Three-quarters of the world’s 852 million men and women suffering from hunger are found in rural areas and depend on agriculture for their survival. Most of them are landless farmers or have such tiny or unproductive plots of land that they cannot feed their families”. This was the assessment of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) released at the second International Conference on Agrarian Reform and Rural Development in Porto Alegre, Brazil, in March 2006.

Manila: september 19 2007 

thumb_lamy-3Debt and trade activists staged a picket at the Asian Development Bank (ADB) Manila office Wednesday and stressed that the “Aid for Trade” being pushed by World Trade Organization (WTO), international financial institutions (IFIs)  especially ADB, and the powerful G-8 nations is
“nothing but a bribe” or a “dangling rotten carrot” in front of developing countries.

The protest coincided with the two-day regional review meeting sponsored by the WTO, ADB and the Philippine government, in Manila. Dubbed “Mobilizing Aid for Trade: Focus Asia and the Pacific,” the meeting aims to discuss “how to empower less developed economies and small states to benefit from global trade.”

PRESS RELEASE:30 August 2007, New Delhi


A national consultation on
‘What the WTO Doha Development Round means for India' held at the
national capital on 29 August 2007 was attended by government
officials, academicians, policy analysts, farmers groups and
representatives of civil society organisations from across the
country. With negotiations on agriculture and NAMA set to begin by
September 2007 at the WTO headquarters in Geneva participants at the
meeting voiced serious concerns on the implications of the current
proposals on Indian Agriculture. The consultation was a joint
initiative of Focus on the Global South -Mumbai, Food, Trade and
Nutrition Coalition-Asia and Forum for Biotechnology and Food
Security-New Delhi

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.

A report for Focus on the Global South by Isabelle Delforge

From small farms to fast food chains and supermarkets


{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.   


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