A GUE/NGL Delegation is en route to Bali, Indonesia, today for the 'End WTO Bali Week of Action' where alternatives to free trade and the WTO will be debated.

GUE/NGL MEPS Helmut Scholz, Søren Bo Søndergaard, and Alda Sousa will take part in the week of protests and debates from 1 – 6 December organised by Gerak Lawan (People’s Movement against Neocolonialism and Imperialism), the Bali WTO Network, and Social Movements for an Alternative Asia (SMAA).

Helmut Scholz said: “There is a long history of activism against the protagonists that push for complete trade liberalisation, either within the WTO, or through bilateral free trade agreements like the TTIP or EU Free Trade Agreements with Latin American and ASEAN countries. Now we need to build on this momentum and keep developing alternatives like the People's Treaty for Binding Obligations for TNCs, the Alternative Trade Mandate (ATM) and Proposals for Just Investment.”

The GUE/NGL Delegation has co-organised a roundtable discussion with the Global Campaign to Dismantle Corporate Power and Stop Impunity and Serikat Petani Indonesia (SPI). This will take place on 5 December and will see the GUE/NGL MEPs and speakers from social movements discuss ending corporate led trade and investment agreements, stopping the impunity of transnational companies (TNCs) and how to shift the debate towards constructing alternatives.

Søren Bo Søndergaard commented: “The WTO, along with international institutions and governments, promotes increased trade liberalisation as an inevitable response and solution to the current crisis, alongside austerity. But we know that the consequences of these policies are disastrous for peoples’ livelihoods and for the planet.”

Alda Sousa said: “The recent typhoon in the Philippines and the horrific devastation it caused was tragically juxtaposed with the business as usual indifference from world leaders at the COP19 to the effects of climate change that people living in the Global South already know all too well. We need a radical alternative form of trade, one that respects the environment and forges economic and social justice.”

The GUE/NGL MEPs will also meet with progressive parliamentarians from Malaysia, Korea, Indonesia and the Philippines, and they will continue the Group's work on highlighting the plight of Sombath Somphone, an activist who disappeared last year in Vientiane.

Read more:

Contacts in Bali (numbers active from 30 November):
Paul-Emile Dupret:  + 6282118738780
Renato Soeiro: +62821 1873 9556

GUE/NGL Press Contacts in Brussels:
Emily Macintosh +32 470 85 05 08
Gay Kavanagh +32 473 84 23 20
European United Left / Nordic Green Left
European Parliamentary Group

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