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Barlow speaks against TISA and water privatization at the University of Zurich

Photo by Andrew Davis.

Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow spoke about the Trade in Services Agreement (TISA) and water privatization at the University of Zurich today.

As noted in the promotion of her “Drowning Democratic Rights?” talk, Barlow explored various aspects of TISA, as well as the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) and the United States-EU Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), highlighting questions such as:

– Will TISA make public water the plaything of private corporations?

– What are the consequences of water privatization for democracy?

– Who are the key players and what are their interests?

– What is the role of public institutions in the fight against global water privatization?

– Could the University of Zurich become a blue community?

The promotion for her talk explained, “TISA is an international agreement, which has been negotiated for the past four years in secret among different states, including Switzerland. The agreement seeks to make irrevocable the privatization of all public services. In addition to health and education, the privatization of water is planned. Access to water is a worldwide human rights which the United Nations recognized in 2010. In addition, water is a public good that belongs to all and the responsibility should therefore be in the public sector. Increasingly water is marketed as a global commodity. International companies want to own these rights to make a profit.”

More broadly, the talks on TISA include 23 governments representing 50 countries. The countries involved are Switzerland, Canada, Australia, Chile, Chinese Taipei (Taiwan), Colombia, Costa Rica, Hong Kong, Iceland, Israel, Japan, Liechtenstein, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, South Korea, Turkey, the United States, and the European Union, representing its 28 member states. The 17th round of TISA talks took place last month. Proponents are seeking to have the TISA talks concluded by the end of this year.

Barlow will also be giving a keynote address at the International Association for the Study of the Commons (IASC) conference at the University of Bern tomorrow titled, “Our Water Commons, Protecting Water for People and Nature Forever”.

Further reading
Barlow speaks at IASC conference in Bern (May 11, 2016)
Barlow challenges TISA in Switzerland (May 10, 2016)