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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
With Boris Kagarlitsky (Institute for Globalization and Social Movements, IGSO, Russia), Diana Aguiar (Brazil Network for the Integration of Peoples -REBRIP, Brazil), Kevin Danaher (Global Exchange, USA), Au Loong Yu (China Labor Net, China)
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.
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)."
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.
Today, 117 organizations (including 17 international networks) from around the world sent a letter to members of the World Trade Organization (WTO), rejecting the report “The Future of Trade: The Challenges of Convergence,” written by the Secretariat of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in consultation with the panel composed by the outgoing Director General, Pascal Lamy, both in terms of the process, and the content of the analysis and recommendations contained therein. The letter, included in English and Spanish below and attached, was coordinated by the Our World Is Not for Sale (OWINFS) network.
Crash of neoliberal model and hegemony of the USA it was declared during scientific conference in Moscow within the Post-globalization initiative. Participants decided to organize Counter-Summit for G-20 in St. Petersburg. They are sure that it gives an opportunity to form a coalition of movements, non-governmental organizations, labour unions and individuals which are brought together not only by the common need to criticize the “Washington consensus” and current global economic order but also by the common will to design new policies and alternative strategies to overcome the current crisis.