In this article Mr Chakravarthi Raghavan, who has been following GATT/WTO for the past decade, highlights problems in the undemocratic WTO process and resistance from developing countries. He argues that, "it is not for developing countries to act and enable the US and EU to gain confidence in the WTO system as an instrument to deliver for them, but it is time for the US, EU and secretariats of international organisations to act to regain confidence in them of the developing world and their people."
On November 26, 2013 WTO Director General Roberto Azevêdo announced that governments have failed to reach agreement on a “Bali package” in advance of the upcoming Ministerial, set for December 3-6, 2013. The global civil society Our World Is Not For Sale (OWINFS) network, which has long opposed the talks on Trade Facilitation (see June letter) celebrated this outcome, while urging governments to focus their time in Bali onmaking permanent changes to WTO rules to allow developing countries to pursue Food Security.
Over 280 civil society organizations representing a broad range of civil society groups and global union federations representing hundreds of millions of workers across the world urged Roberto Azevedo, the Director-General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and WTO member states, to take the issue of food security in developing countries as a matter of serious and immediate concern not to render the G-33 proposal on public food stockholding a travesty by asking developing countries to agree to the current text on the peace clause.
A group of eminent trade experts from developing countries has advised developing countries to be very cautious and not be rushed into an agreement on trade facilitation (TF) by the Bali WTO Ministerial Conference, given the current internal imbalance in the proposed agreement as well as the serious implementation challenges it poses.
A group of eminent trade experts from developing countries has highlighted the importance of public stockholding for food security, and the need to correct some of the imbalances in the present rules on agricultural subsidies in the World Trade Organisation (WTO). The views of these eminent experts are reflected in a report titled "The WTO's Bali Ministerial and Food Security for Developing Countries: Need for Equity and Justice in the Rules on Agricultural Subsidies", drawn from discussions at two expert group meetings organised by the Geneva-based South Centre.
The Bali package must be tied up once and for all in the next few days, the Director-General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), Mr Roberto Azevedo, told an informal meeting of the Trade Negotiations Committee (TNC) on Tuesday.
In this critical blog Deborah James, Director, International Programs at the Center for Economic and Policy Research, writes on some of the key messages from the Global civil society, trade unions and people's movements on What's Going on at the WTO? Opportunities and Risks Before the 9th Ministerial Meeting.
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.
Expressing alarm over the "take-it-or-leave-it" draft text on an interim solution on the G-33 proposal on public stockholding for food security, a number of farmers' groups in India have called on their government to reject such a ‘peace clause'. In a letter dated 14 November 2013 and addressed to Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, these groups instead demanded a "permanent solution" to protect farmers' livelihoods and access to food.
The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) together with 163 other trade union and civil society organisations are raising concerns over a proposed expansion of the Information Technology Agreement (ITA II) being negotiated at the World Trade Organisation (WTO). In a joint letter to the WTO members, they argued that the proposed expansion, would lead to erosion of manufacturing potential in developing countries and called for a comprehensive impact assessment of ITA I before taking a decision on ITA II.