In time for the second High-Level Meeting of the Global Partnership for Effective Cooperation in Nairobi, Kenya, we at the the People’s Coalition for Food Sovereignty or PCFS prepared a research which we published with the title “Aiding Militarism and Neoliberal Subversion of Agriculture.”
The publication sought to showcase the role of international aid in situations of national conflict, particularly in relation to issues of militarism and food sovereignty. It contains four case studies from four global regions: Colombia from Latin America and the Caribbean, Ethiopia from East Africa, Pakistan from South Asia, and Palestine from Middle East and North Africa.
The case studies were researched and prepared by competent research institutions that are experts on the said national conflicts, having closely observed the latter for a long period: the Bolivian Grupo de Trabajo Cambio Climático y Justicia or GTCCJ and the Guatemalan Asociacion Raxcho’ch’ Oxlaju AJ or AROAJ for Colombia, Anywaa Survival Organisation for Ethiopia, Roots for Equity for Pakistan, and Arab Group for the Protection of Nature or APN for Palestine.
The PCFS believes that the Global Partnership’s HLM2 should pay attention to the common threads that tie together these case studies:
(1) All the governments which act as the dominant entities in the national conflicts are important geopolitically for the US and other Western powers.
(2) All the said governments exhibit a high degree of militarism and repression and are accused of committing widespread and grave human rights violations, including violations of the rights of food sovereignty groups and activists.
(3) There is immense international military aid for the said governments, despite accusations of widespread and grave human rights violations.
(4) There is a considerable level of humanitarian assistance for the said governments as a result of the long-standing national conflicts.
(5) Economic realities in these countries show that the dominant entities in the national conflicts are implementing policies that attack food sovereignty, in further strengthening the control of big international corporations over agriculture, food systems and national economies.
(6) The research institutions that contributed to the research publication agree that international aid supporting militarism and attacks on food sovereignty do not at all benefit the peasants, indigenous peoples and peoples of the countries embroiled in national conflicts.
We are glad that while the Global Partnership recognizes the progress made in seeking to attain the Millenium Development Goals, it recognizes that much, much work has to be done, especially in countries that are “affected by war, conflict and fragility.”
The case studies above show that:
(1) The national sovereignty of the countries discussed must be upheld and foreign control over them should be ended.
(2) Countries should be allowed to define their development priorities and to uphold food sovereignty; and foreign dictates on these matters must end.
(3) International aid that’s being used for militarism, repression and human-rights violations should be stopped, and the rights of groups and activists fighting for national and food sovereignty should be respected and upheld.
(4) Groups and activists fighting for national and food sovereignty should in fact be recognized and treated as partners for national development.
In line with these measures, we at the PCFS are calling on the Global Partnership’s HLM2, as it seeks to advance effective development cooperation to realize the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, to work to:
(1) End all aid conditionalities and untie all aid,
(2) Apply principles of effective development cooperation in a way that upholds international commitments on human rights, decent work, gender equality, environmental sustainability and disability,
(3) Uphold partnerships that promote the involvement of food sovereignty groups and activists and all Civil Society Organizations in general,
(4) Involve citizens’ active participation in development assistance at all stages, from planning to execution and as such create an enabling environment for CSOs.
(5) End all international aid that being used for militarism, repression and human-rights violations.