Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call for an outcome on public stockholding programmes for food security at the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) ministerial meeting next month in Nairobi has almost been spiked after the US, the European Union, Canada and Australia ruled out any change from the existing interim arrangement.
The US has demanded ‘safe harbor’ protection for its controversial farm export credit programme from the disciplines underpinning the World Trade Organization’s agreement on subsidies and countervailing measures despite denying such a flexibility to India and other developing countries for public stockholding programmes for food security last year.
In the backdrop of agreement between India and US on public stockholdings for food security purposes this Global civil society letter highlights that the current solution is inadequate and calls upon WTO members to ensure that developing countries’ and LDCs’ interests are not sacrificed in the current negotiations and at the special General Council meeting on 26 November 2014 in order to clear the path for the TFA.
International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers' Association (IUF)
The Tisa Threat to Food and Agriculture: The International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers' Association's (IUF) presentation at the WTO Public Forum 2014 – Uni Global Union/Public Services International Panel How a proposed trade in services agreement (TISA) matters to everyone
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.
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!”
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!
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.
In this letter to Ambassador Mike Froman, United State Trade Representative (USTR) and Ambassador Michael Punke
Deputy USTR and Permanent Representative to the WTO, Civil society groups from US express dismay over over US opposition to G33 proposal and urged the US government to support the G33’s proposal to allow for greater public spending to ensure more stable food supplies and prices in developing countries
Over 280 civil society organizations representing a broad range of civil society groups and global union federations representing hundreds of millions of workers across the world urged Roberto Azevedo, the Director-General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and WTO member states, to take the issue of food security in developing countries as a matter of serious and immediate concern not to render the G-33 proposal on public food stockholding a travesty by asking developing countries to agree to the current text on the peace clause.
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.
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.
After many failed Ministerial meetings and nearly twelve years of negotiations, the Doha Round of WTO expansion is at a crossroads. Developed countries have pushed aside agreements to negotiate on key developing country issues intended to correct the imbalances within the existing WTO, which formed the basis of the development mandate of Doha.
Even worse, developed countries appear to be re-packaging the same liberalization and market access demands of their corporate interests to create a “new trade narrative” towards gaining agreements at the upcoming 9th Ministerial in Bali.
In this statement with specific demands Our World Is Not for Sale (OWINFS) network asserts that in addition to a long-term transformation of the global trade and economic architecture, immediate changes must be made to WTO in order to provide countries more policy space to pursue a positive agenda for development and job-creation, food security, sustainable development, access to affordable healthcare and medicines, and global financial stability.