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.
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.
The sixth BRICS Summit which has just ended in Brazil marks the transition of a grouping based hitherto on shared concerns to one based on shared interests.
Attempts to genetically modify food staples, such as crops and cattle, to increase their nutritional value and overall performance have prompted world-wide criticism by environmental, nutritionists and agriculture experts, who say that protecting and fomenting biodiversity is a far better solution to hunger and malnutrition.
Framing rules at the World Trade Organization for maintaining public stockholding programmes for food security in developing countries is not an easy task, and for Ambassador Jayant Dasgupta, former Indian trade envoy to the WTO, “this is even more so when countries refuse to acknowledge the real problem and hide behind legal texts and interpretations in a slanted way to suit their interests.”
The Sixth BRICS Summit which ended Wednesday in Fortaleza, Brazil, attracted more attention than any other such gathering in the alliance’s short history, and not just from its own members – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
Since the onset of the crisis, the South Centre has argued that policy responses to the crisis by the European Union and the United States has suffered from serious shortcomings that would delay recovery and entail unnecessary losses of income and jobs, and also endanger future growth and stability.
Emerging economies such as Mexico and India are shifting energy investments into renewable resources while industrialised countries hesitate, noted two new United Nations reports released Wednesday in Nairobi, Kenya.
After decreasing somewhat in recent months, international food prices have again risen dramatically, according to figures published on Thursday by the World Bank. Statistics for July indicate a 10 percent rise over just the previous month, and a six percent increase over already high prices from the same time frame a year ago.
U.S. weapons sales around the world have massively expanded over the past year, setting several records. Agreements for foreign arms sales in 2011 totalled around 66.3 billion dollars – three times higher than the previous year and constituting an "extraordinary increase", according to the Congressional Research Service.
Five months behind schedule, the board of the newest and largest international financing mechanism aimed at dealing with the effects of climate change, the Green Climate Fund, is finally slated to meet this week, just ahead of a late-summer deadline.
At the Kakonko Health Centre, about 250 kilometres from the nearest hospital in Kigoma Region, Western Tanzania, assistant medical officer Abdu Mapinduzi prepares to operate on Joanitha, a young pregnant mother.
Tomson Chikowero was ashamed of his job. He did not want anyone finding out what he did to earn a living, so he used to wake up early every morning and leave his home in Hatfield, a residential suburb in Zimbabwe’s capital city Harare, under the cover of darkness.
With the United Nations Climate Change Conference less than four months away, African countries need to present convincing arguments and successful adaptation projects to attract competitive funding for adjusting to changes in global weather patterns, climate finance experts say.