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The WTO has Failed Developing Nations (November 14, 2011)

Ten years after the adoption of the Doha Declaration, the “development” round of trade negotiations has merely offered empty promises. In this short op-ed, Aurelie Walker of the Fairtrade Foundation sums up ten ways in which the WTO membership has failed the world’s poor. Overtly biased “trade-related issues” such as rich-country subsidies and the ambiguity of trade rules, have been ignored or intensified by the powerful countries. Furthermore, specifically “pro-development” policies such as special treatment and improved access to vital medicines have been deliberately neglected. Even if international trade could indeed be part of an effort to combat poverty, a model of trade that is based on global competitiveness instead of cooperation is certain to fail, Walker argues. (The Guardian)

WTO Fails the Poorest – Again (July 29, 2011)

The World Trade Organization (WTO) has had difficulty setting a development agenda and delivering aid packages to poor countries at recent Doha trade talks. In this article, Ruth Bergan of the Trade Justice Movement argues that a “serious and democratic debate on the purpose and powers of the WTO is long overdue.” Rich countries do not want to give way to emerging economies and often circumvent WTO rules by engaging in bilateral talks to create deals, severely hampering the progress of developing nations. Bergan believes that developed countries have a steadfast adherence to free trade policies and find it beneficial to ignores social issues such as climate change and food security. The WTO must view trade “not as a goal in itself but as a means to achieving broader social, environmental and development goals”, by demanding accountability and responsibility from rich nations and increasing consultations with civil society, says Bergan. (Guardian)

Lamy: Trade Pacts Pose New Challenge to the Multilateral Trading System (July 20, 2011)

In this speech, WTO Director General Pascal Lamy expresses his concerns about the effects of Preferential Trade Agreements (PTAs) on the global multilateral trading system. According to Lamy, the greatest threat that PTAs pose is not the lower tariff exclusivity that they provide for subsets of WTO members. Rather, it is the fact that PTAs increasingly involve the harmonization of very specific regulatory regimes, making multilateral negotiations on a global level less relevant. Lamy wants to counter this trend by including the topic of regulatory harmonization in multilateral negotiations (WTO-level). Lamy’s proposal is perfectly in line with his mandate of liberalizing world trade, but steps over the real issue: PTAs have gained popularity precisely because they allow developed countries to force developing countries into deals that the latter could more easily refuse at the WTO-level. (WTO)

China Gives a USD 400,000 Programme for Least Developed Countries (July 15, 2011)

China has pledged $400,000 to help least-developed countries join the World Trade Organization under the Aid for Trade Initiative of the WTO. The funds will finance countries’ membership trial periods while they are applying to the WTO, allow for a Round Table Meeting of the WTO Accession Division, and assist countries’ delegates in attending WTO meetings. China’s ambassador to the WTO, Yi Xiaozhun, says the move signals China’s commitment “to South-South cooperation with other developing countries within the framework of the multilateral trading system.” While assisting least-developed countries to develop and benefit from the multilateral trading system is commendable, the WTO still needs to consider the impact of its trade policies on least-developed countries. (The Financial)

EU Seeks Commitment from Putin on Joining WTO (February 23, 2011)

Russian delegates, led by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, are holding talks with EU officials intended to pave the way for Russian ascension into the World Trade Organization. The Russians have been lobbying for almost two decades for entry but have encountered a number of obstacles including tariffs on EU logging firms. The EU has also voiced concerns over Russia's human rights record, which they criticize for its failure to uphold free speech and its efforts to quell dissent by striking down government opponents. Nevertheless, stronger trade and investment ties have bolstered EU-Russian relationship and will likely prompt Russian admission to the WTO. (Bloomberg)


The Rise & Decline of the WTO's Doha Talks (May 7, 2010)

Martin Khor, Executive Director of the South Centre, discusses the issues central to the current WTO Doha negotiations. He describes  the core of "the Doha impasse" - the lopsided demands of developed countries. The current WTO discussions increasingly focus on market access issues. The US and EU continue to press for new and greater commitments of developing countries in agriculture and industry, while only promise to implement sparse commitments already established in the Uruguay round. (The South Centre)


Statement on the Seventh WTO Ministerial Meeting (December 2, 2009)

The annual WTO Ministerial Meeting has ended on the 2nd of December in Geneva. The event did not produce much progress towards helping developing countries cope with the global food, energy and financial crises. This statement on the meeting says that the "WTO's so-called DOHA Round of negotiations will only restore and increase the destructive momentum of free market policies." (IBON Foundation)

