News

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.

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.

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.

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.

OWINFS Expert panel addresses key issues in stalled Doha talks

Original Publication Date: 
1 October, 2012
An expert panel session at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Public Forum addressed some key issues in the Doha negotiations, such as potential scenarios for the stalled talks in the next year or two, the new trade narrative of global value chains being espoused by some, and the issues of trade facilitation and a plurilateral services agreement being pushed by some developed countries.

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.

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.

WTO 8th Ministerial Failed to Respond to Food, Jobs and Financial Crises, 99% Say

Original Publication Date: 
17 December, 2011

This afternoon, a group of civil society from the global Our World Is Not for Sale (OWINFS) network, present in Geneva for the 8th Ministerial meeting of the World Trade Organization (WTO), sent a message to negotiators entering the closing plenary of the 8th Ministerial in Geneva using the Occupy Wall Street tactic of “Mic Check!”

Pledge Against Protectionism: Statements from Civil Society Organizations

Original Publication Date: 
17 December, 2011

A wide variety of civil society representatives and experts from the global Our World Is Not for Sale (OWINFS) network, present in Geneva for the 8th Ministerial meeting of the World Trade Organization (WTO), voiced their opposition to the idea of a standstill on tariffs in the WTO proposed within the “Pledge Against Protectionism” circulated today by a group of mostly developed countries.

Statement of Our World Is Not for Sale (OWINFS) on the de Schutter-WTO Debate

Original Publication Date: 
17 December, 2011

OWINFS Supports De Schutter:
WTO has Negative Impact on Global Food Security!
We Demand Trade Rules that Support Food Security and Sovereignty

Survivance des mesures protectionnistes: les pays africains en souffrent

Original Publication Date: 
16 December, 2011

Les pays les plus développés mettent en place un nombre d’obstacles toujours plus grand aux échanges commerciaux. En plus de cela, ces grandes puissances campent sur leurs positions, arrêtées depuis longtemps.

Quotes from a variety of civil society experts

Original Publication Date: 
16 December, 2011

Aksel Naerstad, chair of the Norwegian Trade Campaign (network organizations of labour unions, farmers’ organizations, environmental organizations, solidarity organizations and other NGOs):

99% Interrupt U.S. Corporate 1% Reception at the WTO in Geneva

Original Publication Date: 
16 December, 2011

Tonight, a group of civil society from the global Our World Is Not for Sale (OWINFS) network, present in Geneva for the 8th Ministerial meeting of the World Trade Organization (WTO), interrupted a United States business cocktail reception using the Occupy Wall Street tactic of “Mic Check!”

Le CNCD-11.11.11 dénonce les méthodes de l’UE et des pays industrialisés

Original Publication Date: 
16 December, 2011

Du 15 au 17 décembre, les représentants des Etats du monde entier sont réunis à Genève pour tenter de relancer le « Programme de Doha pour le développement »  de l’Organisation internationale du commerce (OMC). Lancé en 2001, celui-ci promettait de réparer les graves inégalités et les impacts catastrophiques pour les pays en voie de développement résultant des négociations commerciales mondiales conclues depuis 1948 et particulièrement de l’Uruguay Round, conclu en 1994.

US, EU’s ‘Pledge Against Protectionism’ a cover up of crimes of globalization, says PH farmers

Original Publication Date: 
16 December, 2011

Reference:  Jim Fernando, KMP Campaign Officer
 
GENEVA, Switzerland – The activist peasant group Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (Peasant Movement of the Philippines – KMP) today assailed the “Pledge Against Protectionism” statement being circulated and asked for signing by countries headed by the United States and European Union at the 8th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in Geneva, Switzerland.
 

Compromiso contra el proteccionismo: Postura de organizaciones Latinoamericanas

Original Publication Date: 
16 December, 2011

Ante el Compromiso contra el proteccionismo, impulsado por Australia, Canadá, Estados Unido, Japón y la Unión Europea el día 15 de diciembre del 2011 en el marco de la 8va Conferencia Ministerial de la OMC, y firmado por otros 18 países entre ellos México, Perú, Chile, y Costa Rica, nosotros aquí firmantes, organizaciones de Argentina, Brasil, México y Perú, unidos a los más de 50 representantes de la sociedad civil de 30 países del mundo aquí presentes en Ginebra, Suiza ante la 8va Conferencia Ministerial de la OMC, nos levantamos de una sola voz para denunciar

Harper turns his back on development at WTO with divisive “pledge against protectionism” and unhelpful Government Procurement Agreement

Original Publication Date: 
16 December, 2011

MEDIA RELEASE
December 16, 2011

Ottawa – The Council of Canadians is saddened by efforts from the Harper government to yet again undermine multilateralism and the demands of developing countries, this time at the WTO with a harmful “pledge against protectionism.” The social justice organization also regrets that Canada continues to expand the WTO’s Government Procurement Agreement, which unnecessarily restricts public options for supporting local, sustainable development at home and in other countries.