15 December, Nairobi: LDC Watch is engaging at the 10th Ministerial Conference of the WTO (MC10) in Nairobi, Kenya through the global Our World Is Not For Sale (OWINFS) network and the International Trade Union Conference (ITUC).
Media Advisory for Opening Press Conference at the 10th WTO Ministerial Conference:
Over 80 civil society experts – trade unionists, farmers, development advocates, and consumer activists – from at least 25 countries have traveled to Nairobi for the 10th Ministerial meeting of the World Trade Organization (WTO). Civil society delegates are participating in OWINFS/ITUC activities from: Bangladesh, Belgium, Brazil, France, Canada, Germany, Ghana, Greece, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Nepal, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Philippines, Sierra Leone, Sweden, Switzerland, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, the UK, and the U.S.
Working through the global Our World Is Not for Sale (OWINFS) network and the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), they held an opening press conference on 15 December in the NGO Center of the Kenya International Conference Centre. Speakers discussed WTO barriers to food security and sustainable development and the need for any future WTO agreements to address asymetries and imbalances in the existing WTO rules, particularly regarding agriculture, Special and Differential Treatment (SDT) and the long overdue LDC package while excluding so-called “new issues” previously rejected by developing countries, including investment, competition policy, government procurement, and other issues.
The press conference was facilitated by Deborah James, OWINFS Campaign Facilitator.
Sylvester Bagooro, Third World Network, Ghana: "We want to ensure that Africa has enough domestic food production to feed its people. We need a WTO that supports that."
Biraj Patnaik, Right to Food Campaign, India: "US hypocrisy at the negotiating table stands thoroughly exposed at Nairobi even before the Ministerial has commenced. It is now up to all developing countries to unite to ensure the continuation of the development mandate, and not allowing any new issues on the table".
Prerna Bomzan, LDC Watch, Nepal: “The LDC package is long overdue and must be a non-negotiable deliverable in Nairobi. The Doha Round with its development mandate must deliver to the most vulnerable LDCs in special situations and with special needs. Also, trade is a priority area for action of the Istanbul Progamme of Action for LDCs and therefore Nairobi must deliver a binding LDC package consistent with the IPoA commitment for an early and successful conclusion of the Doha Round with an ambitious, balanced and development-oriented outcome.”
Yorgos Altintzis, ITUC, representing 180 million workers worldwide: "We call on developing countries not to sign on to the plurilateral agreements on International Trade in Services and the Environmental Goods Agreement. They have nothing to gain. These agreements will further consolidate those sectors, making it more difficult for developing countries to enter those markets."
Polly Jones, Global Justice Now, UK: "The EU does not have a mandate at the WTO to push for the inclusion of investment. Civil society in the EU overwhelmingly opposes it."
Deborah James, OWINFS, USA: "We have seen in the last 14 years of at the WTO a weakening of the principle of special and differential treatment and agricultural reforms, the core of the Doha Development Agenda. On the new issues - investment, competition, and procurement - we are united north and south: we oppose the inclusion of these new issues."
OWINFS is a global network of NGOs and social movements working for a sustainable, socially just, and democratic multilateral trading system. www.ourworldisnotforsale.org