Friday, 1 February 2008

Don't sign EPAs, African states are warned

According to Afrol News, the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) has asked African governments not to sign Economic Partnership Agreements with the European Union "until comprehensive Human Rights Impacts Assessments are conducted". In an letter to the 1Oth African Union Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the FIDH drew attention to the potential adverse effects of these agreements on social and economic rights in African countries, in particular on the human right to food, health, work and development. On the subject of intellectual property, the FIDH said:
"African states should not be forced to agree to provisions in regional or bilateral agreements which impose which impose ‘WTO-Plus’ commitments, in areas such as services liberalization, the lowering of tariffs on agricultural products, or a strengthened protection of intellectual property rights, especially as regards patents on plants".

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