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.
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.
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!”
We Demand Jobs and Industrial Development Policy Space
We Demand the Right to Protect the Policy Space for Development
WTO Rules Must Facilitate Financial Stability Rather than Financial Deregulation
Access to Health and Affordable Medicines before Patent Monopolies
We Demand Trade Rules that Support Food Security and Sovereignty
Protecting Biodiversity and the Banning the Patenting of Life
The WTO Is Not the Venue to Establish Climate Change Policy
Over 50 civil society experts – trade unionists, farmers, development advocates, and consumer activists – from 30 countries have traveled to Geneva for the 8th Ministerial meeting of the World Trade Organization (WTO), working through the global Our World Is Not for Sale (OWINFS) network and the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC). Today they joined local Geneva activists at the “Occupy WTO” tent across from the CICG conference center, where they presented critiques of the current negotiations within the WTO, and offered a path forward for the transformation of the current trading system to provide solutions to the current crises of unemployment, poverty, and the under-regulated financial services sector.
Any country undergoing accession faces tough questions about the price paid for the benefit received.
While accessions are being promoted as a highlight of this Ministerial meeting, it is noteworthy that these are the first since the onset of the global economic crisis.
What are the key issues that will be determined at the 8th Ministerial Conference (MC8) of the WTO?
How do these decisions relate to the development mandate of the Doha Round, and the global crisis of unemployment?
How is the WTO responding to international demands for increased international and national oversight over financial services?
What impact are WTO accessions having on the populations of the acceding countries?
This Analytical Note provides an overview of the following: issues at stake in MC8 for developing countries and key messages for Ministers; the state of play including the main events that took place in the production of the ‘Elements for Political Guidance’ text; the legal status of the Chairman’s Statement as the outcome document of the Ministerial; important process issues to be mindful of during the Ministerial; a detailed look at the issues in the ‘Elements for Political Guidance’ text; and a paragraph by paragraph analysis of the ‘Elements’ text.
Inexplicably, the WTO has yet again announced an accelerated schedule of negotiations this spring, after some governments agreed at the November 2010 meetings of the G20 to push for a conclusion the Doha Round of WTO expansion negotiations in 2011.
OWINFS encourages social movements and civil society organizations concerned about the impacts of the WTO on workers, farmers, women, the environment, and our future, to organize national pressure immediately on your Trade Minister and other national officials!
As you gather in Washington, D.C. to address pressing issues facing the global economy, we call on you to safeguard governments’ ability to implement policies that will reestablish and maintain financial stability in the wake of the worst financial and economic crisis in decades.
Call from Dakar to Mobilize for the G8 and the G20 in France in 2011
Confronting the G8, May 21st and 22nd, 2011 in Deauville
Confronting the G20, from October 31st to November 5th, 2011 in Cannes
Gathered at the Action against the G8/G20 Convergence Assembly at the World Social Forum in Dakar, we - social movements, trade unions, international solidarity associations, women and men from all continents - call for massive popular mobilizations during the G8 summit on May 26th and 27th in Deauville and the G20 summit on November 3rd and 4th in Cannes. Here in Dakar, we have debated about the way to address the social, ecological, economic and geopolitical crises that together constitute a true crisis of civilization...
The G20 is an unelected and select group of countries whose membership was originally drawn in response to the financial crises of the 1990s.1 The group came to its current position of prominence as a result of the latest wave of crises starting in 2007, as it had become clear that the G8 were incapable of responding without the collaboration of those from outside their number. The G20 has illegitimately proclaimed itself to be the premier forum of global economic governance for the future. In particular, the G20 seeks to dictate which bodies should be entrusted with responsibility for policing the global economy on its behalf. The G20’s policy agenda is driven primarily by the interests of global capital, as business leaders meet regularly in closed session with G20 ministers in the run-up to the G20 summits.G20 is trying to promote further liberalisation of trade, investment, finance and public services as a solution to the crisis.
Recognizing that profound and fundamental change to the system is the ONLY solution to the crisis, member organisations and social movements of Our World Is Not For Sale make the following demands:
During the last Climate Talks in Bonn in August some concrete proposals were brought to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in order to advance the negotiations to cut the greenhouse gas emissions in a new and positive way. The main demands of the World Peoples Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth (Cochabamba, April 2010) have been incorporated in the negotiation text of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperation under the UNFCCC.
The following paper is based on a document researched and written by John Dillon, entitled, From Pittsburgh to Toronto (and on to Seoul and Paris): What’s On The G-20 Agenda?, published by KAIROS [Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives] in Canada. In order to provide a background tool that could be used by social movements and allied NGOs for strategic discussion purposes about the G-20, the KAIROS document has been reworked and edited. This task has been carried out by Tony Clarke of the Polaris Institute in Canada. It is a shortened version of the original document but includes many relevant excerpts as well as some additions.The discussion paper that follows contains a summary of 7 key themes that need to be considered in developing strategies for ‘confronting the G-20: