*Civil society groups say no to the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP)*
*Call upon our governments to stop negotiating away our rights away at trade negotiations*
02 May, 2017
For Immediate Release
Today, several hundred negotiators from 16 countries1 will descend on metro Manila to continue negotiations of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), against the backdrop of the increasingly growing movement and sentiment globally against secret free trade agreements, as evident from the recent demise of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP). A day after the call to regain our power echoes across the world, marking the ongoing struggle against the social, legal, political, moral, verbal and economic injustices against workers everywhere.
The RCEP negotiation started in 2012, and yet to this date, no text of the negotiations has been released. The 3.5 billion people including those in least developed countries, who will be impacted by these agreements have been kept in the dark, while corporate lobbies have been invited to advise government officials.
But negotiators are not the only ones coming. Since the start of the negotiations, civil society, academics and activists has been following the negotiations, exposing the secretive nature of this agreement, and reminding governments of their obligations to not trade away their citizens and people’s rights in the name of profit.
APWLD members from across the region, working with broad coalition of environmental groups, trade unions, farmers groups, health groups and other social movements has been steadfast in exposing the RCEP for what it is – a means to impose neo-liberal policies of competition, privatization, liberalization, and deregulation that have been proven to have the most negative impact on women and continue the exploitation of workers, indigenous people, migrants, domestic workers and every marginalised group in the region. It will allow for governments to be sued in secret tribunals for regulating in people’s interest. It will threaten people’s access to medicine and farmers control over their seeds and lands.
Today, as civil societies, activists, trade unions and other people’s organizations from across the region prepares to also gather in Manila to rise and mobilize against RCEP as part of a No RCEP Week of Action, we release this video to further urge the governments to listen to the voices of its citizens, of broad and diverse constituencies and movements, from across the region. We are calling upon our governments to stop negotiating away our rights away at trade negotiations and the absolutely end to unfair trade agreements. Click on this link to view the video https://youtu.be/TTM_cUIz8K0.
We are calling our governments to say ‘No to RCEP’.
 The 16 RCEP countries are the 10 ASEAN member states plus Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea
For Further Information or to Schedule Interviews at the No RCEP Week of Action Please Contact
Neha Gupta, APWLD
+91-9810 078 055
+66-955 282 396 (Whatsapp)
Languages: English, Hindi
Mark Moreno Pascual, Asia Pacific Research Network
+63-9429 506 167
Languages: English, Tagalog
Joseph Purugganan, Focus on the Global South
+63-9228 299 450
Languages: English, Tagalog