News

Argentina’s WTO Civil Society Ban is Outrageous

Original Publication Date: 
8 December, 2017
See also Sharan Burrow’s video message: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eAq1b-JpdMM&feature=youtu.be

INTERNATIONAL TRADE UNION CONFEDERATION

ITUC OnLine

Argentina’s WTO Civil Society Ban is Outrageous

Brussels, 8 December 2017 (ITUC OnLine): Argentina’s decision to ban civil society advocates from participating in meetings at the WTO Ministerial Conference which starts on 10 December is bizarre and anti-democratic.

Argentina causes WTO scandal: Critical NGOs banned and possibly denied entry on the border

Original Publication Date: 
8 December, 2017

Petter Slaatrem Titland, leader of the Norwegian organisation Attac Norway, is now held on the border to Argentina on his way to the WTO summit.

- How can the Norwegian foreign minister negotiate in the WTO on behalf of the Norwegian population while Norwegian civil society is denied accreditation to the summit and entry into Argentina, said Titland in a comment earlier today.

This happens as Argentinian authorities have withdrawn accreditations to the summit for several NGOs, including Attac Norway.

Follow-up letter on the disaccreditation issue from OWINFS to Mr. Roberto Azevêdo, Director-General of the WTO

Original Publication Date: 
3 December, 2017
Dear Mr. Roberto Azevêdo,

Greetings from Our World is Not for Sale (OWINFS) network. We are writing to remind you that we are awaiting a response to our letter, and to bring additional facts to bear on our predicament.

We fully understand that in the case of the banned civil society representatives, that they had been duly accredited by the WTO, and that the decision to revoke the accreditation lies with the Argentine government.

11th WTO Ministerial - Letter from Global Civil Society about the Agenda of the WTO

Original Publication Date: 
11 October, 2017
Trade Ministers from only 35 countries will attend a “mini-Ministerial” in Morocco which is intended to solidify the agenda for the upcoming 11th Ministerial Conference of the 164-member WTO (MC11) to be held December 10-13, 2017 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Members of 300 civil society organizations (CSOs) including trade unions, environmentalists, farmers, development advocates, and public interest groups from over 150 countries just sent an urgent letter to WTO members to raise alarm “that some WTO members are pushing a dangerous and inappropriate new agenda.” It was organized by the global Our World Is Not for Sale (OWINFS) network and is available in English, Spanish, French, Arabic, and Greek.

TiSA: A Framework for Reregulating the Global Trade in Services?

Original Publication Date: 
8 December, 2016
Jude Kirton-Darling, Labour Member of the European Parliament for the North East of England, writes on International Trade in Services Agreement (TISA)

TiSA (Trade in Services Agreement) could become a major obstacle for governments willing to switch from fossil fuels to renewable sources of energy

Original Publication Date: 
4 December, 2016

The new leaked text of the Annexes on Energy and Environmental Services for the Trade in Services Agreement was published by Wikileaks on the 3rd of December. TiSA is being negotiated by 22 countries representing 70% of global trade behind closed doors in a secret room in Geneva while all eyes are on Paris where UN public talks are in full swing to design a new climate regime.

Don't TRIP over at WTO

Original Publication Date: 
9 October, 2016
Shalini Bhutani writes why the developed countries should not be allowed to expand IPR in a 21st century agenda for the WTO? The World Trade Organisation’s (WTO) Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) insists on pate-nts in every field of technology which includes seed technolog-ies in agriculture and agrichemicals. This has a bearing on the crisis of farmers’ own seeds.

How Sitharaman Served Up India Instead of Using WTO High Table to Block US Agenda

Original Publication Date: 
25 December, 2015
Biraj Patnaik the Principal Adviser in the Office of the Supreme Court commissioners on the Right to Food narrates, how Sitharaman Served Up India Instead of Using WTO High Table to Block US Agenda.

Don't buy the spin: The WTO talks in Nairobi ended badly and India will pay a price

Original Publication Date: 
24 December, 2015

Don't buy the spin: The WTO talks in Nairobi ended badly and India will pay a price India's Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, invited into a select group to negotiate the final text of the Nairobi agreement, let the rich countries have their way.

Article by Biraj Patnaik and Timothy A Wise

Provisions likely to be proposed if SOEs (competition) are added to the WTO: Why is this relevant?

Original Publication Date: 
16 December, 2015
State owned enterprises (SOEs) can be used for a variety of public purposes, including economic development, industrialisation, economic management, support for local businesses, employment, regional development, social and cultural needs, and infrastructure. If SOE negotiations are added to the World Trade Organization (WTO), this is likely to restrict these SOE roles.

Government Procurement the Old “New Issue” at WTO Nairobi Ministerial: What is at Stake for Developing Countries?

