Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Food Security: Tell the G-8, "Listen to Your Madre!"

Our Lady of Guadalupe

Food Security: Tell the G-8, "Listen to Your Madre!"

By Richard Power

A dynamic human rights organization, Madre, has written a letter to the G-8, calling for meaningful action on the global food crisis: The root cause of the food crisis is not scarcity, but the failed economic policies long championed by the G8, namely, trade liberalization and industrial agriculture. These policies, which treat food as a commodity rather than a human right, have induced chaotic climate change, oil dependency, and the depletion of the Earth's land and water resources as well as today's food crisis. ...There are viable solutions to the food crisis, but they will not emerge from a narrow pursuit of the financial interests of multinational corporations. A Women's Declaration to the G8: Support Real Solutions to the Global Food Crisis

The G-8 meets next week.

Will this letter from Madre be heeded? Of course not.

But imagine a planet on which these eight great economic, political and military powers actually did listen to their Madre; imagine the good that could be realized.

Unfortunately, since 2001, the G-8's output has been disjointed and ineffectual; consequently, its positive impact has been minimal. Furthermore, in its present malaise, it can't be expected to repudiate its own long-held illusions on trade, economic growth, etc.

The G-8 has failed to lead the world on Darfur, it has failed to lead the world on the Climate Crisis. There is nothing else to say.

Those two statements are the most damning evidence that could be offered against the G-8, and nothing in its defense counterbalances either one.

The G-8 has become -- at least until January 2008 -- a Ship of Fools.

Will it rise again to lead the world in this era of deepening crisis? Or at least to articulate a meaningful response from the developed world? Certainly not until there is regime change in the USA.

And if there is continuation rather than regime change in the USA?

Well, then this Ship of Fools that the G-8 has become can be christened anew, with the best of champagnes, as the second voyage of the Titanic.

Here are some excerpts from the Madre Letter to the G-8, which articulate what should and could be done, by acting on the twin imperatives of sustainable agriculture and sustainable economic policies, to avoid the worst that is to come:

The Imperative of Sustainable Agriculture
We call on the G8 to:
Recognize gender discrimination as a threat to global food security;
Uphold the rights of agricultural workers under the International Labor Organization's Conventions;
Support national policies that provide small-scale farmers with access to land, seeds, water, credit and other inputs and that uphold the rights of farmers to make informed decisions about land use and food production.
The Imperative of Sustainable Economic Policies
We call on the G8 to:
Move beyond the partial commitment it made to debt cancellation at the 2005 G8 summit in Scotland and enact immediate and unconditional debt cancellation for all developing countries;
Allow governments to determine their own agricultural policies in consultation with citizens;
Institute international mechanisms for market stabilization that protect the livelihoods of farmers and guarantee affordable food for all people;
Endorse the call of Jacques Diouf, Secretary General of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, for developing countries to be enabled to achieve food self-sufficiency. ...
We call on the G8 to:
Recognize that food is first and foremost a human right and only secondarily a tradable commodity;
Support a process for an international Convention to replace the WTO's Agreement on Agriculture. Such a Convention must uphold the full range of human rights standards and should implement the concept of food sovereignty, whereby communities control their own food systems;
Respect the rights of small farmers to save and exchange seeds between communities and internationally;
Initiate a conversion of national agricultural subsidies from support for agribusiness to incentives for sustainable farming, including small-scale and organic farms.
A Women's Declaration to the G8: Support Real Solutions to the Global Food Crisis

Some Related Posts

The Monstrous, Two-Headed Crisis of Climate Change & Sustainability is Devouring the World's Food Before It Is Produced

Madness of Pursuing Last Drop of Peak Oil, Instead of 21st Century Renewable Energy Model, has Caught Up w/ Us -- the Food Security Fuse has Been Lit

More on How Our Climate & Sustainability Crises Impact Food Security: “Once the oceans are gone, we’re gone. The oceans sustain the planet.”

Richard Power's Left-Handed Security: Overcoming Fear, Greed & Ignorance in This Era of Global Crisis is available now! Click here for more information.

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