Manila, Philippines – The People’s Coalition on Food Sovereignty (PCFS) together with IBON International and the CSO Partnership for Development Effectiveness (CPDE) in cooperation with the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) organized the 2-day International Conference on Aid and Investments: Corporate Capture of Agriculture and Rural Development Agenda from December 9 to 10, 2014 in Bayview Park Hotel, Manila, Philippines. It was attended by different rural sector organizations across Asia, Africa and Latin America.
The conference aims to contribute to raising awareness of CSOs and in deepening their understanding on current policy discourse on aid and investments in agriculture and rural developments in different inter-governmental bodies and international policy forums. It also aims raising capacities of CSOs and build consensus on the root causes of ineffectiveness of aid and investments in agriculture and rural development and formulate policy recommendations that can be utilize by CSOs for advocacy and campaigns.
The activity was opened with a militant interpretative dance by Asdang Kultura or the indigenous youth organization that came all the way from Mindanao to Manila to protest to President Aquino the increasing military troops in their communities that also entails human rights violations.
The conference participants were then welcomed by Hon. Fernando “Ka Pando” Hicap of the Anakpawis Partylist (Toiling Masses). It was followed by an overview of the CSO Partnership for Development Effectiveness (CPDE) focal point for the rural sector, Mr. Jiten Yumnam. He explained how the private sector is capturing the process in the Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation (GPEDC) where CPDE is engaging.
This was deepened by the keynote speech of Mr. Antonio Tujan Jr, PCFS co-chair. “Collectively, fisher folk, peasants, indigenous peoples, women and the other sectors should enjoy the right to development together as a nation but the right to development is being destroyed by profit and war,” he said. Tujan Jr furthered explained, “The private sector has already captured the total lives of our communities and the private sector is behind the war.”
Also discussed in the conference is how inter-governmental bodies such as the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and Committee on World Food Security (CFS) are corrupted by the private sector. Also highlighted was the issue of agro-corporations taking over the global food system from the seeds to the supermarkets.
The conference concluded with the participants joining the commemoration of the International Human Rights Day mobilization together with Philippine organizations calling for justice for peace and food in Mindanao as well as firming their position against the corporate capture of the agriculture and rural development agenda across the globe.##