WTO says Global Crisis will Boost Doha Round (July 28, 2009)

The World Trade Organization claims there is renewed political commitment from states to conclude the Doha Round. The WTO believes that a free trade agreement is possible by the end of the year. When the Doha Round collapsed, three years ago, world trade was steadily increasing and it appeared that the good economic times would never end. Now, the story is different. WTO Director General Pascal Lamy calls on states to "act together" in order to establish a new trading environment. (Deutche Welle)

WTO Report Chose 'Serendipitous' Topic (July 23, 2009)

The World Trade Organization has released the World Trade Report 2009. The report analyzes protectionism and the negative economic impact of restrictive trade measures during times of crisis. Even though trade policies do not cause economic crisis, protectionist trade policy plays a role in deepening and prolonging the economic downturn. (Terraviva)

A New Triangle of Global Governance Emerging (July 15, 2009)

Pascal Lamy, Director General of the World Trade Organization (WTO), gives an analytical speech on possible global governance changes in the post-crisis world. After underlining the significant role of the multilateral trading system, Lamy questions the "global" character of the new world. He argues that the elements of globalization such as trade, financial markets, investment, migration etc. will be shaped by public attitudes. According to Lamy, the solution lies in a "triangle of coherence" in which the G20, international organizations like the WTO and the United Nations cooperate. (WTO News)

The Climate Exchange: WTO and UNEP Team Up to Launch Climate Report (June 30, 2009)

For the first time, the WTO and UNEP have engaged in a joint effort. They have produced a report that summarizes the human impact on climate change and possible responses to it. The report seeks to function as bridge-builder for the upcoming Copenhagen meeting in December. The two organizations aim to find viable solutions to end climate change. (Planetsave)


The Dracula Round (August 5, 2008)

The WTO's Doha Round of negotiations have collapsed several times, since they began in 2001. The July 2008 talks in Geneva failed because of divisions between rich and poor countries on issues of agricultural subsidies and rules protecting small-scale farmers from the surge in food imports. Some world leaders believe that the WTO agenda could facilitate development. But, NGOs like Via Campesina argue that the WTO excludes poor countries from the decision-making process and promotes richer countries' agendas that seek to open up poor economies to big agribusinesses. (Foreign Policy In Focus)

Recriminations Fly After Trade Talks Failure (July 30, 2008)

The WTO talks in Geneva collapsed after governments failed to reach an agreement on the rules protecting small-scale farmers from the surge in food imports. Supported by 100 other countries, India and China argued that trade liberalization hinders the ability of small-scale farmers to compete with big companies seeking market opportunities in poor countries. Although seven of the major world trading powers dominated much of the talks, analysts say that poor countries, led by China and India, still succeeded in collectively making their voices heard. (Guardian)

Development: 'Food Production Must Rise 50 Percent' (June 4, 2008)

Director General of the World Trade Organization Pascal Lamy claims that liberalizing trade will "strengthen the production capacity of developing countries" and render food prices less vulnerable to change. But, the author fears that further deregulation of trade will make food prices more volatile and allow large multinational companies to undermine local production in poor countries. Finding a sustainable solution will require world leaders to increase investment in agriculture and support small-scale farmers' agro-ecological methods. (Inter Press Service)

Seven Reasons Why the Doha Round Will Not Solve the Food Crisis (May 2008)

Some world leaders argue that the WTO Doha Round will solve the global food crisis. But, this Institute for Agricultural and Trade Policy (IATP) article says increased trade liberalization will reinforce poorer countries' dependence on food imports. Further, deregulation policies will increase the power of transnational agribusinesses at the expense of local farmers. Instead, the IATP argues, world leaders should reform the rules governing international trade to control the market power exerted by agribusiness companies.



