G20 meeting in Rio: Civil Society demands trade talks take new direction
Rio, Brazil, 9-10 September – A group of Civil Society organizations, including ActionAid, Oxfam International and REBRIP, today delivered a statement defending the rights of poor and marginalized people in developing countries to the members of the G20, the WTO Director General, the trade representative of the US, EU and Japan, and other WTO Ministers.
The declaration diagnoses a “crisis” in the Doha Round, resulting from the “intransigence of developing countries – notably the United States and the European Union – to make the significant compromises needed to eliminate the current inequalities in the world trade system” and claims that “‘development’ has been retained merely as a rhetorical device.”
The declaration states that “serious injustices and distortions in the multilateral trade system” remain as a result of the failure to agree new trade rules but highlights the “creation of the G20 as an important event [that] redesigned the power relations in the WTO”.
The statement specifically states that:
The interests of excluded farmers must be at the centre of the G20’s agenda. Specifically, the issues of special and differential treatment, special products and special safeguard mechanism must be given more emphasis in the G20’s proposals.
Dumping must be eliminated.
The most important mechanism for impoverished farmers is the right to protection and if the G20 reduces its ambitions regarding protection mechanisms in search of more access it will not be providing an adequate response to millions of excluded farmers.
It is essential that the G20 deepens its dialogue with the other groups of developing countries, especially the G33 and G90.
The United States’ and the European Union’s demands on services and non-agricultural market access (NAMA) are unacceptable.
Rich countries are threatening a new wave of regional and bilateral trade agreements, which deeply asymmetrical and tend to be disastrous for developing countries.