The World Trade Organization (WTO) is getting ready for its 7th ministerial conference, to take place from November 30 to December 2, 2009 in Geneva. As trade ministers pack their suitcases, a few of them must be asking questions about the value of the trip. More than a year after the July 2008 mini-ministerial collapsed in acrimony, the Doha talks have not moved an inch – except to go backwards, according to some developing country representatives.
Welcome to the 7th WTO Ministerial Conference! This WTO Ministerial Conference will be a bit different from those many of you have attended in the past. Unlike previous Conferences this meeting will not be a Doha Round negotiating session, but rather a chance for Ministers to reflect on all elements of our work, exchange ideas and extend guidance on the best way forward in the years to come.
Eleven days before the fifteenth Conference of the Parties under the United Nations’ Climate Change Convention that will be held in Copenhagen between the 7th and the 18th of December, an issue which remains controversial is the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA) between the European Union and the Indonesian government, designed to support trade liberalisation between the two region as well as increase cooperation in the mitigation of climate change, in part through the provision of 550 million Euros of funding.
Monday 30 November marks the 10th anniversary of the Battle in Seattle, the day in 1999 when 100,000 protesters took to the streets and prevented the World Trade Organisation from launching its millennium round of free trade talks. The WTO is marking the occasion with another ministerial summit, and is understandably nervous – not because it fears another spectacular uprising (the summit is being held in genteel Geneva) but because the future of the WTO as a credible institution once again hangs in the balance.
The Senate Finance Committee did not vote on the nominations of Michael Punke to be Deputy U.S. Trade Representative and Islam Siddiqui to be chief agriculture negotiator at USTR on Saturday, November 21.
We, 125 organizations from over 50 countries are writing to urge you to represent the interests of farmers, workers, consumers, women, and the environment, by rejecting the further liberalization of trade in food in the World Trade Organization (WTO) and instead, calling for policies which will achieve food security, rural development and safeguard farmers’ livelihoods through Food Sovereignty.
A group of 125 non-governmental organisations from 50 countries is calling on the governments participating in the mini-ministerial trade talks in India over the next two days to reject the further liberalisation of food and rather promote policies that will achieve food security and rural development and safeguard farmers’ livelihoods.
The organisations, of which 13 are in Africa, argue in a letter to the 36 countries attending the mini-ministerial meeting that the World Trade Organisation’s (WTO) policies have resulted in "a failed global agricultural system including extremely volatile commodities markets, a lack of global access to nutritious and affordable food, an increase in hunger, and the erosion of farmers’ incomes.
The much hyped Delhi mini-ministerial ended today with most developing
country delegates saying that it was business as usual with negotiations
going back to Geneva and Chairs of the Negotiating Committees of the Doha
Round. However, Indian Commerce Minister Sharma summarized the meeting by
saying that both the G20 and the G33, "were of the view that the texts of
December 2008 must form the basis of future work."
A call to unite and confront the converging global crises of our times, replace the trade and investment pacts and related juggernauts of the corporate-driven global economy, and start building a sustainable economic future together.
General Secretary of the Pacific Conference of Churches, Fei Tevi, formally launched a new report from the Pacific Network on Globalisation on July 30. The report (Speaking Truth to Power: Australian and New Zealand power plays to launch Pacific free trade negotiations) exposes the often secret world of regional trade discussions - where meetings between Pacific government officials and their Australian and New Zealand counterparts are held 'behind closed doors'.
New York, 26 Jun (Bhumika Muchhala) -- The bailouts given to companies in developed countries have destroyed the framework of the multilateral trading system for a level playing field, according to the Nobel prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz.
Speaking at the UN conference on the global financial and economic crisis, Stiglitz said that the massive bailouts and stimulus programmes of the rich countries have "destroyed the framework for an international and multilateral global playing field for trade."
Geneva, 25 Jun (Kanaga Raja) -- The global economic crisis, which has reached the African continent, requires the re-examination of existing approaches to international development, with one important response being deeper regional integration to address the long-standing structural weaknesses of African economies, the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) said Thursday.
New York, 24 Jun (Meena Raman) -- The UN Conference on the "World Financial and Economic Crisis and its Impact on Development" opens Wednesday morning with speeches by UN dignitaries and some political leaders that have gathered here to discuss ways and means to address the crisis.
However, the main event will be whether a Main Committee decides to adopt a draft outcome document that has been transmitted to it by diplomats who have been negotiating intensely in the past few months.