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 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.
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.
Expressing alarm over the "take-it-or-leave-it" draft text on an interim solution on the G-33 proposal on public stockholding for food security, a number of farmers' groups in India have called on their government to reject such a ‘peace clause'. In a letter dated 14 November 2013 and addressed to Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, these groups instead demanded a "permanent solution" to protect farmers' livelihoods and access to food.
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.
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.