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.
Alarmed over mounting international pressure and the “take it or leave it” interim text on the peace clause solution on the G-33 proposal being considered for the 9th World Trade Organization (WTO) Ministerial Conference (MC9), 3-6 December 2013, Indian Farmers has called on the Government of India to reject the current PC proposal and demanded a permanent solution to protect farmers’ livelihoods and access to food for all.
After many failed Ministerial meetings and nearly twelve years of negotiations, the Doha Round of WTO expansion is at a crossroads. Developed countries have pushed aside agreements to negotiate on key developing country issues intended to correct the imbalances within the existing WTO, which formed the basis of the development mandate of Doha.
Even worse, developed countries appear to be re-packaging the same liberalization and market access demands of their corporate interests to create a “new trade narrative” towards gaining agreements at the upcoming 9th Ministerial in Bali.
In this statement with specific demands Our World Is Not for Sale (OWINFS) network asserts that in addition to a long-term transformation of the global trade and economic architecture, immediate changes must be made to WTO in order to provide countries more policy space to pursue a positive agenda for development and job-creation, food security, sustainable development, access to affordable healthcare and medicines, and global financial stability.
On the occasion of 9th WTO Ministerial Conference to be held from 3 to 6 December 2013 in Bali, Indonesia, Our World Is Not For Sale network calls upon its members, trade unions, farmers, civil society organizations and people at large to take action and send message to governments across the world to "Stop Expansion of the WTO and Shut Down the Corporate “Trade” Attack and to prioritize Food, Jobs, Peoples’ Rights and Sustainable Development First!"
Today, as governments meet in Geneva to negotiate a proposed Trade in Services Agreement (TISA), 341 organizations representing hundreds of thousands of people from nearly every developing and developed country, called on governments to abandon the talks. Among the endorsers were 42 major international and regional networks such as Public Services International (PSI), UNI Global Union, the European Federation of Public Services Unions (EPSU), the IndustriALL Global Union, the International Union of Food and Allied Workers (IUF), and the ATTAC European network. The letter was organized by the OWINFS network.
Today, as governments meet in Geneva to negotiate a proposed Trade in Services Agreement (TISA), 345 organizations representing hundreds of thousands of people from nearly every developing and developed country, called on governments to abandon the talks. Among the endorsers were 42 major international and regional networks such as Public Services International (PSI), UNI Global Union, the European Federation of Public Services Unions (EPSU), the IndustriALL Global Union, the International Union of Food and Allied Workers (IUF), and the ATTAC European network. The letter was organized by the OWINFS network.
Technological Bridge between the G20 Counter-Summit international participants gathered in Moscow and the European Parliament Event "Advancing a new regulatory regime for Transnational Corporations and Investment: Towards An International Peoples’ Treaty", Sept. 5, 2013
DECLARATION OF THE G20 COUNTER-SUMMIT
St Petersburg, 4 September 2013
Social movements and civil society organizations from different parts of the world have met on 3 -4 September 2013 in Saint Petersburg, Russia, on the eve of the G20 Summit and in a context of the threat by the United States of America (USA) to attack Syria. With the participation of more than 30 international delegates of world social movements, our G20 Counter-Summit, was hosted by the Post-Globalization Initiative.
Social organizations from all over the world have come together in St. Petersburg, Russia, September 3-4, 2013, to hold accountable the policies of the G-20 group of industrial nations and their failure to effectively address the critical issues of growing global inequality, financial crisis, environmental destruction and military conflicts.
Social movements and civil society organizations from different parts of the world have met on 3-4 September 2013 in Saint Petersburg, Russia, on the eve of the G20 Summit. With the participation of more than 30 international delegates of world social movements, our G20 Counter-Summit was hosted by the Post-Globalization Initiative.
Five years after the financial meltdown, the G20 continues promoting failed neoliberal policies, forcing austerity measures in countries facing deep recession and social crisis. During this period a vast architecture of impunity was built to serve the interests of transnational capital.