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.
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.
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.
DECLARATION OF THE G20 COUNTER-SUMMIT
St Petersburg, 4 September 2013
Social movements and civil society organizations from different parts of the world have met on 3 -4 September 2013 in Saint Petersburg, Russia, on the eve of the G20 Summit and in a context of the threat by the United States of America (USA) to attack Syria. With the participation of more than 30 international delegates of world social movements, our G20 Counter-Summit, was hosted by the Post-Globalization Initiative.
Technological Bridge between the G20 Counter-Summit international participants gathered in Moscow and the European Parliament Event "Advancing a new regulatory regime for Transnational Corporations and Investment: Towards An International Peoples’ Treaty", Sept. 5, 2013
Social organizations from all over the world have come together in St. Petersburg, Russia, September 3-4, 2013, to hold accountable the policies of the G-20 group of industrial nations and their failure to effectively address the critical issues of growing global inequality, financial crisis, environmental destruction and military conflicts.
Social movements and civil society organizations from different parts of the world have met on 3-4 September 2013 in Saint Petersburg, Russia, on the eve of the G20 Summit. With the participation of more than 30 international delegates of world social movements, our G20 Counter-Summit was hosted by the Post-Globalization Initiative.
Five years after the financial meltdown, the G20 continues promoting failed neoliberal policies, forcing austerity measures in countries facing deep recession and social crisis. During this period a vast architecture of impunity was built to serve the interests of transnational capital.
G20 Counter-Summit, Opening Conference: "G20 and the Global Crisis on the Eve of an Attack Against Syria", Sept. 3, 2013
With Samir Amin (Third World Network/Egypt-France), Dorothy Guerrero (Focus on the Global South/?hailand), Hanny van Geel (Via Campesina/Netherlands), Pedro Paez (Head of the Antimonopoly Service of Ecuador), Edgardo Lander (Universidad Central de Venezuela, Venezuela) and Boris Kagarlitsky (Institut for Globalization and Social Movements, Russia).
With Boris Kagarlitsky (Institute for Globalization and Social Movements, IGSO, Russia), Diana Aguiar (Brazil Network for the Integration of Peoples -REBRIP, Brazil), Kevin Danaher (Global Exchange, USA), Au Loong Yu (China Labor Net, China)
On the 3-4th of September in St. Petersburg a counter-summit, a large-scale international event that aims to be an alternative to the September G20 Summit and to develop new principles of economic and social policy that are not based on the "Washington Consensus" will be held. The international counter-summit organised by the "Post-globalization" initiative will bring together world-renowned experts, politicians, economists, social scientists from Europe, Asia, Africa, North and South America. In the frames of the counter-summit panel discussions, seminars and public lectures will be held.
In advance of the G20 meeting in Mexico this week, civil society groups working together in the Our World Is Not for Sale (OWINFS) network sent a letter to governments participating in the meetings urging them to reject discussing the further liberalization of trade in the World Trade Organization (WTO) negotiations, at the G20 meetings in Mexico.