On the 3-4th of September in St. Petersburg a counter-summit, a large-scale international event that aims to be an alternative to the September G20 Summit and to develop new principles of economic and social policy that are not based on the "Washington Consensus" will be held. The international counter-summit organised by the "Post-globalization" initiative will bring together world-renowned experts, politicians, economists, social scientists from Europe, Asia, Africa, North and South America. In the frames of the counter-summit panel discussions, seminars and public lectures will be held.
On 11th June 2013, the WTO TRIPS Council took a decision (IP/C/64) to extend for a further 8 years, the flexibility of least developed country (LDC) Members under Article 66.1 to not apply the provisions of the TRIPS Agreement except for Articles 3, 4 and 5 (which concern national treatment and most-favored nation treatment). This decision was a compromise deal as the EU and US exerted intense pressure on the LDCs to accept conditionalities that are not in favour of the people in the LDCs.
In advance of the G20 meeting in Mexico this week, civil society groups working together in the Our World Is Not for Sale (OWINFS) network sent a letter to governments participating in the meetings urging them to reject discussing the further liberalization of trade in the World Trade Organization (WTO) negotiations, at the G20 meetings in Mexico.
Today (11 June 2013) the WTO-Trade-Related Intellectual Property Rules (TRIPS) Council adopted a decision granting Least Developed Countries (LDCs) an eight-year extension of the transition period, (deferring the time within which LDCs to implement the TRIPS Agreement), without the pernicious mandatory “no roll-back” clause (contained in the previous extension decision) which developed countries pushed hard to include.
In a letter to WTO member governments, 188 organizations representing a wide diversity of civil society from developing and developed countries, called on government representatives in Geneva to “abandon the negotiations towards a binding agreement on Trade Facilitation in advance of the upcoming 9th Ministerial meeting of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in Bali." The letter was organized by the Our World Is Not for Sale (OWINFS) network. The letter states “binding rules on Trade Facilitation should not be promoted either inside the WTO through the proposed Trade Facilitation (TF) agreement, nor through other avenues such as bilateral or regional Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) or Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs)."
Global civil society organizations, representing hundreds of millions of members across the globe, urge WTO members to abandon the negotiations towards a binding agreement on Trade Facilitation in advance of the upcoming 9th Ministerial meeting of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in Bali. Further they call upon governments not to promote binding rules on Trade Facilitation either inside the WTO through the proposed Trade Facilitation (TF) agreement, nor through other avenues such as bilateral or regional Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) or Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs).
Towards the G20 Counter-Summit in Russia in September 2013, on the 11-12 of June 2013 the conference THE END OF NEOLIBERALISM will take place in Kyiv, involving the leading academics from Western and Eastern Europe, who conduct research on economic and social aspects of globalization. The conference will be held within the international initiative Post-Globalization, supported by the Scientific and Technological Potential and History of Science Research Center of NAS of Ukraine, Confederation of Free Trade Unions of Ukraine, Visual Culture Research Center and Center for Society Research.
In a letter to the Director-General dated 25 June 2012, global civil society groups said that the "WTO Panel on Defining the Future of Trade", more than half of which is composed of representatives of the business sector, "does not have the global legitimacy of the stakeholders - those who will be impacted by the future of trade negotiations within the WTO - to be able to propose a legitimate path forward for future WTO negotiations."
Global civil society groups write to Pascal Lamy, outgoing WTO Director General, to strongly object to the recently formed “WTO Panel on Defining the Future of Trade.” This panel, more than half of which is composed by representatives of the business sector, does not have the global legitimacy of the stakeholders – those who will be impacted by the future of trade negotiations within the WTO – to be able to propose a legitimate path forward for future WTO negotiations.
Global Civil society groups warned that new guidelines for the accession of the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) could seriously harm, rather than help, the LDCs in their accession process, and governments should oppose the current package and send it back for re-negotiation and improvement.