Overall “Bali Package” is a Setback for Development; Post-Bali Agenda Must Urgently Focus on Permanently Removing WTO Obstacles to Food Security, Urges Global Civil Society "Our World Is Not for Sale" network in this press release soon after the 9th WTO Ministerial in Bali, Indonesia.
Welcoming bold and principled statements on food security and in upholding the G-33 proposal by Mr. Anand Sharma, Indian Minister for Commerce and Industry at the WTO 9th Ministerial Conference in Bali, civil society groups called on the minister to stand firm on defending India’s Food Security!
Today, a group of civil society from the global Our World Is Not for Sale (OWINFS) network and allies, present in Bali for the 9th Ministerial meeting of the World Trade Organization (WTO), raised their voices using the human amplification tactic of “Mic Check!”
Global civil society, call upon Gita Wirjawan, Indonesian Trade Minister to pay urgent attention to the matter of food security across developing countries and urge you to pursue, as the leader of the the G-33, a permanent solution to the proposal on food security tabled by this group.
On December 2, 2013 Our World is Not for Sale Network urged WTO members to respect Non-Negotiating Ministerial in Bali and called upon them to approve the LDC package and urgently Remove WTO obstacles to Food Security post-Bali.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
Alarmed over mounting international pressure and the “take it or leave it” interim text on the peace clause solution on the G-33 proposal being considered for the 9th World Trade Organization (WTO) Ministerial Conference (MC9), 3-6 December 2013, Indian Farmers has called on the Government of India to reject the current PC proposal and demanded a permanent solution to protect farmers’ livelihoods and access to food for all.
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.
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)."
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."
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.