Enough is enough!! That’s what the civilian society in Burkina Faso unanimously agreed after the assassination of the journalist Norbert Zongo on the 13th December 1998.

Enough is enough! That’s the thought which springs to mind as I sit down to begin this new column, which I hope will make a weekly appearance.

Enough is enough! When I see the world summits come and go (Monterrey in Mexico in March 2002 on financing development; the world summit on Food in Rome (The World Food Organisation) in June 2002; and now the world summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg), and that people refuse to face up to the reality of the situation, I say to myself: Enough is enough !

At Doha, in Qatar, in November 2001, at the World Summit of the World Trade Organisation, the Countries of the South asked for an evaluation of the current agreements, before the consideration of any new agreements. This request was refused by the most powerful governments of the planet, the same governments that flood the world with feasibility studies and statistics so as to impose their own liberalism without frontiers.

We who live in those countries called The Les Advanced Countries by the world’s masters have to live the same reality which the rich nations refuse to face up to. At the same time that the new negotiations at the World Trade Organisation are beginning and Europe is preparing to reform its Common Agricultural Policy, we want to make known this reality. I am talking about the consequences of the present rules on the populations of the Nations of the South. This is one of the objectives of this column.(View of south ).

Less Developed Countries ! Is it not the very rules of the game that the United States and the European Union wanted to impose on the world that inhibit the advance of these countries? That’s what Nicodème Biwando, a simple cotton producer from a little village in Burkina Faso realised, as he told us in his letter of the 25th December 2001:

""Someone must tell the Americans and the Europeans that we are all in the same world, they are our brothers, and we need each other. They must not organise their work as if they lived in another world apart (reference to the subsidies for cotton growers, but it is just as pertinent for other products). Their way of doing things is not good;it stops us from advancing.. They should seek a solution so that all together, them and us, we can advance."" ("(The Globalization seen by the burkinabè cotton producers).).

Maybe these words make us laugh when compared with the might used by the United States and Europe to impose their rules on the Nations of the South. But is there another way, if we do not want to condemn the rural populations of these countries to an endless poverty?

In all the talk of economic globalisation and international commerce the voices we hear the most of are those of the supporters of the Farm Bill (the new agricultural legislation in the USA which is designed to protect even more the American producers of cotton, rice, soya and corn), as well as the European Community Agricultural Policy with the highest subsidies in the world. Yet it is precisely these countries that insist that the poor nations stop all subsidies for their agriculture! Is it not the time now for the nations of the south to create real agricultural policies arising out of an analysis of the situation of their own farmers and cattle breeders? Is this not the time now to make the voice of the south heard on the present rules and on the reforms in preparation?

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