QUEZON CITY – As the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit approaches, global activists are also set to gather here to provide different points of views on the world’s economy contrary to what will be discussed on the said summit.
International League of People’s Struggles Secretary General, Malcolm Guy said “a lot of activists will be coming here because they have things to say.”
The said gathering will be a venue to hear “alternative voices” from about 350 local and global activists from 36 different countries around the world who will be participating in the 5th International Assembly to be held in a hotel here on November 14-16.
Guy said that they will not negotiate with the economic leaders who will be participating in APEC Summit, but they will “let them know our calls and demands and let them listen.”
Guy added that their conference also set to let the Filipino people know that there are alternative points of view with regards economic growth. He clarified that this views “will not be the alternative, but the opinion of the great majority of the world’s people.”
Liza Maza, coordinator of ILPS in the Philippines, said that “most countries [in Asia Pacific] continue to be neocolonies of rich countries.”
“The alternative is to be independent. For this rich countries to respect the sovereignty of our economy,” Maza said.
Maza added that other alternatives is “to get out of agreements and other economic deals that are disadvantageous to the Filipinos who remain poor and whose burden because of the economic policies imposed by big capitalist countries.”
Maza said that “APEC continue to promise better economies for its members, [but] developing countries like the Philippines have suffered from its trade policies.”
Since 1996 when APEC was first organized, Maza said that the tariff of manufactured goods “decreased from 26% to 5% while tariff on agricultural products decreased from 36% to 10%.”
The group then said that APEC “only worsens” the state of the majority of the people of the member countries of it.
Australian activist and ILPS’ vice chairperson Len Cooper, said that “APEC claims prosperity and peaceful development, but in fact that its really about poverty, inequality and violence.”
“We can see that workers’ wages across the globe are being capped, unemployment growth [increases], people’s need are being capped, peoples assets are being sold,” Cooper said
He added that “APEC is really the program of the big business and the big business exploitation [to] rip off the people worldwide.”
When asked on how will they counter the APEC, Leila Khaled of the Popular Front for the Liberalization of Palestine, said that on the said conference they will be discussing different methods and they will be going to meet it.
“After the discussions, [delegates] will go back to their perspective countries and mobilize the people about the danger of APEC,” Khaled said.
Khaled said they believe in democratic dialog, “not with APEC, but with the people.”
Meanwhile, Guy hopes that the Philippine government will “keep its door open” so that they could talk and present the things the conference discussed “in full democratic debate.”
The 2015 APEC Economic Leaders Summit already started November 13 and will start its two-day meeting on November 18-19 at the Philippine International Cultural Center (PICC) in Pasay City, Metro Manila.
This year’s theme is “Building Inclusive Economies. Building a Better World” which will be participated by Leaders, Ministers, and Senior Officials from 21 member countries of APEC. (davaotoday.com)