India’s decisive stand last week not to adopt the protocol of amendment of the trade facilitation agreement (TFA) unless credible rules were in place for the development issues of the South was met with "astonishment" and "dismay" by trade diplomats from the North, who described New Delhi’s as "hostage-taking" and "suicidal".
The failure of the two major players in global trade negotiations to bridge their differences has put paid to the adoption of the protocol of amendment for implementation of the contested Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) for the time being.
Food price rises as far back as 2008 are believed to be the partial culprits behind the instability plaguing Arab countries and they have become increasingly aware of the importance of securing food needs through an international strategy of land grabs which are often detrimental to local populations.
In the 1960s, there were high hopes for the development of the newly-independent sub-Saharan African countries but these hopes were quickly dashed following a series of shocks which began in the mid-70s, with the first oil price spikes, followed by a severe decline in growth and increase in poverty in the 80s and early 90s.
In front of Osman Bin Affan Mosque, in a central but narrow street of Beirut, several tank trucks are being filled with large amounts of water. The mosque has its own well, which allows it to pump water directly from the aquifers that cross the Lebanese underground. Once filled, the trucks will start going through the city to supply hundreds of homes and shops.
A group of developing countries brought a tectonic shift at the World Trade Organization on Friday by turning the tables against the industrialised countries, when they offered a positive trade agenda to expeditiously arrive at a permanent solution for food security and other development issues, before adopting the protocol of amendment of the contested Trade Facilitation Agreement.
Less than four percent of Egypt’s land mass is suitable for agriculture, and most of it confined to the densely populated Nile River Valley and Delta. With the nation’s population of 85 million expected to double by 2050, government officials are grappling with ways of ensuring food security and raising nutritional standards.
The official outlook for agriculture up to 2023 carries optimistic forecasts for agricultural productivity and commodity prices but it is unlikely that the benefits will be shared by the world’s poorest.
A declining economy and a severe drought have raised concerns in Lebanon over food security as the country faces one of its worst refugee crises, resulting from the nearby Syria war, and it is these refugees and impoverished Lebanese border populations that are most vulnerable to this new threat.
The “fragility” of the World Trade Organization’s ‘Bali package’ was brought into the open at the weekend meeting in Sydney, Australia, of trade ministers from the world’s 20 major economies (G20).
The Palestinian village of Battir, just six kilometres southwest of Jerusalem and a similar distance from Bethlehem, is the latest to be trapped in the gap between international recognition and Israel's policies in the West Bank.
Adikali Kamara is a 36-year-old student nurse working in the government hospital in Kenema, a sprawling town on the fringe of the Sierra Leone’s Gola tropical rain forest.
African countries are coming under strong pressure from the United States and the European Union to reverse the decision adopted by their trade ministers to implement the World Trade Organization’s trade facilitation agreement on a “provisional” basis.
By now, the tale has become almost mundane: first the rains remain elusive, refusing to quench the parched earth. Then, without warning, they fall in such torrents that they leave scores dead, hundreds injured, and thousands homeless, plus a heavy bill in accrued damages.
“I want to grow genetically modified organisms (GMOs) because I want to feed my family with biotech products. In no way do I want to eat biological food because I think it’s not so healthy or nutritious.”