The WTO’s Agriculture Domestic Supports Negotiations
The historical problems in agriculture continue today. Developed countries with the financial capacity continue to subsidise their farmers and export these agricultural products. This has also been enabled by the Uruguay Round through large AMS entitlements for mostly developed countries ($19 billion for US and now about $95 billion for EU27), as well as the Green Box (Annex 2 of the Agreement on Agriculture). (more…)
Food Security and Access and Benefit-Sharing for Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture
About the book: A study prepared for the UN FAO (Food and Agriculture Organisation) on whether, and how, national and regional laws, guidelines and other arrangements on access to genetic resources and benefit-sharing (ABS) may impact upon agriculture and food security.
Authors: Gurdial Singh Nijar, Gan Pei Fern, Lee Yin Harn and Chan Hui Yun
Towards a More Coherent International Legal System on Farmers’ Rights: The Relationship of the FAO ITPGRFA, UPOV and WIPO
This Policy Brief outlines some key areas of interrelation among the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA), the International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV) and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). (more…)
Subsidies and food security in WTO: a permanent solution is still pending
The current WTO rules applicable to public stockholding for food security purposes illustrate the imbalances present in the WTO rules on agriculture. The calculation of the level of subsidies on the basis of outdated fixed reference prices is a flaw that needs to be corrected. Moreover, the rigid limits imposed in the calculation of the AMS ironically penalize developing countries that did not subsidize agricultural production at the time the Uruguay Round was concluded, rather than those with a history of heavy subsidization. (more…)
Improving the Bali Peace Clause on Public Stockholding for Food Security
Since Bali and particularly in the last few months, there has been much attention on the Decision Ministers had taken at the WTO’s Bali Ministerial Conference (2013) on Public Stockholding for Food Security Purposes.
At Bali, Ministers had agreed to a Peace Clause for existing Public Stockholding programmes provided by developing countries for food security purposes. I.e. if they have these programmes, countries should not be brought to the WTO’s dispute settlement if they are going beyond their domestic support commitments under the WTO’s Agreement on Agriculture rules. (more…)
Post-2015 Development Agenda and Sustainable Development Goals: Perspectives of the South Centre
Post-2015 Development Agenda and Sustainable Development
The United Nations’ Post-2015 Development Agenda should not simply extend MDGs, or reformulate the goals, but focus instead on global systemic reforms to remove main impediments to development and secure an accommodating international environment for sustainable development. (more…)
10 documents were distributed to WTO Members on 26 November 2013 at the last General Council meeting before the Bali Ministerial Conference (MC9). These documents are being transmitted to Bali. (more…)
WTO’s MC9: Analysis of the Food Security ‘Peace Clause’ Text
The Peace Clause is time-limited (4 years) and partial in coverage (no inclusion of the WTO’s Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures- ASCM). Countries can still be taken to dispute. It also has onerous and intrusive transparency and information requirements and conditions. (more…)
The WTO’s Bali Ministerial and Food Security for Developing Countries: Need for equity and justice in the rules on agricultural subsidies
Food security in developing countries is a major issue in the WTO’s negotiations towards the Bali Ministerial Conference in December. A report drawn from meetings of trade expert group meetings organised by the South Centre has pointed to the importance of public stockholding for food security in developing countries, and some of the imbalances in the present rules on agricultural subsidies in the WTO. (more…)
G77 on Food and Agriculture: Subsidies of Rich Countries and Commodity Speculation Must Be Curbed
The G77 and China made a statement on SDGs and food security and sustainable agriculture as well as health, stressing the need for developed countries to cut rich countries’ agriculture subsidies and for curbing speculation in commodity markets that result in price volatility. Many developing countries that were self sufficient in or exporters of food now depend on imports. Below are excerpts of the statement presented by Ambassador Peter Thomson of Fiji, Chair of the G77 and China, on behalf of the Group, at the third session of the UN working group on SDGs, on 22 May 2013.