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."
In this letter to Mr. Roberto Azevêdo, Director General, WTO, 162 organizations expressed concerns regarding intellectual property commitments being forced on Yemen as part of its WTO accession package that will be presented for formal adoption, to the 9th WTO Ministerial Conference in Bali, 3-6 December 2013.
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
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
On 11th June 2013, the WTO TRIPS Council took a decision (IP/C/64) to extend for a further 8 years, the flexibility of least developed country (LDC) Members under Article 66.1 to not apply the provisions of the TRIPS Agreement except for Articles 3, 4 and 5 (which concern national treatment and most-favored nation treatment). This decision was a compromise deal as the EU and US exerted intense pressure on the LDCs to accept conditionalities that are not in favour of the people in the LDCs.
Today (11 June 2013) the WTO-Trade-Related Intellectual Property Rules (TRIPS) Council adopted a decision granting Least Developed Countries (LDCs) an eight-year extension of the transition period, (deferring the time within which LDCs to implement the TRIPS Agreement), without the pernicious mandatory “no roll-back” clause (contained in the previous extension decision) which developed countries pushed hard to include.