Development Through Trade (November 5, 2007)

The author argues that the World Trade Organization (WTO) is in dire need of reform and points to the lack of progress on the Doha round of trade negotiations. The organization's main challenges lie in the lack of cooperation between countries and in accommodating an endless range of needs. The author suggests switching to a "negative consensus"–based decision making system, so that all countries can trust that the organization promotes their interests. (Business Day)

Trade Talk (September 4, 2007)

In 2004, a group of poor countries met in Sao Paulo and initiated the Global System of Trade Preferences (GSTP), to better promote their interests in the WTO's Doha Round of multilateral trade negotiations. After six years of negotiations, participants in the Doha Round have still not succeeded in steering the world trading system in a direction favorable to developing countries. The author argues that so far the GSTP has done little to enhance South-South trade. Now, however, the member countries are responsible for at least a third of world trade and the GSTP finally carries enough weight to change global trade balances in favor of developing countries in the future. (Business Day)

US, Brazil Wrangle over Farm Subsidies - (June 19, 2007)

This Associated Press article reports on the WTO talks and on the disagreement between the United States and Brazil over how much the US should cut its farm subsidies. The US said that it was willing to limit its farm subsidies to $17 billion while Brazil is asking the US for larger cuts. Farm subsidies make it impossible for poorer nations to develop their economies by selling their agricultural products abroad. Once again, it seems like there won't be a major breakthrough in these talks.

Current Global Trade Talks Cannot Afford to Fail – Ban Ki-Moon (April 23, 2007)

Speaking at a conference on democracy, development and free trade, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon called for greater efforts to push through the deadlock of the Doha Round of trade talks. Negotiations came to a standstill in July 2006 after governments failed to agree on key issues such as agricultural subsidies and tariffs. The UN chief emphasized that successful talks could result in a global trading system that would "create opportunities for the poorest countries, instead of leaving them at a disadvantage." (UN News)

Poor Nations Fear Big Powers Could Trample Their Concerns in WTO Talks (March 5, 2007)

With the revival of the Doha round of trade negotiations, poor countries fear the "Group of 4" – the US, the EU, Brazil, and India – will "bulldoze" their concerns over farm subsidies and other issues. Arguing that "nobody else will fight for you," a senior African diplomat urged poor countries to be "proactive" in protecting their interests. (International Herald Tribune)

World Economic Forum: G33 Pushes Trade Powers on Farm Issues (January 27, 2007)

The World Trade Organization Doha Development Round has been stalled since July 2006, when the US, despite demanding market liberalization in developing countries, refused to lower its own domestic farm subsidies. At the 2007 World Economic Forum, the G33 group of developing countries called for a formal resumption of negotiations, seeking a multilateral outcome that would offer "a level playing field in the global trading system." The US, however, insisted that the Doha Round not reconvene "until there is clear progress" in ongoing informal discussions, which largely exclude members of the G33. (Inter Press Service)

Alternative Finances (January 2007)

This article from Le Monde diplomatique argues that a new international trade regime, as originally envisioned by economist John Maynard Keynes, should replace the "disastrous" World Trade Organization. By insisting on fair labor standards, environmental protection, and cooperation with the UN's International Labour Organization, the proposed "International Trade Organization" would "serve the needs of people in both North and South."


Doha: Dormant but Dangerous, The EU's Treacherous Trade Strategy (December 2, 2006)

Despite the official suspension of the WTO negotiations, "it's a mistake to believe that nothing is happening under WTO auspices," says Susan George of Transnational Institute in this piece. The EU trade commissioner has been holding GAT (General Agreement on Tariffs)-related negotiations - one of them hidden from the European Parliament - ultimately serving to limit countries' possibilities for regulating entry of transnational corporations into their markets. On a parallel basis, the EU tries to "cover the world" with bilateral trade agreements promoting "total market access in all areas for European transnationals," says the author.

Brief Observations on the Mechanisms for NGO Participation at the WTO (December 2006)

This piece from SUR – International Journal on Human Rights critically analyzes some of the institutional and external factors that limit NGO involvement in the World Trade Organization's (WTO) decision-making processes. The author argues that poorly-defined formal procedures for NGO participation pose a major obstacle to how effectively non-state actors can monitor WTO governance. In light of the growing influence and ever-changing profile of the NGO sector, the article highlights the rising demand for "permanent mechanisms" to make the WTO more representative of this "new reality."

Patents versus Patients: Five Years After the Doha Declaration (November 14, 2006)

The ‘Doha Declaration on the TRIPS Agreement and Public Health' asserts that WTO members must allow poor countries' to produce generic medicines to protect public health. Five years after its enactment, Oxfam reviews the agreement, and finds that rich countries display a very poor record of honoring their promises. Through free trade agreements, the US negotiates "TRIPS-plus" rules that increase patent protection and undermine poor countries' public health safeguards, while EU countries let their companies benefit from the US negotiated rules. Oxfam calls for rich countries to stop pushing for stricter intellectual property rules, for poor countries to resist TRIPS-plus rules, and for the WTO to review the impact of TRIPS on public health.

