World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Trade Ministers of WTO's members meet in Bali

International Trade Union Confederation

WTO Ministerial Conference – make a step for inclusiveness and sustainability

Brussels, 3 December 2013 (ITUC OnLine): : The Trade Ministers of World Trade Organisation’s 159 Members are meeting these days in Bali, Indonesia, in the organisation’s 9th Ministerial Conference. After an announcement by WTO Director General, Roberto Azevedo, that the negotiations in Geneva were not fruitful, the Ministers are expected to continue negotiating in three areas: on food security, LDC package and trade facilitation even though a negotiating ministerial was not foreseen and many delegations do not have their main negotiators in Bali. The International Trade Union Confederation and its Global Unions partners published today a statement on the WTO Ministerial Conference encouraging governments to only sign a deal that takes steps towards the implementation of the developmental mandate of the Doha Development Agenda, strengthens food security and assists the economies of Least Developed Countries (LDC).

“An Agreement on Agriculture that would protect governments’ power to purchase food from farmers and enact food programmes will have great impact on the most vulnerable of people – one billion of those depend on subsistence agricultural activities” said Sharan Burrow, General Secretary of ITUC. However, in its current form, the so-called ‘peace clause’ would only be a temporary measure, which is a prize too high in exchange for a binding Trade Facilitation Agreement.

The Global Union Statement further calls WTO Members to conclude an ambitious Agreement on Development considering the 88 proposals that appeared earlier in the negotiations to make Special and Differential Treatment principles more operational and effective. Such an agreement, together with a package for Least Developed Countries that allows duty-free quota-free access to products and preferential treatment of their services, would be significant steps to the implementation agenda of Doha’s mandate. The global union movement and Civil society have repeatedly called for an agreement on the basis of an already-negotiated package of policies for the LDCs.

Agriculture, development and trade facilitation are not the only issues discussed at Bali. The negotiations for an expanded Information Technology Agreement (ITA-II) collapsed and no new date for the restart of negotiations has been announced. However, the Ministers will most probably discuss this issue and decide on the way forward. Earlier this year, a broad coalition of trade unions and civil society organisations addressed a letter to the negotiating Members of the ITA-II that warned developing countries of possible erosion of domestic manufacturing and loss of growth potential in higher value-added segments of information technology manufacturing.


© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Whaling: Japan’s Institute for Cetacean Research In Defiance Of World Court Ruling

The ICR Today Filed Court Briefs Stating They Intend to Return to Antarctica to Hunt Whales in 2015-2016; Will Seek to Enjoin Other Sea Shepherd Entities from Obstructing Their Operations More>>

Ukraine: UN Urges 'Maximum Restraint' Amid Situation In East Ukraine

Deeply concerned by the deteriorating situation in eastern Ukraine, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called for maximum restraint and appealed to all sides to work towards calming the situation, which has the 'growing potential' to ... More>>

United Nations: Children Can Now Lodge Complaints With The UN

GENEVA (14 April 2014) – United Nations child rights experts have hailed a new treaty that allows children to complain directly to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child about alleged violations of their rights. More>>

India: Election But A Ritual In Nation Lacking Rule Of Law

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) congratulates the people of India for their participation to elect the 16th Lok Sabha. The process has attracted, as usual, considerable media attention across the world. Media claims the process to be 'the largest democratic ... More>>

Solomon Islands: Thousands Remain Affected After Flash Floods

An estimated 52,000 people remain affected in the worst-hit areas of Honiara and greater Guadalcanal following last week’s devastating floods which killed at least 23 people. More>>


World: Some 437,000 People Murdered Worldwide In 2012 - UN

Almost half a million people across the world lost their lives in 2012 as a result of intentional homicide, with the highest murder rates logged in the Americas and Africa, and the lowest in Europe, Asia and Oceania, the United Nations Office on ... More>>

Central African Republic:: Security Council Establishes UN Peacekeeping Mission

Deeply concerned about the deteriorating security situation and ongoing human rights abuses in the Central African Republic (CAR), the Security Council today approved the establishment of a nearly 12,000-strong United Nations peacekeeping operation ... More>>


Parliament: NZ Sending Aid Flight To Solomons

Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully has announced further support for the response to severe flooding in Solomon Islands. More>>


Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news