WTO Process Issues

Indian farmers organizations call upon the Government to stand firm on food security issue at the WTO

Original Publication Date: 
23 July, 2014
In a statement released ahead of the WTO General Council meeting tomorrow, farmers organization in India called upon the Indian Government to stand firm on linking the Food Security proposal with the Trade Facilitation Agreement in WTO. Farmers’ leaders expressed shock over the Chair's summary of the G 20 trade ministers meeting which was held on July 19 at Sydney.

As G20 trade ministers meet in Sydney, international CSOs urge that development must come before “Trade Facilitation” in WTO

Original Publication Date: 
18 July, 2014
In the backdrop of trade ministers meet in Sydney, today, 164 civil society organizations and trade unions from more than 150 developing and developed countries urged government representatives in Geneva to “condition the entry into force of the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) to the conclusion and fulfillment of the Development mandate under the Doha negotiations.”

WTO food fight in Bali? By Martin Khor

Original Publication Date: 
3 December, 2013
In this article, Martin Khor, Executive Director of Geneva-based South Centre writes about tense battle at 9th WTO Ministerial Meeting in Bali.

A Peace Clause, without Peace in Food Security

Original Publication Date: 
19 November, 2013
A draft text of the 'Peace Clause' agreed to at the WTO by a select group of countries on Saturday 16 November ad referendum - subject to approval by capitals - seems likely to assure no Peace to developing countries on food security, and more specifically to the ability of developing country governments to procure food from their producers for public stock-holding and distribution to the poor.

LDCs get eight more years of exemption from WTO - TRIPS rules

Original Publication Date: 
11 June, 2013
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.

International civil society opposes binding rules on “Trade Facilitation” in the WTO

Original Publication Date: 
6 June, 2013
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)."

NGOs object to Lamy panel, call for its dissolution

Original Publication Date: 
2 August, 2012
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."

New LDC accession guidelines could harm LDCs, say NGOs

Original Publication Date: 
27 July, 2012
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.

BITs, FTAs and damaging effects of their investment chapters

Original Publication Date: 
2 October, 2012
The damaging effects of Bilateral Investment Treaties (BITs) and the investment chapters of North-South Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) were highlighted at a World Trade Organisation (WTO) Public Forum event on "Investment provisions and agreements: What is the right 21st century approach?" jointly organised by Our World Is Not for Sale Network, the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), and Public Citizen on Tuesday, 26 September 2012.

BITs ‘not decisive in attracting investment', says South Africa

Original Publication Date: 
27 September, 2012
South Africa's Deputy Director General from the Department of Trade and Industry, Mr. Xavier Carim, remarked that 'South African government's experience has shown that there was no clear relationship between signing Bilateral Investment Treaties (BITs) and increased inflows of FDI' at a WTO Public Forum event on international investment agreements organized by OWINFS on 25 September 2012.

The WTO impasse and the possible roads ahead - a development perspective

Original Publication Date: 
1 November, 2012
At a lively session organized by OWINFS on 26 September, 2012 as part of the WTO’s Public Forum, Ambassadors of developing countries and other experts presented their views on the impasse in the WTO’s Doha negotiations, the “new trade narrative” promoted by major developed countries, and the need for an alternative narrative that reflects reality, from the perspective of developing countries.

Towards an alternative narrative for the multilateral trading system

Original Publication Date: 
28 October, 2012
In a presentation at the UNCTAD’s Trade and Development Board panel discussion on 18 September by Ambassador Faizel Ismail, Permanent Representative of South Africa to the WTO argue that the recent attempts by some policy makers to use the concept of Global Value Chains (GVCs) to make a case for increased trade liberalization is deeply flawed for three reasons: First because it attempts to bring back the notion of a self-regulating market that is disembedded from society and divorced from the asymmetries in economic power that characterize today’s interdependent global economy; Second, because it attempts to revive the discredited Washington Consensus; and third because it does not provide a framework for helping developing economies develop beyond their current comparative advantages.

Towards an alternative narrative for the multilateral trading system

Original Publication Date: 
28 October, 2012
In a presentation at the UNCTAD’s Trade and Development Board panel discussion on 18 September by Ambassador Faizel Ismail, Permanent Representative of South Africa to the WTO argue that the recent attempts by some policy makers to use the concept of Global Value Chains (GVCs) to make a case for increased trade liberalization is deeply flawed for three reasons: First because it attempts to bring back the notion of a self-regulating market that is disembedded from society and divorced from the asymmetries in economic power that characterize today’s interdependent global economy; Second, because it attempts to revive the discredited Washington Consensus; and third because it does not provide a framework for helping developing economies develop beyond their current comparative advantages.

Multilateral Trade System: From Impasse to Development? A speech by Jayant Dasgupta, Permanent Representative of India to the WTO

Original Publication Date: 
28 October, 2012
Ambassador Jayant Dasgupta, Permanent Representative of India to the WTO speaks forum major issues at the event organized by OWINFS at WTO Public Forum on Doha and the Multilateral Trade System: From Impasse to Development? on 26 September. His speech covered key issues such as the current status of the negotiations, other initiatives being taken by WTO Members in achieving their market access ambitions outside the WTO, the prospects for Bali Ministerial in December 2013 and the new issues, the new challenges and on the prospects for development.

The twists and turns of the Doha talks and the WTO - Martin Khor, South Centre

Original Publication Date: 
28 October, 2012
Speech of Martin Khor at OWINFS Panel at the WTO Public Forum, September 26, 2012 analyses what the future holds for the WTO, in particular in relation to the development dimension, and the interests of the developing countries.

Pronunciamiento de la ASC ante la nueva cumbre ministerial de la OMC

Original Publication Date: 
30 November, 2009

Entre el 30 de noviembre y el 2 de diciembre de 2009 se realizará en Ginebra la VII reunión ministerial de la OMC. Será un nuevo esfuerzo de reanudar las negociaciones de la Ronda de Doha, iniciada hace 8 años, y un escenario donde los países desarrollados nuevamente intentarán imponer su propia agenda de liberalización y desregulación de los mercados.

COSATU commends government’s stance not to rush to conclude Doha round

Original Publication Date: 
26 May, 2009
The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) commends the Department of Trade and Industry for opposing the current Doha texts on agriculture and industrial goods. In a statement released on 22 May 2009, it said that SA would not rush for an imperfect Doha deal.

Kirk Highlights Need For New Doha Ideas, Doha Review Bumped Up To NEC

Original Publication Date: 
13 May, 2009
U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk in a series of private and public gatherings this week in Geneva stressed the need for trading partners to consider new ideas to help break the current impasse in the Doha round of global trade talks, but also said the U.S. would look to build on the work done so far rather than scrapping it.

WTO rejoices over Kamal Nath's exit from trade and commerce

Original Publication Date: 
1 June, 2009

Geneva heaves a sigh of relief. With Kamal Nath moved out of the Indian Commerce Ministry, the probability of concluding the contentious Doha Development Round of the WTO appears much brighter. Not that Kamal Nath was un-necessarily throwing spanners but his strong grip over the trade negotiations helped India to resist bullying and arm-twisting by the big boys of international trade.