International Trade Statistics 2006 (November 9, 2006)

In some 250 tables and charts, the annual World Trade Organization publication provides statistics on world trade flows of merchandise and commercial services by country, region and product in 2005 as well as some longer term world trade trends data. An overview summarizes major developments. These include: an overall slow-down in world trade expansion; a shift in textiles and clothing exports from Latin America and Africa to China, India and Pakistan due to the phase-out of the WTO Agreement on Textiles and Clothing; and a further increase in oil-exporters' trade surpluses while the US trade deficit reached a record high of US$793 billion.

Why the WTO Doha Round Talks Have Collapsed – and a Path Forward (August 14, 2006)

The question of who to blame dominates analyses of the Doha Round collapse. This Common Dreams article instead argues that the underlying cause lies in people's rejection worldwide of the "WTO model of corporate globalization." Trade rules in the "WTO decade" have only benefited a small corporate elite and have constrained domestic policy making. The authors argue for an alternative to corporate globalization and regional trade agreements. They urge US citizens to take action and demand change in their country's position on international trade, as citizens in many other countries have succeeded in doing.

Arrested Development (August 10, 2006)

Given the "corrupt system of campaign-contributions-for-subsidies" in US politics, it came as no surprise that the Doha trade negotiations failed to produce the promised development agreement. In fact, former World Bank Chief Economist Joseph Stiglitz argues, poor countries feel relieved that they steered clear of a "development" agreement maintaining the status quo or making them worse off. World leaders must now avoid creating a myriad of unfair bilateral trade agreements. Particularly aiming at Europe, Stiglitz strongly appeals to governments not to follow the US example of unilateralism in the international trade system. (Guardian)

Between Geneva, Singapore and Heiligendamm (August 9, 2006)

This World Economy and Development brief describes how lobbyists caused trade talks to collapse, as rich countries conceded to demands of their domestic agricultural sectors. Furthermore, the author sees little hope for resolving trade inequalities during the 2007 G8 summit in Germany, since German Chancellor Angela Merkel does not plan to address global economic imbalances. At the root of these obstacles to equitable globalization, the author cites the G8's resistance to democratic reform of the International Monetary Fund and the World Trade Organization.

Requiem for the WTO (August 2, 2006)

This Inter Press Service article speculates over the future of the World Trade Organization (WTO). The WTO has failed to reach a resolution in negotiating rounds in Seattle (1999), Cancún (2003), and Doha (2006), casting growing doubt over its ability to provide a forum for multilateral agreements. Uruguayan activist Alberto Villarreal suggests that future trade negotiations will not succeed unless they give greater weight to issues of environmental protection and social interests, rather than reflecting only corporate demands.

Heading for UN-isation of the WTO? (August 1, 2006)

This Financial Express article suggests the US, EU, Brazil, China, and India could each take the initiative to liberalize trade. Since governments failed to reach an agreement in the Doha Round of 2006, the World Trade Organization (WTO) might look to more attainable goals such as enforcing existing rules and furthering openness of inter-governmental and WTO policy-making. The author suggests that the major trading powers should cooperate to promote specific goals such as Chinese trade liberalization and preferential trading agreements involving India.

Rare Unity Against West's Farm Subsidies (July 27, 2006)

Following the collapse of the Doha development round, this Inter Press Service article highlights the widespread support in India for the government's decision to withdraw from the Doha negotiations. Indian academics and business representatives alike agree that primary responsibility for the failure of the negotiations lies with US refusal to cut domestic farm subsidies. Unwilling to compromise and accept a deal of only reduced average customs tariffs, the Indian government seems to be assuming leadership in bringing together poor countries to demand cuts in US farm subsidies.

Failed Trade Talks Usher in Uncertainty (July 26, 2006)

This Washington Post article questions whether the failure of the Doha Round redirects, impedes, or rejects globalization. The author uses quotes from a broad spectrum of think tanks on international economics to demonstrate that both the left and the right might see the collapse of the Doha Round as a victory for its cause. However, the impasse over politically sensitive issues of agriculture, textiles and apparel might bring countries back to a multilateral negotiating table quickly as they realize the shortcomings of bilateral or regional agreements.

