The WTO’s draft modalities on agriculture, released by New Zealand’s Ambassador Crawford Falconer will allow the US and EU to go scot-free where it comes to domestic supports. According to Focus on the Global South, this is worrying since these domestic supports are today’s new form of hidden export subsidies.

The Falconer text calls on the US to bind its overall trade distorting domestic support at between 13 – 16.4 billion (the exact figure to be negotiated). In 2006,  overall trade distorting support the US provided amounted to 10.8 billion. Given high world prices, the figure may even be smaller in 2007 - between 6 to 10 billion. If these modalities are adopted, no cuts are needed on the part of the US.  The same holds true for the EU, which escapes unscathed, because it is shifting its supports to the undisciplined Green Box. 

wtologomagThe third collapse of the Doha Round -
following the collapse in Cancun in September 2003 and Geneva in July
2006 -  indicates that it is time we bury the deceptively named
Doha Development Agenda, says the Bangkok based think tank Focus on
the Global South.  

The latest breakdown in talks between
US, EU, Brazil and India in Potsdam, Germany yesterday, is good news
for democracy and the developing world.


{xtypo_dropcap}E{/xtypo_dropcap}conomic sovereignty was the
underlying message in a series of discussions on the World Trade
Organization and Free Trade Agreements at the Kyoto People's Forum on
the ADB today.

Trade activists from the Philippines, Japan and Korea shared
updates and vowed to intensify their struggle to derail the Doha
negotiations as well as bilateral and regional free trade agreements
across Asia.

MEDIA RELEASE : 12 March 2007 New Delhi


An International seminar organized by the Commerce Ministry of India under the banner of ‘Saving Doha and Delivering on Development’ evoked protests from several groups including farmers, students unions and civil society organisations. As ministers, corporate lobbyists, academicians and bureaucrats met in the expensive Maurya Sheraton hotel in New Delhi, hundreds of activists congregated outside the hotel demanding their voices be heard. Reports indicate that 200 activists have been arrested and detained at the nearby Chanakya Puri police station. Those arrested include activists from the Bharatiya Kisan Union, Housing Rights Association, Peoples Campaign for Justice and Sovereignty, Youth for Justice and Slum Dwellers Association.




Lamy not welcome in Manila


MAKATI CITY, PHILIPPINES- Vowing to let Pascal Lamy hear the loud cries of poor sectors, farmers and fishers gate crashed and disrupted a meeting today organized by Philippine business with World Trade Organization (WTO) Director General Pascal Lamy.


Around 5 leaders representing major national coalitions and networks campaigning against the WTO, unfurled a banner that reads LAMY GO HOME, after Lamy delivered his address to a crowd of government officials and representatives of business. 


The leaders were immediately accosted by hotel security and violently dragged out of the hotel and shoved back to the streets.  As the activists were trying to wrestle their banner off the hands of hotel security, loud shouts of Lamy Go Home, Lamy Go Home echoed throughout the hall.   

Responding to calls by Lebanese civil society organizations to come to their

war-ravaged country, another batch of parliamentarians and civil society

representatives from various countries are going on an international peace

and solidarity delegation to Lebanon from August 12 to 16.

This delegation includes representatives from the Philippines, Brazil,

France, Norway, India, and Spain.

Among them are two members of parliament, two representatives from the

international farmers' movement La Via Campesina, a representative from

Brazil's main trade union confederation and the continental alliance

Hemispheric Social Alliance, a journalist, and other peace and human rights

activists. (please see full list below)

 25 July 2006, Geneva

marcha-17-12-(4).jpgMonday's collapse of the Doha Round is the best outcome the WTO can deliver to the world's poor.

From the outset, the WTO's logic of trade liberalisation, did not meet the more complex needs of countries struggling to tailor domestic trade policy to the specific needs of their industries and agricultural producers. The institution, instead, became the playground for the major trading powers to capture markets for their corporations, paying no heed to the impact on Southern producers and industries, nor to the unemployment caused.

1 July 2006, Geneva.
The illegitimate Mini Ministerial which the WTO’s Director General Pascal Lamy convened in Geneva came to a standstill as the US refused to offer further cuts in their domestic supports, whilst at the same time demanding that the developing world reduce their agricultural tariffs.
The collapse of talks is good news for the developing world. Assessments of the outcome of the Doha Round, from a variety of institutions, including the World Bank and the EU’s own Sustainability Impact Assessment, have already predicted that the Round would have adverse impacts on the poorest countries, particularly countries in Africa. Both the US and the EU have been aggressive in demanding for market access in industrial products, and the US for more access in agriculture. Yet despite being the prime culprits for dumping their agricultural products on the world market, causing destruction to the livelihoods of subsistence farmers, both these giants have only offered cosmetic cuts in their agricultural domestic supports.
The Asian Development Bank will hold its 39th Annual Governors’ Meeting (AGM) from 3-6 May 2006 in Hyderabad, India. Chaired by Indian Finance Minister P Chidambaram, Ministers of 64 ADB member countries besides 3,000 delegates are expected to attend the event. Hyderabad is bracing for what is being billed as one of the biggest international meetings hosted by India. Chief Minister YSR Reddy has directed his administration to spare no expenses in making the event a success, even going to the extent of prohibiting protests near the venue.

After one of the longest anti-government mobilizations in Thailand's history, on the evening of 4 April, 2006 caretaker Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra made a formal announcement that he would not accept the Prime Ministership when the Parliament re-opens within 30 days. This came as a relief for most Thais, since the possibility of a violent conflict between the demonstrators and the organized government supporters was escalating day by day.