Between the 9th and 11th of September, 2007, the Auckland War Memorial Museum will host the second annual United States New Zealand Partnership Forum. This forum is a meeting of US and NZ corporations as well as representatives from both governments to develop closer economic, political and military ties between the two countries. The organising body of the forum, the NZUS Partnership Council was formed around pushing for a neo-liberal free trade agreement between the two nations. In response to this forum, a broad network of activists, union organisers, environmentalists and social justice campaigners have formed the Our World Is Not For Sale campaign. Our campaign aims to raise public awareness about the negative effects of a free trade agreement with the US.
On Monday September 10, we intend to march to the forum and protest the selling off of Aotearoa/New Zealand and the world.
Below is a declaration for organisations to sign-on to regarding the Our World Is Not For Sale campaign. If you wish to add your organisation or group name to this letter, please send your details to the secretariat of the campaign, the A Space Inside Collective, email: email@example.com — the deadline is 25 August. Thank you.
Tamaki Makaurau Declaration against Corporate Control and for Global Justice
We, the below signed civil society organisations and peace & justice groups resolve:
1. Aotearoa is not for sale — Free trade agreements only perpetuate unfair and unbalanced trade rules. A free trade deal would mean that US corporations would be able to sue the government for threatening their profits. This could be by not privatising schools or hospitals, by subsidising life-saving medicines, or refusing to allow imports of genetically modified organisms.
The government of New Zealand has no right or democratic mandate to sign trade agreements that undermine the ability of New Zealanders to control our economy and further open up our public resources and institutions to corporate control.
2. Peace and justice are not for sale — We believe that it is ethically repugnant to seek to negotiate a trade agreement with a government that continues to occupy and terrorise the people of Iraq and Afghanistan. Trade agreements should not be negotiated with governments violating international laws and treaties.
The government of New Zealand should not be tightening economic, military or political relations with a nation that continues to flout international law and regularly violates the United Nations Charter by pre-emptive attacks on soveriegn nations.
3. Our world is not for sale — A US-NZ trade agreement is a stepping stone to a fully deregulated global economy where powerful corporations have more power than governments and civil society organisations. The sort of global economy advocated by the USNZ Partnership Forum does not provide for environmental protection, labour rights or even local democracy.
The government of New Zealand must end its role in creating, through the World Trade Organisation, free trade agreements and its support for the IMF and World Bank a global economy that perpetuates social injustice, devastating poverty and exploitation.
4. The environment is not for sale — The corporations involved in pushing for a free trade agreement between New Zealand and the US, only seek to open up our unique and fragile ecosystems to destructive industrial development. A free trade agreement will mean that environmental protections could be removed as they constitute “barriers to free trade”.
The government of New Zealand must ensure that its participation in international treaties does not compromise our ability to manage our environment sustainability and our ability to protect our ecosystems from being spoiled.
For global justice and against corporate control,
A Space Inside Collective
Citizens Against Privatisation
Auckland University Students for Justice in Palestine
Peace Action Wellington