Original Publication Date: 
16 December, 2015
The 10th WTO Ministerial being held in Nairobi, Kenya has become the platform for yet another battle of wills between the WTO’s developed and developing members. For the developing countries it is a battle for essential development tools such the continuation of subsidies for poor farmers to support public food programmes, or for a safeguard mechanism to protect their farmers from sudden surges in imports. For the LDCs in particular it is an attempt to get a binding and effective LDC package including on cotton trade, unlike the best endeavour deal they got in the Bali Ministerial.

Global Civil Society letter on the Nairobi Ministerial of the World Trade Organization (WTO)

Original Publication Date: 
14 December, 2015

Dear Members of the WTO,

As members of 460 civil society organizations including trade unions, environmentalists, farmers, development advocates, and public interest groups from over 150 countries, we are writing today to express extreme alarm about the current situation of the negotiations in the WTO. We urge you to take seriously the need for the upcoming Nairobi Ministerial to change existing WTO rules to make the global trading system more compatible with people-centered development, and to forestall efforts by some developed countries to abandon the development agenda and replace it with a set of so-called “new issues” that actually are non-trade issues that would impact deeply on domestic economies and constrain national policy space required for development and public interest.

For Press: Trade Union & NGO Experts' Contacts for MC10 WTO Ministerial meeting in Nairobi, Kenya December 15 – 18, 2015

Original Publication Date: 
14 December, 2015
Please find contact information for civil society representatives in attendance at WTO MC10, working in coordination with Our World is Not For Sale (OWINFS) global network and the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC).

U.S. civil society groups back India’s stand at WTO

Original Publication Date: 
13 December, 2015
India’s demand that the World Trade Organization (WTO) take steps, on a priority basis, to safeguard the interests of poor farmers as well as the food security programmes in developing countries has received support within the U.S.

Major Summit Could Put World's Poorest Inhabitants on Corporate Chopping Block

Original Publication Date: 
13 December, 2015
Last week, 453 civil society groups including trade unions, farmers, environmentalists, public interest groups and development advocates from over 150 countries wrote an urgent letter to members of the WTO to “express extreme alarm about the current situation of the negotiations in the WTO.” This is the largest number of endorsers on a letter about the WTO in the last decade and is a signal of the dire situation

India’s time to lead at the WTO

Original Publication Date: 
12 December, 2015

USA’s price suppression and market distortions in cotton is threatening Indian and African producers.

As we approach the World Trade Organization (WTO) ministerial on December 15-18 in Nairobi, India is leading a group of developing countries insisting that the development goals promised in Doha in 2001 be achieved. On the other hand, the US, European Union (EU) and Japan have called for a “recalibration” of that agenda, one that leaves agriculture largely off the table. India is right to lead the fight for reforms in developed countries’ agricultural policies.

Cotton should be at the centre of those reforms. A recent study suggests that US subsidies under the 2014 Farm Bill will continue to suppress global cotton prices. Recognising this threat, Africa’s so-called Cotton 4 (or C-4) – Benin, Burkina Faso, Mali, and Chad – tabled a proposal in October calling on the US and other WTO members to make good on the longstanding commitment to address the cotton issue.

Climate Deception: Non-binding “Targets” for Climate, but Binding Rules on Trade in Services

Original Publication Date: 
4 December, 2015
The whole world is watching as world leaders from nearly every country across the globe meet in Paris this week to set carbon emission reductions targets to address global climate change. Unfortunately representatives of 50 of the same governments are also meeting this week in Geneva to negotiate binding rules that will seriously constrain countries’ ability to meet those targets.

Wikileaks releases new TISA documents on Evionmental services and Eneregy related services

Original Publication Date: 
3 December, 2015
Today, Thursday, December 3, 10am EST, WikiLeaks releases new secret documents from the huge Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA) which is being negotiated by the US, EU and 22 other countries that account for 2/3rds of global GDP. Coinciding with the ongoing climate talks in Paris, today's publication touches on issues of crucial relevance including the regulation of energy, industrial development, workers' rights and the natural environment. WikiLeaks is also publishing expert analyses of the documents.

SSM blocked by US, EU, Australia and Brazil

Original Publication Date: 
30 November, 2015
The United States, the European Union, Australia, and Brazil on Tuesday (24 November) blocked a major deliverable concerning the special safeguard mechanism (SSM) for the developing countries at the World Trade Organization's tenth ministerial meeting in Nairobi beginning on December 15, several trade envoys told the SUNS.

US trying to scupper Nairobi outcome on food security

Original Publication Date: 
12 November, 2015
The United States, the European Union, Australia, and other countries have nearly scuppered an outcome for the proposed permanent solution for public stockholding programs for food security purposes as demanded by 47 developing countries at the upcoming ministerial meeting of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in Nairobi next month, several trade envoys told the SUNS.