By Martin Khor, TWN Info Service on WTO and Trade Issues
The absence of development content and the severe effects of rapid trade liberalization were among key problems highlighted by policymakers and NGO participants at a workshop held here on the Economic Partnership Agreements between the European Union and the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group.
The Institute for Food and Development Policy, also known as Food First, today released a report that is highly critical of the Rockefeller and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundations' $150 million 'Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa' (AGRA).
In what is seen as a serious attempt to instill new leadership into the flagging Doha Development Agenda trade negotiations, a new Group-of-Six countries - comprised of Norway, Canada, New Zealand, Chile, Indonesia and Kenya - has been established to move the stall negotiations forward.
Malaysian activists Thursday announced a mass a protest during U.S.-Malaysia talks later this month on a free trade pact, saying such an agreement could jeopardize jobs and deprive poor people of cheap, generic drugs.
Brasilia, Kuala Lumpur, Rio de Janeiro, Cairns, Batam, Geneva, Brussels, Washington, are only some of the places where high level meetings aimed at restarting the stalled Doha trade negotiations have taken place since the de facto suspension of negotiations on July 27. With different groups of countries involved in various discussions with changing priorities, interested groups and citizens around the world are having a hard time following what negotiators are offering. Here is an update from Geneva on what has happened over the last two months and some developments to monitor.
Today, Friends of the Earth Europe and the Seattle to Brussels Network demanded that the European Union stops making policy decisions biased towards business interests. Trade and environmental campaigners staged an action outside the annual back-pat of the Confederation of European Business (UNICE) today, attended by six European Commissioners and called 'Why do companies care about Europe?'.