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.

chiangmai1.jpgDeclaration of the 11 Thai People’s Alliances against FTAs and Privatization: Our Initial Victory

The 11 Thai People’s Alliances want to declare that we have already achieved our initial objectives.  And this is the first victory of Thai society as we are able to bring to much wider public attention the issues of FTA negotiation and the false promises of the government that the FTA negotiations will not affect people. The future of the administration under Thaksin Shinnawatra is at stake should they fail to answer our call.

Eleven People’s Alliances and Ten of Thousands Activists Demand a Stoppage of Negotiation on Life-Critical Issues
Stop Privatizing Thailand, Stop FTA, Promote A Just Economy

As the Thai Prime Minister, Mr. Thaksin Shinawatra told the press today “Our trade representatives do not view the agreement to our disadvantage. It is a trade-off thing. Discussion means both sides have to trade off their benefits. We may have to lose some, but the government is overseeing it. Any clauses that may affect us have to be taken care of. We have to make some judgment, and what is good for us should be pursued.”

New Delhi, July 30:

The Coordination Committee of the National Kisan Panchayat, representing nearly 75 per cent of India’s farming community, after a careful perusal of the framework proposal put up by the General Council of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) at Geneva today, strongly urges the Government of India to reject the draft.

Dear Commerce Minister Shri. Arun Jaitley,
We have read on the website of the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) that “the Commonwealth Business Council (CBC) – a business arm of Commonwealth countries and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) are jointly organising the "Commonwealth Trade Summit: Road to Mexico" in partnership with the Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Government of India during 15–16 March, 2003 in Hotel Taj Palace, New Delhi. The other supporting institutions are Department for International Trade, Government of U.K. and London School of Economics. WTO is now engaged in the new round of negotiations called the "Doha Development Round". It has wide-ranging issues under negotiations…Keeping in line with the on-going negotiations, the Trade Summit will address business concerns relating to all issues. The main focus would be on understanding how the 54 Commonwealth Countries can work together in forming a common position on issues of interest. The Summit will be addressed by several Trade Ministers and negotiators from across the Commonwealth countries, besides those from the US and the European Union. We feel it is a very important programme for you where you can express your concerns and contribute your inputs in the negotiation process."