Come to the 10th Annual Ecumenical Advocacy Days (EAD), March 23-26, 2012, in Washington, DC. We will explore economy, livelihood and our national priorities through the lens of Isaiah 58. Join other Christians in seeking a global economy and a national budget that break the yokes of injustice, poverty, hunger and unemployment throughout the world — heeding Isaiah’s call to become “repairers of the breach and restorers of streets to live in.”
This year Manuel Pérez-Rocha, co-coordinator of the Network for Justice on Global Investment Project, part of IPS’ Global Economy Project, will lead an EAD workshop on “Trade Agreements and Human Rights: How Victimizers Sue Victims in Latin America”.
In the context of high global prices for natural resources, several countries in Latin America are finding themselves increasingly at odds with transnational corporations. These countries seek to increase the benefits of those resources for their own people, while attempting to maintain an environmental balance. Meanwhile, transnational companies in the extractive industries are increasingly using their new rights under free trade agreements (FTAs) and bilateral investment treaties (BITs) to sue governments in unaccountable and non-transparent international arbitration tribunals.
Democracy, sovereignty, and the sustainability of entire regions are all subverted by the right given to corporations to demand multi-million compensations for the profits they expected to have. The lawsuits are not even for the actual investment they may have lost. Moreover, these investor–state rules (as they are known) are designed to prevent many governments from acting in favor of public interests and environmental imperatives.
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