Trade Talks Fail Over an Impasse on Farm Tariffs (July 25, 2006)

This New York Times article outlines the major issues that prevented a Doha Round agreement on trade liberalization. The United States, the European Union, Brazil, China and India each argued that the proposed deal called for agricultural concessions that the other parties would not reciprocate. However, the Doha Round failure will not stop the US and the EU from negotiating bilateral agreements to expand trade.

Q&A: Troubled Global Trade Talks (July 24, 2006)

This BBC article highlights the fundamental issues at stake for both poor and rich countries in the Doha Round of trade talks. This overview discusses different views on why talks stalled, who deserves blame and how to proceed with trade liberalization. If the Doha Round fails, the US and the EU may initiate bilateral trade agreements that put poor countries at a disadvantage.

The Death of Doha Signals the Demise of Globalisation (July 13, 2006)

Past World Trade Organization (WTO) rounds have promoted globalization, increasing freer movement of trade and capital. However, in the Doha Round US, EU, and Japanese resistance to globalization dominates. The United States increasingly embraces bilateral trade agreements as poor countries such as China, India, and Brazil gain more clout in the WTO negotiations. The author notes an "unwillingness to make concessions" among rich nations amidst growing fears of growing Chinese economic power. (Guardian)

The WTO and the World's Poor (July 12, 2006)

World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz claims that a World Trade Organization (WTO) deal to eliminate tariffs and subsidies in rich countries would help the world's poor and benefit the world economy by an estimated US$ 54 billion per year. However, the author of this truthout article sees the monetary gain as overshadowed by negative effects. This deal would harm import-competing industries, decrease tariff revenues, and impose intellectual property rules that prevent poor consumers from purchasing life saving pharmaceuticals.

On Free Trade, Washington Is Trading Freely in Hypocrisy (July 11, 2006)

Economist Joseph Stiglitz questions the motives and effects of proposed US trade reforms in the Doha Round. Although the US conceded a 97 percent opening of its markets, Stiglitz proclaims that "the devil is in the details," since the remaining tariffs would pit the poor countries against each other and lead to a reduction in overall trade. Stiglitz warns that in the long run, the US may spur trade liberalizing countries to unify in opposition to US protectionist policies. (Daily Star)

WTO Deal This Year Won't Deliver Development: Poor Countries Concentrating on Damage Limitation (June 28, 2006)

This Oxfam press release decries the Doha Round as fruitless for poor countries. EU and US "stubbornness and self-interest" prevent tariff reductions that would provide poor and rich nations alike with greater access to their markets. The release suggests that the US and EU pressure poor nations to make sacrifices without making reciprocal concessions.

Multilateral Trading System: Time for a New Approach (June 26, 2006)

This letter to the trade ministers of the World Trade Organization on behalf of 131 organizations worldwide criticizes the Doha Round and suggests that more attention go to public policy priorities. Specifically, the letter finds fault with the undemocratic decision-making process among trade ministers and the overarching tendency to favor rich nations when imposing new trade laws. It proposes a new "aid for trade" plan that addresses adjustment costs and does not demand the liberalization planned under the Doha Round. (Our World Is Not for Sale)

Leading the Way: How US Trade Policy Can Overcome Doha's Failings (June 19, 2006)

This Center for Trade Policy Studies article argues that the US should unilaterally fulfill the Doha Round objective to open the market to imports from poor countries. US protectionist measures keep domestic prices high, especially burdening low income US citizens who spend a greater proportion of their incomes on highly taxed basic goods such as clothing, food, and shoes. Greater trade liberalization would not only benefit US consumers, but also would increase revenues for exporters in poor countries and thus "foster goodwill towards the United States."

Trade Liberalization and Its Consequences (April 26, 2006)

Speaking at Stanford University, Supachai Panitchpakdi, Secretary-General of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), looks at the "economic benefits and costs" of trade liberalization for poor countries. A handful of emerging countries has gained from increased foreign direct investment (FDI) and trade. But most poor countries struggle to benefit from multilateral trade liberalization and fail to attract FDI capable of transferring know how and technology. Panitchpakdi also urges that rich countries' Aid-for-Trade commitments must be additional to their development aid promises of the Doha Round. (South Centre)

Promoting Human Development through Trade (April 5, 2006)

In this speech, Kamal Malhotra, UN Development Programme's Senior Adviser, calls for an international trade system that promotes "human development." He proposes a political framework that allows diversity of development strategies while leaving the major decisions to national governments. Since countries reach decisions at the World Trade Organization through exclusive and informal processes, Malhotra questions the organ's capacity to promote and implement such a new trade regime. (Carnegie Council on Ethics and International Affairs)

Don't Give Up on WTO, Fix It (April 4, 2006)

Those who wish to abolish the World Trade Organization (WTO) do not consider the advantages multilateral trade talks have in comparison to bilateral negotiations which are even more dictated by rich countries' interests. YaleGlobal argues that the WTO remains the only trade platform capable of increasing poor countries' negotiating power. Nevertheless, the article encourages reforms of the organization's governance structure that would also to improve the representation of poor nations interests.

