Focus: On the Road to Hong Kong (Number 8, 16 December 2005)

Original Publication Date: 
15 December, 2005

Day four of the Ministerial had many ups, downs and roundabouts. It ended with the release of a text on agriculture which maintains dumping (analysis by Aileen Kwa), a green room on services from which the results are yet to be seen (article by Benny Kuruvilla), and a 6am deadline for members to submit proposals for final changes to the Ministerial Declaration. An earlier civil society meeting with the Venezuelan delegation revealed that they would not support negotiations on the controversial Annex C on Services, and would 'walk out' if negotiations proceeded on that basis. The South African delegation called a symbolic meeting with civil society to similarly voice their opposition to Annex C and confirm their position that the Annex cannot be part of the final Ministerial Declaration. This position was supported in a joint letter to the Chairman by Venezuela and South Africa together with the Philippines, Indonesia and Cuba. In other developments all developing countries at the WTO (G20, G33, ACP, the LDCs, the African Group and the Small Economies) issued a joint statement declaring their shared interest in the development dimension of the Round and 'their expectations for a comprehensive development outcome'.

There will be tough negotiations tonight over Annex C and it is expected there will be extreme pressure placed on the G90 because of their alternative tabled text.

Tomorrow's event of the day: Iraq: Ground Zero of Globalization and War

Where: Boys and Girls Club, 3 Lockhart Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong When: 6pm

MEDIA RELEASE: THE DUMPING CONTINUES (RELEASED 11.45 PM, FRIDAY 16TH PM HONG KONG TIME)

All the hype at this Ministerial about development is a bag of empty promises. The draft agriculture text released tonight has language in it that will give the US and EU guarantees that they can continue their dumping in developing countries with results that will be disastrous for farmers in the developing world. Read the release.

http://www.focusweb.org/content/view/765/55/

SERVICES TEXT BLOWS UP IN THE FACE OF THE HONG KONG MINISTERIAL (Benny Kuruvilla)

Update on how the disagreement over services could lead to the unravelling of the Ministerial - or its conclusion.

http://www.focusweb.org/content/view/766/55/

ANALYSIS OF JUST RELEASED AGRICULTURE TEXT (Aileen Kwa)

A quick analysis of the problems associated with the agriculture text

http://www.focusweb.org/content/view/767/55/

CIVIL SOCIETY CALLS ON RICH COUNTRIES TO STOP IMPOSING EXTREME DEMANDS ON DEVELOPING COUNTRIES

Today over 80 organisations issued a joint statement expressing grave concerns about the state of negotiations and the fact that the current agreements on the table are anti-development in nature. Read statement

http://www.focusweb.org/content/view/768/55/

HONG KONG LOCALS ON HUNGER STRIKE

Using their bodies as their only weapons, a small group of Hong Kong locals went on hunger strike to protest over the exclusion zone in and around the Hong Kong Convention Centre and calling upon the WTO to take the "poor seriously because food is a human right". Read statement.

http://www.focusweb.org/content/view/769/55/

PASCAL LAMY AND THE SORCERER'S BOX

Revealing himself as he really is, Pascal Lamy appeared as a sorcerer with a box full of illusions. Read more/see pictures

http://www.focusweb.org/content/view/770/55/