More than 80 participants representing trade unions, farming communities, indigenous peoples, health networks, women’s organisations, academia and civil society organizations met on 27-28 July in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to take stock of the new generation of mega regional FTAs emerging in the region.
Ten people (seven women and three men) representing the All-Japan Prefectural and Municipal Workers Union, the Japan Public Sector Union and All Japan Water Supply Workers Union participated in the lobbying activity. The move was part of the Women’s Committee’s activities relating to the 8th of March.
The website of the Ministry of Commerce & Industry has no mention of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) on which officials from 16 countries, including India, met for a round of secret trade talks in Brunei from 15-19 February. This mega Free Trade Agreement (FTA) is expected to be concluded by the end of 2016.
The solutions to the climate challenge require a substantive transformation of the current socio-economic development paradigm, including industrial change. This is not just about some technical changes to energy production or transport systems. What is required is a redefinition of the predominant model of production and consumption. We must give back to the state and public services their role in supporting our communities, and ensure that workers and trade unions are able to participate fully in all steps of this process.