A Recipe for Disaster: Will the Doha Round Fail to Deliver Development? (April 2006)

According to this report, the likelihood that poor countries will benefit from World Trade Organization (WTO) negotiations looks "increasingly slim." Oxfam advises poor countries not to accept a deal unless rich countries offer better access to their markets, deeper cuts to trade-distorting agricultural subsidies and a revision of their subsidy rules. In addition, rich countries' pressure for Non-Agricultural Market Access (NAMA) could force poor countries to "dramatically and permanently" open their fledgling industrial markets.

Globalisation, Liberalisation, and Protectionism (April 2006)

This Third World Network report focuses on the role of the International Financial Institutions (IFIs) and the World Trade Organization (WTO) in causing global economic imbalances. The report critiques IFI policies such as loan conditionality and suggests that the WTO could lessen economic imbalances by addressing commodity prices and supply capacity in poor countries.

A Floundering WTO – Part II (March 23, 2006)

After the 5th WTO Ministerial Meeting in Cancun in 2003, collective bargaining seemed like a good bet for poor countries to make their voices heard. In 2006 however, "multilateralism, as we know, is comatose, if not dead." Big developing nations, such as Brazil, India and China, only stick to Third World Coalitions as long as it suits their own interests. YaleGlobal encourages less influential poor countries to reinforce their alliances with NGOs to counterbalance their loss of political power.

A Floundering WTO – Part I (March 21, 2006)

If World Trade Organization (WTO) member states do not agree on farm and manufacturing trade reforms by April 30, 2006 the Doha trade round will likely end in failure. In addition, when US Congress's "fast track" authority over trade talks expires in July 2007, agreements will become even more difficult. To fulfill their promises to facilitate poor countries' development, rich countries have to substantially open their markets to poor countries imports. (YaleGlobal)

Trade Rules a Stumbling Block to Realising the MDGs (March 15, 2006)

In this interview, Director of Programmes of Third World Network-Africa Tetteh Homeku explains how predominant trading rules hinder Africa's development. Although foreign direct investment (FDI) can generate growth, the region requires strong local industries and better access to foreign markets to foster development. In addition, Mr. Homeku encourages the UN Agencies and Programmes that work in the region to support existing developing campaigns instead of "reinventing the wheel." (Inter Press Service)

Critical WTO Negotiations Go Underground (March 8, 2006)

As the trade negotiations following the WTO conference in Hong Kong intensify, rich countries discuss many of the remaining issues in small and exclusive conferences. Focus on the Global South warns that these arrangements further undermine poor countries' ability to benefit from the Doha trade round. The publication also looks at the progress made to liberalize agricultural, non-agricultural and service markets.

America's Masterplan Is to Force GM Food on the World (February 13, 2006)

The World Trade Organization (WTO) penalized the European Union for banning genetically modified (GM) food imports between 1999 and 2003. The penalties will please the highly subsidized US food corporations, while discouraging resistance to GM food imports all over the world. (Guardian)

The Post-Hong Kong Blues (February 2006)

The World Trade Organization (WTO) ministerial conference in Hong Kong, failed to clarify the most crucial details of its joint declaration. World Economy & Development in brief predicts intense negotiations in 2006 encouraging poor countries to keep a strong common position to defend their interests. But more importantly, the article argues, governments must consider alternative proposals to reform the international trade system. For example, new trade rules should oblige all countries to provide free market access to every country that is poorer and smaller than themselves.

Humanising Globalization (January 30, 2006)

In this speech, Pascal Lamy, Director General of the World Trade Organization (WTO), calls for a new "Geneva Consensus." In his point of view, the world's governments should define common interests, strengthen global governance and use trade as a tool to elevate human conditions. Although pointing into the right direction, Lamy fails to explain why the WTO has not succeeded in turning trade into a real development tool. (WTO News)



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