G8 summit – a moment for NGOs to stick to supporting social movements in the global South, not cosy up to G8 governments: support for the G8 is support for its New Alliance corporations which will unleash more GMOs in Africa.

In Jonathan Glennie’s article in the Gates/Guardian Blog “G8 summit a moment for NGOs to stick to their guns, not dodge verbal flak: civil society has a duty to resist the inevitable hectoring of government officials ahead of the London nutrition summit” he provides a great reminder of the real politik of MPH in 2005. In this article he recalls the bullying tactics of government ministers and officials who tried to suppress NGO analysis about government duplicity in presenting its case to eliminate debt in the run up to the Gleneagles G8 Summit in 2005. He urges NGOs to “stick to their guns” and not “crumble in the face of such hectoring”.

Now, in 2013, some multinational NGOs are so in cahoots with government – for mutually favourable reasons – that it is hard to believe there will be any ‘hectoring’. In the rush to be seen to be in the lead in promoting corporate-friendly food regimes, it is difficult to determine who is more responsible, government or those NGOs, for conning the public that the perpetrators of hunger – the corporate agribusinesses – should be feted and given centre stage.

The ‘hectoring’ and ‘bullying’ Glennie describes in 2005 is, this time, not by “government aparatchiks” on NGOs but by those NGOs leading the parade in support of the G8 on the other NGOs, Trade Unions and those who believe the parade should be led by the people at the heart of resolving hunger problems – small-scale food providers and social movements in the global South: those who feed the world but are oppressed by aggressive companies and policies seeking to capture their resources, markets and labour – thereby exacerbating hunger.

What most camp followers of the G8 campaign who will be bopping to Angelique Kidjo in Hyde Park on Saturday do not realise is that a cheer for Cameron will unleash more GMOs in the name of eradicating hunger. Support will be taken as endorsement of the G8’s New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition. This Alliance of the 8 governments with the world’s largest food, agriculture and biotech corporations will spread GM crops and foods across Africa, and, with neo-colonial arrogance, require countries to change their laws to suit the corporations.

It’s not too late to pull out and call for:

  • an end to the New Alliance and its corporate allies spreading GMOs across Africa,
  • government to stop giving bungs to Multinational Corporations (DFID has committed nearly £400m to promoting them), and
  • making the G8 history.

There are legitimate UN bodies that determine priorities on food and nutrition – the democratic and inclusive Committee on World Food Security – and public funding needs are identified. And there are legitimate voices from Civil Society, for example La Via Campesina whose proposals for feeding the world – food sovereignty – will be celebrated in their 20th anniversary conference in Jakarta this weekend.

And for people who have already booked to go to London on Saturday – they can join those in solidarity with Via Campesina at the event “Stop the G8 fuelling Hunger”

Download full text of Stop G8MOs

For more, see:

What’s the problem with the IF campaign?”

G8 should implement the CFS Tenure Guidelines rather than launch a new initiative

“Family Farmers for Sustainable Food Systems” from the website of
europAfrica: towards food sovereignty