In a statement released ahead of the WTO General Council meeting tomorrow, farmers organization in India called upon the Indian Government to stand firm on linking the Food Security proposal with the Trade Facilitation Agreement in WTO. Farmers’ leaders expressed shock over the Chair's summary of the G 20 trade ministers meeting which was held on July 19 at Sydney.
In the backdrop of G20 trade ministers meeting on July 19 at Sydney, Deborah James writes on various critical issues that are important for developing countries and least developed countries as this meeting can be used to build consensus toward positions that can be brought back to forums where decisions can be enforced, such as the World Trade Organization (WTO).
In the backdrop of trade ministers meet in Sydney, today, 164 civil society organizations and trade unions from more than 150 developing and developed countries urged government representatives in Geneva to “condition the entry into force of the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) to the conclusion and fulfillment of the Development mandate under the Doha negotiations.”
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.
The World Trade Organisation Monday finally made the conclusion that the deadlines for reaching 'modalities' for agriculture and non-agricultural market access by the end of this month could not be met, and that a planned meeting of some 30 Ministers would be called off.
WTO Director General Pascal Lamy has cancelled a 'mini ministerial' meeting which was intended to finalise negotiations in the controversial trade round. The meeting would have excluded most countries from the developing world, and was cancelled following angry protests from developing countries, NGOs and trade unions.
The mood at the World Trade Organisation headquarters turned even more sombre Wednesday 19 April as many delegates have become convinced that it would be impossible to agree to modalities for agriculture and non-agricultural market access by the 30 April deadline set by the Hong Kong Ministerial.
In the context of the current negotiations on trade facilitation, development must be the main objective and focus, said the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of developing countries in a proposal submitted to the WTO's Negotiating Group on Trade Facilitation.
'The best approach is not to speculate and see what we learn on Tuesday' when the four testify, said Ben Stone, executive director of the Iowa Civil Liberties Union, which is representing one of the protesters.