APEC as corporate colonization

SOURCE: Laurel Douglass (douglassl001@hawaii.rr.com) SUBHEAD: Moana Nui speakers say APEC is 'Colonization Today in Real Time'. By Jon Letman on 2 November for Civil Beat - (http://www.civilbeat.com/articles/2011/11/02/13476-moana-nui-speakers-say-apec-is-colonization-today-in-real-time) Image above: Graphic by Santi Hitorangi for Moana Nui. From (http://moananui2011.org).

Next week, as Honolulu is engulfed in a veritable sea of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) delegates, corporate executives, CEOs, finance ministers, international media and the heads of state of the 21 member economies, a different international gathering called Moana Nui will take place (Nov 9-11) in which experts, activists, academics and thinkers from around the Asia Pacific will gather to discuss an alternative to the APEC model.

In this first of three articles examining just a few of the more than 30 participating Moana Nui speakers, two leading voices explain why they are highly critical about APEC and associated free trade agreements (FTAs).

Victor Menotti is executive director of the International Forum of Globalization (IFG), a San Francisco-based North-South research and educational institution that provides analysis and critiques of economic globalization. He is critical of the policies and practices of APEC, arguing that they are damaging to indigenous and traditional communities, fragile ecosystems and the resources within, and the environment as a whole.

Corporate Rape and Pillage

He pulls no punches: “APEC is a corporate agenda. It’s about the industrial economy with policies that read as if they’re straight out of the WTO rule book. This is trade liberalization and getting governments, which are supposed to express the people’s will, out of the way of ‘economic freedom’ which is code for corporate rule. This is corporate rape and pillage,” Menotti says.

He calls APEC “primarily a business forum and its economic collaboration with a particular role for government,” adding, “It’s what we’ve seen since the Washington Consensus onwards.”

Menotti is not singling out APEC. He says the IMF (International Monetary Fund), the WTO (World Trade Organization) and similar bodies claim to pursue “economic integration” but the results are a disintegration of cultures, ecosystems, societies and social safety nets.” In more blunt terms, he calls APEC “colonization today in real time.”

APEC may claim it pursues the goals of peace and prosperity but, according to Menotti, it has the opposite effect.

for more of this article click here.

SUBHEAD: Description of an Alternative International Conference on Pacific Transitions

Pacific Peoples, Lands & Economies (http://moananui2011.org)

[ November 9-11, 2011 Honolulu, Hawaii]


Asia, the Pacific Rim, the Pacific Islands

The Asia-Pacific region; nations of the Pacific rim which include Australia and the American and Asian nations, including Pacific Island nations are an increasing focus of geopolitical competition and economic stresses. Struggles for national sovereignty and cultural viability bring about rapidly expanding campaigns toward economic self-sufficiency.

These campaigns challenge the legacies of colonialism, continued militarism in the region, growing trade and development conflicts, and corresponding environmental degradations. Whose interests are advanced in these struggles? Whose views are served? What are the dominant economic interests in play? How do we take control of our future? Which is the best way forward—convergence or resistance?

Organized by a partnership of scholars, community and political activists and Hawaiian and Pacific Islander cultural practitioners, Moana Nui is intended to provide a voice and possible direction for the economies of Pacific Islands in the era of powerful transnational corporations, global industrial expansion and global climate change.

This conference will issue a challenge to Pacific Island nations and communities to look for cooperative ways to strengthen subsistence and to protect cultural properties and natural resources. The timing of this conference is intended to overlap the next meeting of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) in Honolulu, and hopes to call public attention to the critical importance of maintaining sound and productive local economies in the Pacific Islands both for their own sake and food security in the world.

Invited speakers will include Native economists, farm and fishery practitioners, advocates for political and economic sovereignty, specialists in media, public education, environmental studies and law. The conference will be open to the public and the conveners will seek to facilitate the attendance of practitioners from other Pacific Islands.

All of the proceedings will be documented by video and a published collection of the presentations is anticipated.

We welcome the participation of all Pacific Island advocates and practitioners.

For further discussion and information, find us on facebook at Moana Nui 2011, visit the International Forum on Globalization website or contact admin@moananui2011.org.

PUBLIC EVENTS: Nov. 10, 8:30AM - 9PM Church of the Crossroads, 1212 University Ave. Honolulu. Suggested donation $10-15/day. Nov. 11, 8:30AM - 6PM University of Hawaii, Hawaiian Studies Department Auditorium. Suggested donation $10-15/day. (NOTE: Nov 9. All day private gathering of Pacific-based indigenous practitioners/advocates)

For those who are purchasing tickets to attend both Moana Nui and APEC Conference, note that APEC has changed their dates to Nov. 7-13.


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