Ottawa – The Council of Canadians is saddened by efforts from the Harper government to yet again undermine multilateralism and the demands of developing countries, this time at the WTO with a harmful “pledge against protectionism.” The social justice organization also regrets that Canada continues to expand the WTO’s Government Procurement Agreement, which unnecessarily restricts public options for supporting local, sustainable development at home and in other countries.
GENEVA, Switzerland – The activist peasant group Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (Peasant Movement of the Philippines – KMP) today assailed the “Pledge Against Protectionism” statement being circulated and asked for signing by countries headed by the United States and European Union at the 8th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in Geneva, Switzerland.
Tonight, a group of civil society from the global Our World Is Not for Sale (OWINFS) network, present in Geneva for the 8th Ministerial meeting of the World Trade Organization (WTO), interrupted a United States business cocktail reception using the Occupy Wall Street tactic of “Mic Check!”
We Demand Jobs and Industrial Development Policy Space
We Demand the Right to Protect the Policy Space for Development
WTO Rules Must Facilitate Financial Stability Rather than Financial Deregulation
Access to Health and Affordable Medicines before Patent Monopolies
We Demand Trade Rules that Support Food Security and Sovereignty
Protecting Biodiversity and the Banning the Patenting of Life
The WTO Is Not the Venue to Establish Climate Change Policy
Over 50 civil society experts – trade unionists, farmers, development advocates, and consumer activists – from 30 countries have traveled to Geneva for the 8th Ministerial meeting of the World Trade Organization (WTO), working through the global Our World Is Not for Sale (OWINFS) network and the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC). Today they joined local Geneva activists at the “Occupy WTO” tent across from the CICG conference center, where they presented critiques of the current negotiations within the WTO, and offered a path forward for the transformation of the current trading system to provide solutions to the current crises of unemployment, poverty, and the under-regulated financial services sector.
Any country undergoing accession faces tough questions about the price paid for the benefit received.
While accessions are being promoted as a highlight of this Ministerial meeting, it is noteworthy that these are the first since the onset of the global economic crisis.