The two-day event included numerous panels and covering issues such as: Globalisation, Equity and False Promises; Beyond Fossil Fuels, Toward Climate Justice; Movements Against Fossil Fuel Industry and False Promises; Human Face of Climate Change; Just Transition; the Fallacy of the Nuclear 'Solution'; and Greenhouse Market Mania.
Third World Network's Chee Yoke Ling, and Owens Wiwa, brother of the murdered human rights activist, Ken Saro Wiwa made keynote speeches. The Summit was a tremendous success, giving a platform to groups from the South and affected communities in the North. It was an opportunity for people to air their views and direct experiences of the impacts of climate change and its proposed 'solutions', as well as being in stark contrast with the character of the official negotiations being held on the others side of town.
The services industry is a large and diverse sector, ranging from banks, brokers and insurance firms to fast-food chains and water companies, so it has been able to present a formidable lobbying effort in the lead-up to this new round of GATS negotiations.
As a result, the "GATS2000" negotiations threaten to further diminish democratic decision-making in the face of global trade rules established and enforced by the WTO.
While the negotiations are gaining pace, public opposition, both in the North and the South, is mounting. A coalition of groups from all over the world recently issued a statement calling for a moratorium on further liberalisation of trade in services ("Stop the GATS Attack").
Corporate Europe Observatory and Transnational Institute - both signatories of the "Stop the GATS Attack" statement - have now launched the GATSwatch website. GATSwatch is intended as a resource tool for GATS campaigners, providing easy access to information on GATS critique, on the negotiating process and on the corporate push behind GATS.
You can find GATSwatch at <http://www.xs4all.nl/~ceo/gatswatch/>.
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As such, we are appealing to readers of the Corporate Europe Observer to make a donation to support our work. As a registered non-profit organisation in the Netherlands, (No. 33298822, Amsterdam) all donations are tax-deductible. Donations can be made direct to our bank account through bank transfer. We can also accept Eurocheques, though unfortunately we cannot cash bank cheques from outside the Netherlands.
Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO) is a European-based research and campaign group targeting the threats to democracy, equity, social justice and the environment posed by the economic and political power of corporations and their lobby groups.
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