Final statement of the first assembly of the North African Network for Food Sovereignty
The first assembly of the North African Network for Food Sovereignty took place on 7-9 December 2018 in Agadir, Morocco. It gathered delegations from Egyptian, Tunisian, Algerian and Moroccan trade unions, cooperatives and associations that are active in the fields of food sovereignty, the defence of agricultural workers and small fishermen, the conservation of indigenous seeds and the protection of water and land. The assembly also attracted dozens of local small peasants and agricultural workers. The delegation from Occupied Palestine was unfortunately unable to attend the gathering. One year after its establishment in Tunis in 2017, the network, through this general assembly, has been reinforced by the joining of several new associations and organisations.
The general assembly was rich in discussions between participants around the concept of food sovereignty, the priorities in each country as well as the forms of organising, possible alternatives and the necessary resistance against neoliberal policies in the fields of agriculture and fishing. The participants discussed, amended and ratified the network’s charter and have agreed on the criteria of membership and funding as well as on mechanisms of governance.
This gathering took place one week after the G20 Summit in Argentina, a summit committed to the dependence of the global South to the countries of the imperialist centre; to the reinforcing of the global capitalist system’s control on the wealth and resources of peoples in the region; to the commodification of its food; to the destruction of its environment and climate; to the invasion of multinationals and to the imposition of diktats from International Financial Institutions (IFIs) through unjust debts and ‘free trade’ agreements. Furthermore, workers’ and peasants’ struggles in the region and all over the world are intensifying against these policies, achieving important victories such as the recent adoption by the United Nations of the resolution on the rights of peasants and other persons working in rural areas. This constitutes a juridical gain for the peoples despite the exhaustion of this organisation and its domination by imperialist countries. In parallel, the determination of South African workers against the rise of populist and fascist right-wing forces is particularly important in a context of the deepening of capitalism’s contradictions since the financial crisis of 2008.
In solidarity with all the struggles against neoliberal policies targeting humans and nature, the assembly’s participants expressed their support to the sit-in of workers expelled by the company Diruk in the region of Ait Amira, which constitutes a concrete example of the pillage of land, the exhaustion of natural resources as well as the uprooting and the dispossession of small peasants by an agrarian capitalism (agribusiness) in Morocco. They particularly commended the land struggles of the uprooted inhabitants of Amskarut, Haha and all the concerned regions as well as to all the fights linked to food sovereignty in the region.
The participants also expressed their solidarity with the landless peasants in Brazil after the arrival of the populist right to power that started harassing, repressing and expelling them from the lands they recovered after decades of fierce struggle.
The participants affirmed their total support to all the struggles of peoples, workers, peasants, small fisherfolks and all the marginalised in the region and all over the world, in particular the Palestinian people in their struggle to recover their land and restore their rights violated by the Zionist entity, which is one of the most important instrument of the imperialist hegemony in our region.
Last but not least, the participants highlighted the interdependence of the different aspects of the fight against policies that dispossess them from their food sovereignty and the necessity of coordination and networking between the various actors and resistance movements concerned in the region, in the global South and in the world.
Member organisations of the network
- Attac Morocco (member of the international network of the committee for the abolition of illegitimate debts, CADTM).
- Union of young farmers and forestry professionals (Morocco).
- Torba (Algeria).
- Environmental justice North Africa (Algeria).
- Egyptian association for collective rights (Egypt).
- Union of sugar cane cultivators (Egypt).
- National union of fishers – coastal and offshore fishing (Morocco)
- Working group for food sovereignty (Tunisia).
- Association for the protection of Jemna’s oases (Tunisia).
- Tunisian association for sustainable agriculture (Tunisia).
- Al Warcha media collective for socio-economic rights – Inhiyez.com (Tunisia).
- Tunisian observatory of economy (Tunisia).
- Federation of Azlef associations (Morocco).
- Adwal association for development and solidarity (Morocco).
- Agila Nouarn Cooperative (Morocco).
- Federation and coordination for efficient citizenship (Morocco).
- Federation of civil associations in Tamri (Morocco).
- Tellouzt federation of apiculture (Morocco).
- Land and humanism (Morocco).
- Al-Millilem Moukdour (Morocco).
- Tizrit cooperative (Morocco).
- Adaouder association for culture and sport (Morocco).
- Ed El Rais association for development and solidarity (Morocco).
- Taroudant agricultural association (Morocco).
- Tikzrit association – Essaouira (Morocco).
- Idaouidr association for the development of culture, sport and aquaculture – Amkrad community – Assaouira (morocco).
- Aoul Ifaoun association for social development in Badautnen (Morocco).
Agadir on December 9th, 2018.
N.B: We call on all the associations, cooperatives and agricultural unions that we forgot to include in the list to get in touch with us if they wish to be added.