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."
Date: 18 June, 2009
Dear Prime Minister Mr. Manmohan Singh,
As the newly formed UPA coalition government is just settling in to govern for the next five years, there is news that Commerce Minister Anand Sharma is already on his way to the United States (US) to bilaterally iron out differences to seal the trade deal that was launched during the World Trade Organisation's (WTO) 4th Ministerial Meeting in Doha. At stake in these trade negotiations are hundreds of millions of livelihoods in the farming and non-agriculture sectors that India has fought hard to preserve over the past eight years since the launch of the Doha Development Round.
There is a rather odd interview Anand Sharma has given to Reuters. He is off to Washington and the interview comes just before the visit. Part of the interview is about India being keen to break the deadlock in WTO negotiations.
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.
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.
World Trade Organization director-general Pascal Lamy said May 26 that WTO members should consider a two-track approach towards concluding the troubled Doha Round of trade talks, an idea already floated by the United States for breaking the deadlock in the negotiations.
Martin Khor, TWN Info Service on WTO and Trade Issues
The chair of the WTO’s Doha agriculture negotiations, Ambassador Crawford Falconer of New Zealand, said Friday that he would be preparing a provocative "challenge" paper at the end of next week that would be a precursor to a revised draft of an agriculture text.
A bipartisan majority of U.S. senators called on President Bush April 16 to oppose any further concessions in the World Trade Organization agriculture negotiations, saying that other WTO members have still not done enough in terms of offering enhanced market access for U.S. farm products.
The suggestion of the developed world that India should open up its market for imports is likely to prove fatal for farmers and food security. US trade representative Susan Schwab in the last week urged India to open up its markets for imports, as it would help in its effort to contain the rising trend in prices.
Pressures are mounting on India to play an effective role in resolving the issue of Special Products (SPs) and Special Safeguard Mechanism (SSM) in a way which would not hinder market access for developed countries.
A Farm Bill proposal pushed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) could weaken protections for farmers from natural disasters, according to a new analysis by the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP).
Riaz K. Tayob, TWN Info Service on WTO and Trade Issues (Mar07/09)
Twelve influential members of the United States Congress, in a letter to US Trade Representative Susan Schwab, have urged the 'immediate reconsideration' of certain TRIPS plus provisions in US Free Trade Agreements so as to ensure adherence to the World Trade Organization's 2001 Doha Declaration on TRIPS and Public Health.
Kanaga Raja, TWN Info Service on WTO and Trade Issues (Mar07/11)
Poor cotton farmers in West Africa are facing new pressures from low commodity prices and from privatization programs being advocated by international donors such as the World Bank, the international aid agency Oxfam warned Thursday.
Kanaga Raja, TWN Info Service on WTO and Trade Issues (Mar07/10)
The Group of 20 (G20) developing countries at the WTO said Thursday that trade-distorting subsidies from the developed countries are at the root of the critical situation of cotton for developing countries, and is one of the major inequalities in international agricultural trade.
We, representatives of organizations and social movements of Brasil, Bolivia, Costa Rica, Colombia, Guatemala, and the Dominican Republic, gathered at a forum on the expansion of the sugarcane industry in Latin America, declare that: