Trade Facilitation

International civil society opposes binding rules on “Trade Facilitation” in the WTO

Original Publication Date: 
6 June, 2013
In a letter to WTO member governments, 188 organizations representing a wide diversity of civil society from developing and developed countries, called on government representatives in Geneva to “abandon the negotiations towards a binding agreement on Trade Facilitation in advance of the upcoming 9th Ministerial meeting of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in Bali." The letter was organized by the Our World Is Not for Sale (OWINFS) network. The letter states “binding rules on Trade Facilitation should not be promoted either inside the WTO through the proposed Trade Facilitation (TF) agreement, nor through other avenues such as bilateral or regional Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) or Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs)."

International Civil Society Calls on WTO Members to Reject the Report of the “Expert Panel” of Outgoing Director General Lamy

Due date: 
14 May, 2013
Delivery date: 
14 May, 2013
As members of the Our World Is Not for Sale (OWINFS) civil society network, we are writing to WTO members strongly object to the report, “The Future of Trade: The Challenges of Convergence,” written by the Secretariat of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in consultation with the panel composed by the Director General, Pascal Lamy, both in terms of the process, and the content of the analysis and recommendations contained therein.

International Civil Society Calls on WTO Members to Reject the Report of the “Expert Panel” of Outgoing Director General Lamy

Original Publication Date: 
14 May, 2013
Today, 117 organizations (including 17 international networks) from around the world sent a letter to members of the World Trade Organization (WTO), rejecting the report “The Future of Trade: The Challenges of Convergence,” written by the Secretariat of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in consultation with the panel composed by the outgoing Director General, Pascal Lamy, both in terms of the process, and the content of the analysis and recommendations contained therein. The letter, included in English and Spanish below and attached, was coordinated by the Our World Is Not for Sale (OWINFS) network.

The WTO impasse and the possible roads ahead - a development perspective

Original Publication Date: 
1 November, 2012
At a lively session organized by OWINFS on 26 September, 2012 as part of the WTO’s Public Forum, Ambassadors of developing countries and other experts presented their views on the impasse in the WTO’s Doha negotiations, the “new trade narrative” promoted by major developed countries, and the need for an alternative narrative that reflects reality, from the perspective of developing countries.

Multilateral Trade System: From Impasse to Development? A speech by Jayant Dasgupta, Permanent Representative of India to the WTO

Original Publication Date: 
28 October, 2012
Ambassador Jayant Dasgupta, Permanent Representative of India to the WTO speaks forum major issues at the event organized by OWINFS at WTO Public Forum on Doha and the Multilateral Trade System: From Impasse to Development? on 26 September. His speech covered key issues such as the current status of the negotiations, other initiatives being taken by WTO Members in achieving their market access ambitions outside the WTO, the prospects for Bali Ministerial in December 2013 and the new issues, the new challenges and on the prospects for development.

The twists and turns of the Doha talks and the WTO - Martin Khor, South Centre

Original Publication Date: 
28 October, 2012
Speech of Martin Khor at OWINFS Panel at the WTO Public Forum, September 26, 2012 analyses what the future holds for the WTO, in particular in relation to the development dimension, and the interests of the developing countries.

Civil Society Groups Slam G20 Agenda on WTO

Original Publication Date: 
21 June, 2012
In advance of the G20 meeting in Mexico this week, civil society groups working together in the Our World Is Not for Sale (OWINFS) network sent a letter to governments participating in the meetings urging them to reject discussing the further liberalization of trade in the World Trade Organization (WTO) negotiations, at the G20 meetings in Mexico.

WTO 8th Ministerial Failed to Respond to Food, Jobs and Financial Crises, 99% Say

Original Publication Date: 
17 December, 2011

This afternoon, 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), sent a message to negotiators entering the closing plenary of the 8th Ministerial in Geneva using the Occupy Wall Street tactic of “Mic Check!”

Report 3 on UNCTAD meetings: Doha talks should resume but on development basis

Original Publication Date: 
9 October, 2006
The World Trade Organisation's Doha negotiations should resume as soon as possible, and on the basis of the development mandate and principle so that the developing countries will really benefit, according to many developing countries individually or through their groupings.

WTO General Council officially suspends talks indefinitely

Original Publication Date: 
26 July, 2006
In Geneva, on Thursday, at the request of WTO Director General Pascal Lamy, the ambassadors of the 149 WTO member nations, meeting in General Council, officially agreed to suspend Doha Round talks indefinitely after the stalled meeting on 24 July when the major G-6 trading powers (EU, United States, Brazil, India, Australia and Japan) were unable to reach a compromise on the modalities (figures and other provisions) for trade liberalisation in agricultural products and non-agricultural manufactured articles (NAMA).

No WTO deal better than a bad deal, says Indian Minister

Original Publication Date: 
4 May, 2006
India's Commerce and Industry Minister Kamal Nath stressed on 25 April in Geneva that the current WTO talks must not violate cardinal development principles.

WTO meeting confirms missed deadlines, no Ministerial

Original Publication Date: 
25 April, 2006
The World Trade Organisation Monday finally made the conclusion that the deadlines for reaching 'modalities' for agriculture and non-agricultural market access by the end of this month could not be met, and that a planned meeting of some 30 Ministers would be called off.

WTO meeting cancelled after protests

Original Publication Date: 
23 April, 2006
WTO Director General Pascal Lamy has cancelled a 'mini ministerial' meeting which was intended to finalise negotiations in the controversial trade round. The meeting would have excluded most countries from the developing world, and was cancelled following angry protests from developing countries, NGOs and trade unions.

Sombre mood at WTO as April deadline looks more unattainable

Original Publication Date: 
20 April, 2006
The mood at the World Trade Organisation headquarters turned even more sombre Wednesday 19 April as many delegates have become convinced that it would be impossible to agree to modalities for agriculture and non-agricultural market access by the 30 April deadline set by the Hong Kong Ministerial.

ACP Group wants development focus at WTO's trade facilitation talks

Original Publication Date: 
16 February, 2006
In the context of the current negotiations on trade facilitation, development must be the main objective and focus, said the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of developing countries in a proposal submitted to the WTO's Negotiating Group on Trade Facilitation.

Developing countries voice concern over the substance and process of WTO negotiations

Original Publication Date: 
1 August, 2005
At the WTO's Trade Negotiations Committee (TNC) on 28 July, severaldeveloping countries expressed many concerns about the state and substance of the WTO negotiations, as well as the process which theyfound to be not transparent or participatory.(M.Khor)

Trade Facilitation in WTO: Developing Countries Stress Need to Clarify Scope of Negotiations

Original Publication Date: 
23 May, 2005
While some members pressed ahead with proposals for new clarification of the relevant existing GATT rules as well as new obligations, several developing countries voiced their concern that some proposals that have been put forward exceeded the mandate for the negotiations.(M. Khor)

Feds Win Right To War Protesters' Records

Original Publication Date: 
6 February, 2004
'The best approach is not to speculate and see what we learn on Tuesday' when the four testify, said Ben Stone, executive director of the Iowa Civil Liberties Union, which is representing one of the protesters.

WTO Turnaround 2013: Food, Jobs and Sustainable Development First – Statement

After many failed Ministerial meetings and nearly twelve years of negotiations, the Doha Round of WTO expansion is at a crossroads. Developed countries have pushed aside agreements to negotiate on key developing country issues intended to correct the imbalances within the existing WTO, which formed the basis of the development mandate of Doha. Even worse, developed countries appear to be re-packaging the same liberalization and market access demands of their corporate interests to create a “new trade narrative” towards gaining agreements at the upcoming 9th Ministerial in Bali. In this statement with specific demands Our World Is Not for Sale (OWINFS) network asserts that in addition to a long-term transformation of the global trade and economic architecture, immediate changes must be made to WTO in order to provide countries more policy space to pursue a positive agenda for development and job-creation, food security, sustainable development, access to affordable healthcare and medicines, and global financial stability.