Over 100 Civil Society Groups Demand the Burial of the Doha Round
GENEVA – In a letter sent today to Trade Ministers at the WTO, more than 100 civil society groups from around the world denounced the legitimacy of an exclusive Ministerial meeting in Geneva this week, and urged trade ministers to develop a new approach to the multilateral trading system. The signatories represented civil society groups from more than 30 countries, including the big WTO players – US, EU, Japan, Canada, Australia and India – as well as smaller countries like, Senegal, Uganda, Nigeria and Bolivia.
“The current negotiations now preclude any possibility of benefiting the majority of the world’s people, particularly those living in impoverished developing countries,” the letter states. “Instead, many of the proposals on the table will radically foreclose domestic policy options for developing countries.”

A series of economic reports on the projected outcomes of the Doha Round, including those from the World Bank, UN, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and the European Commission, have concluded that developing countries as a whole will be net losers from the Doha Round, with most of the gains expected under the Doha proposals flowing disproportionately to the rich countries. The letter points out that the negotiations continue to ignore serious agriculture trade problems, such as the dumping, while resisting concrete proposals based on livelihood security and rural development goals.
The letter also challenges the fuzzy math of the $2.8 billion in “Aid for Trade” scheme by the developed countries to help address the “adjustment costs” in the developing countries, which double counts old money to create acceptance of the liberalization imposed by the Doha Agenda. “We are completely opposed to the current Aid for Trade mechanism, the content and timing of which will be tied to recipients’ acceptance of the liberalization imposed by the Doha Agenda,” the letter argues. “The exchange is absurd: money will not buy back policy space; nor is there even new money on the table.”
Challenging the potential effects of a Doha Round as anti-development that serve the private interests of the biggest corporations around the world, most of them headquartered in the developed world, the letter makes three demands of the Trade Ministers:
Object to the legitimacy of the June mini-Ministerial which does not allow for the effective participation of all Ministers and withdraw support;
Reject any attempt by Director-General, Pascal Lamy to draft his own text for Ministers’ consideration;
Bury the Doha Agenda and start with a new approach to the multilateral trading system that will promote human rights and people-centered ecologically sustainable development.
To see a copy of the full letter visit http://www.ourworldisnotforsale.org/