Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

Forthright discussion between NGOs and WTO members


Forthright discussion between NGOs and WTO members

Farmers in developing countries should have the right to derive a sustainable livelihood from their efforts without rich countries wrecking their markets, New Zealand Trade Negotiations Minister Jim Sutton said.

Mr Sutton told a meeting with non-governmental organisation representatives and 25 World Trade Organisation ministers in Sydney yesterday that there was an emerging consensus on agriculture.

“NGOs and governments are to a large extent now agreeing on the principal elements such as the right of farmers in least developed countries to derive a livelihood from their agricultural efforts, the right to be protected from having their markets destroyed by dumping of subsidised surpluses from industrialised countries. And developing countries should enjoy special and differential treatment in order to promote development.”

Mr Sutton said the debate between the protagonists of multifunctionality in agriculture and those arguing for the elimination of trade-distorting subsidies was really just an argument about the best way to the same outcome.

“Most countries seek to strengthen rural communities, to protect environmental and social values of their rural regions. The argument is about whether it is appropriate or necessary to subsidise agriculture to pursue these objectives or whether they can be addressed directly without distorting trade and disrupting development in other countries.”

Mr Sutton said today’s meeting of 25 WTO members did not have the right to, and neither would it presume to, make a decision on behalf of all 144 members, but it hoped to advance consensus on some key issues to a state where there could be rapid progress at general council next month.

“I am very hopeful that, with the work that has already been done and the ideas discussed informally amongst ministers here, we can meet the Doha deadline for agreement on TRIPS and public health.”

Mr Sutton said yesterday’s meeting with NGO representatives was a forthright one.

“We have a level of agreement. Some of the NGOs were pushing the envelope towards more ambitious objectives, which is an entirely legitimate role for them.”

He said some ministers had observed, and it was not disputed by the NGO representatives at the meeting, that some NGO groups which did not attend the meeting had different views. There was still division in the NGO community.

“One developing country minister said that NGOs from developed countries might wish to take it upon themselves to build capacity in NGOs in developing countries who would love to participate but don’t have the capacity to do so.”

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Supreme Court: Worksafe Decision On Whittall Pike River Prosecution Unlawful

The question in issue on the appeal was whether WorkSafe New Zealand acted to give effect to an unlawful agreement of this nature when it offered no evidence on charges against Peter William Whittall for breaches of the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992...

The Supreme Court... has found that the decision to offer no evidence was made under an unlawful agreement to stifle prosecution. It has granted a declaration to that effect. More>>

 

Cullen To Chair: Tax Working Group Terms Of Reference Announced

Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Revenue Minister Stuart Nash today announced the Terms of Reference for the Tax Working Group and that the Group will be chaired by Sir Michael Cullen. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The New Pike River Agency (And The Air Strike Wing)

Much of the sympathy the public still feels for the families of the Pike River miners has been sustained by the sense that the previous government – let alone the mining company and the processes of receivership and litigation – has never dealt honestly, or fairly, with them. More>>

ALSO:

Not Going Swimmingly: Contractor Cut, New Dates For Christchurch Sports Centre

“As an incoming Minister, I have been conducting a thorough review of progress on the Anchor projects and to learn of a $75 million budget blowout on this project was very disappointing..." More>>

ALSO:

Tertiary: Allowances, Loan Living Costs To Get Boost

“From 1 January, student allowance base rates and the maximum amount students can borrow for living costs will rise by a net $50 a week,” says Education Minister Chris Hipkins... further adjusted from 1 April 2018 in line with any increase in the CPI. More>>

ALSO:

Foreign Affairs: Patrick Gower Interviews Jacinda Ardern

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says discussions have already begun on how to bring climate change refugees into New Zealand under a Pacific seasonal employment plan... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Centre Right’s Love Of ‘Nanny State’

You’d almost think it was 2005 again. That was a time when the rugged individualists of the centre-right were being beset by government regulations on the nature of light-bulbs, the size of shower heads, the junk food available at school tuck shops and other such essentials... More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election