johannesburg, South Africa

The Group for Environmental Monitoring, South Africa

The Lancaster Greens/Lancaster Women In Black/PA Green Party, Pennsylvania

The Metro-Detroit Alliance for Democracy

The Pesticide Trust, London

The Preamble Center

The Sierra Club, Washington D.C.

The Socialist Youth League of Norway

The United Church of Christ Network for Environmental and Economic Responsibility, USA

Theo Ruyter, MFI coordinator Both ENDS, Netherlands

Third World Forum (international, Senegal)

Third World Network

Tom Kucharz, Newspaper YA BASTA

Towards a Different Europe

Transnational Institute (TNI), Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Trinity One World Society (Dublin, Ireland)

UBINIG (Bangladesh)

Unitarian Church of St Catharines, Ontario, Canada

Unitarian Universalists for a Just Economic Community (National), Pennsylvania

United Metal Workers Union (Turkey)

University at Buffalo Environmental Network

Urgewald (Germany)

Voice of Irish Concern for the Environment (VOICE), Dublin

Voice of the Environment (V.O.T.E.), Bolinas, California

Washington Biotechnology Action Council (USA)

Wastewise (Halton Hills) Community Resource Centre (Canada)

Watch Indonesia

WATER FOR ALL (NZ)

WEED-World Economy, Ecology and Development Association (Germany)

Wild Alabama Inc.

Witness for Peace, Southwest Office

Women s Environment and Development Organisation

Women s Institute for Freedom of the Press (WIFP), Washington D.C.

Women s International League for Peace and Freedom

Work Environmental Council of New Jersey

Workers Advice Center (WAC), Nazareth, Israel

World Development Movement (UK)

World Information Transfer

World YWCA

Yayori Matsui (Japan)

(As of November 20, 1998)

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