WTO Nairobi Ministerial: ‘Permanent solution to Food Security? Junk the WTO!’

14 DECEMBER – A day before the official opening of the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) 10th Ministerial Conference in Nairobi, global activists urged developing countries to stop expecting solutions from the WTO as negotiations face another impasse after the US, EU, Canada and Australia blocked any ‘permanent solution’ to reach a deal on public stockholding programmes for food security. “Achieving a genuine food security deal will not be possible within the WTO. You can’t expect solutions from a system that breeds the world’s problems,” said Antonio Tujan Jr., IBON International Executive Director based in the Philippines. “The only ‘permanent solution’ in sight is to junk the WTO!,” he added.

During the 2013 Bali Ministerial, a temporary public stockholding agreement was hammered out between the US and India with a view to seek a permanent solution come the Nairobi Ministerial happening on the 15th of December. Public stockholding programmes allow developing countries to provide much-needed subsidy for domestic agricultural products. The Bali deal temporarily shielded India from being challenged legally for supporting its domestic agricultural sector beyond agreed limits. “What is cruel here is that developed countries pour billions of dollars to subsidize their products while legally prohibiting poor nations from supporting their own domestic markets as in the case of Africa,” said Prof. Edward Oyugi from SEATINI – Kenya.

“In the last 20 years, 300,000 Indian farmers have ended their lives because of WTO impositions that destroyed their only source of livelihood. This is happening in many parts of the world,” highlighted Wali Haider of the Roots for Equity – Pakistan. Last year, developing nations including India, Indonesia, China, Kenya, and Egypt presented a detailed package offering a permanent solution for the public stockholding programmes for food security.

The proposal was later on stonewalled by the US, EU, and Australia drawing more pessimism from developing countries that no substantial outcome addressing issues of the Global South would be achieved at the Nairobi Ministerial. “This illustrates the fundamental injustice of the WTO – benefiting rich nations and their corporations at the expense of people’s rights and welfare,” added Malick Sy from the National Confederation of Senegalese Workers Dakar, Senegal. Peoples’ movements, NGOs and grassroots organizations will hold a series of forums and actions calling for an end to the WTO from 14 December to 17 December 2015. A big mobilization dubbed The People’s Procession against the WTO is being planned on the 15th of December to coincide with the opening of the 10th Ministerial Conference of the WTO.

For more information contact: Roy Anunciacion Global Coordinator, Peoples Coalition on Food Sovereignty (PCFS) Contact No.: +254 739 489 816 Email Address: [email][email protected]

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