News

Biggest emitters fail to show the way forward

Original Publication Date: 
10 June, 2009

Kathrin Hille in Beijing and Edward Luce in Washington

China and the US failed to achieve a breakthrough at their latest round of
climate talks on Wednesday, raising the stakes in the global effort to fight
global climate change.

The two countries responsible for almost half of the world¹s greenhouse gas
emissions ended three days of negotiations in Beijing.

While there are still months to go until the December meeting in Copenhagen,
where 181 countries, led by the United Nations, plan to work out a new

Australia: Don't Push PACER

Original Publication Date: 
9 June, 2009
Next week, Australia's Trade Minister Simon Crean will attend the Pacific Island Forum Trade Ministers Meeting in Apia, Samoa.

New world trade deal by 2010 says WTO chief

Original Publication Date: 
9 June, 2009
Eight torturous years of talks over a new global trade pact should reach a conclusion next year after changes in the US and Indian governments, WTO chief Pascal Lamy said on Tuesday.

India: House panel opposes foreign investment in retail

Original Publication Date: 
8 June, 2009
New Delhi: A Parliamentary Standing Committee has recommended a blanket ban on foreign investment in retail and has opposed even big domestic corporate entering the sector saying that it will lead to unemployment.

India committed to successful conclusion of Doha process: Anand Sharma

Original Publication Date: 
8 June, 2009
In his special address to the Cairns group, in Bali today, Shri Anand Sharma, Union Minister of Commerce and Industry has reiterated the Indian commitment to the successful conclusion of the Doha process through a constructive engagement.

End WTO Deregulation of Finance (OWINFS Financial Services Brief 1)

Original Publication Date: 
8 June, 2009

END WTO DEREGULATION OF FINANCE

"Free Trade" Agreements Contribute to Financial and Other Crises (OWINFS Financial Services Brief 2)

Original Publication Date: 
8 June, 2009
While the financial crisis and its consequences are spreading around the world and even the most erstwhile ‘free market’ governments are discussing how to re-regulate the financial sector, bilateral and regional ‘free trade’ agreements continue extreme deregulation of the financial industry. The terms of these agreements prohibit countries from reforming their financial sector so as to remedy the financial, economic, environmental, food and social crises now growing, and from ensuring that finance is directed towards the transformation to sustainable societies.

The Financial Crisis Does Not Justify a WTO Deal (OWINFS Financial Services Brief 3)

Original Publication Date: 
8 June, 2009
Many political leaders have been calling for the conclusion of the ‘Doha Round’ negotiations in the World Trade Organisation (WTO) as a solution to the financial crisis, in order to provide a boost to the world economy and a signal of confidence to multilateralism. They argue that WTO rules prevent “protectionist measures”, closing of borders, and beggar-thy-neighbour policies, which led to the economic depression in the 1930s and the consequent wars.

U.S. Civil Society Platform on Trade-Related IP and Access to Medicines Issues

Original Publication Date: 
8 June, 2009
The following represents four key goals that our organizations agree should guide US trade policy and practice with regard to intellectual property (IP) and health matters.

TRIPS and FTAs have adverse impact on access to drugs

Original Publication Date: 
4 June, 2009

TRIPS and FTAs have adverse impact on access to drugs

Geneva, 3 Jun (Kanaga Raja) -- The WTO TRIPS Agreement and the TRIPS-plus
provisions in Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) have had an adverse impact on
prices and availability of medicines, making it difficult for countries to
comply with their obligations to respect, protect and fulfil the right to
health, the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to health, Mr Anand Grover,
said on Tuesday.

Call for "global jobs pact" amidst rising job losses

Original Publication Date: 
3 June, 2009
The International Labour Organization's ninety-eighth tripartite conference gets under way from 3-19 June amidst the latest ILO labour market projections showing a further increase in the number of unemployed, working poor and those in vulnerable employment

Victory for BIOWATCH in Landmark Legal Case

Original Publication Date: 
3 June, 2009
Constitutional Court Justice Albie Sachs today handed down judgment in the Biowatch case. Calling the case “a matter of great interest to the legal profession, the general public, and bodies concerned with public interest litigation”, Justice Sachs set aside the costs order awarded against Biowatch in favour of Monsanto and further awarded legal costs in the High Court hearings in favour of Biowatch and against the state. The bench of eleven judges was unanimous in its decision.

SIGN-ON LETTER CALLING FOR REPAYMENT OF CLIMATE DEBT

Dear Friends, As the the climate negotiations intensify on the road to Copenhagen, a key issue that has occuppied much attention is the issue of mitigation and the burden-sharing between developed and developing countries.

War on Want's latest report: Trading Away Our Jobs: How free trade threatens employment around the world

Original Publication Date: 
2 June, 2009
War on Want's latest report, Trading Away Our Jobs: How free trade threatens employment around the world, investigates the impact of free trade agreements on jobs. Examining the empirical evidence for the first time, it shows that the free trade model that continues to dominate world trade has been responsible for the destruction of millions of jobs over the last 30 years.

European Action Days: 150,000 to 200,000 people will demonstrate in Europe from 14 to 16 May

Some 150,000 to 200,000 people are expected to take to the streets of Madrid, Brussels, Prague and Berlin during the three European Action Days organised by the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) on 14, 15 and 16 May 2009. Other demonstrations will also take place in Luxembourg, Bucharest and Birmingham.

Letter to the Presidents and Heads of State: Latin America and the Caribbean

We are writing to you in regard to the upcoming celebration in New York, on June 1 to 3, of the United Nations’ Conference on the Economic and Financial Crisis and its Impact on Develoment. We urge you to give this Conference the priority it deserves and to participate, in your capacity as Heads of State, leading a delegation from your country of the highest level including the participation of relevant ministries and civil society organizations and movements involved in addressing the impacts and building alternatives in the face of this crisis.

WTO to attend Cairns Group

Original Publication Date: 
1 June, 2009
WTO chief Pascal Lamy (left) will attend a meeting in Bali next week as part of attempts to restart global trade talks

WTO rejoices over Kamal Nath's exit from trade and commerce

Original Publication Date: 
1 June, 2009

Geneva heaves a sigh of relief. With Kamal Nath moved out of the Indian Commerce Ministry, the probability of concluding the contentious Doha Development Round of the WTO appears much brighter. Not that Kamal Nath was un-necessarily throwing spanners but his strong grip over the trade negotiations helped India to resist bullying and arm-twisting by the big boys of international trade.

Canada-Colombia Trade Deal Removed from Canadian Government's Legislative Agenda

Original Publication Date: 
1 June, 2009
As a result of increasing parliamentary and public concern, Bill C-23, the implementing legislation for the Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement (FTA), has been removed from the Canadian government's current legislative agenda.

World economy to shrink by 2.6% this year

Original Publication Date: 
29 May, 2009

Geneva, 28 May (Kanaga Raja) -- The United Nations on Wednesday downgraded its economic forecast for 2009, projecting the world economy to shrink by 2.6% this year, with the poorest countries to be hit the hardest.
 
The downgrade comes on top of an already pessimistic UN estimate five months ago, when it had projected a decline by 0.5%.
 
The even grimmer economic picture has been outlined by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN-DESA) in its mid-year report "World Economic Situation and Prospects 2009".