Subsidies

South Stymies North in Global Trade Talks

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.

Fragility of WTO’s Bali Package Exposed

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).

Public Stockholding Programmes for Food Security Face Uphill Struggle

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.”

Arab NGOs Warn IMF Against Sharp Cuts to Subsidies

Civil society activists from five Arab countries are urging the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to ease pressure on their governments to reduce food and fuel subsidies until stronger social-protection schemes and other basic reforms are implemented.

At Forty, CARICOM Has Few Laurels to Rest On

Four decades after they signed the treaty establishing the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), government leaders are gathering in Trinidad and Tobago, the birthplace of the integration process, as they seek to give greater meaning to the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) that encourages the free movement of nationals across the 15-member grouping.

Cairo’s Poor Convert Kitchen Waste Into Fuel Savings

The bio-gas digester on the roof of Hussein Farag's apartment in one of Cairo's poorest districts provides a daily supply of cooking gas produced from the kitchen waste his family would otherwise discard in plastic bags or empty into the clogged sewer below his building.

Malawi’s President Faces a Crisis of Confidence

She has taken a personal pay cut, promised reforms, resumed aid flows from Western donors and put her predecessor’s private jet up for sale.

Caribbean Fed Up with U.S. Rum Subsidies

Caribbean governments have begun a quiet lobbying effort to convince Washington to rethink the subsidies it grants to the rum industry in U.S. territories, or face a formal complaint in the World Trade Organisation.

Billions in Subsidies Prop up Unsustainable Overfishing

Calls are mounting for the world's big fishing powers to stop subsidising international fleets that use destructive methods like bottom trawling in foreign coastal waters, drastically reducing the catch of local artisanal fishers who use nets and fishing lines.

The signpost in Switzerland warns of glacier retreat. Credit: Ray Smith/IPS

Time to Derail Fossil Fuel Train, Energy Agency Warns

Countries have chained themselves to a fossil fuel train that is headed straight off a cliff, warns the International Energy Agency (IEA).

Workers at Shinning Century Ltd in Maseru fear for their jobs. Credit: Kristin Palitza/IPS

LESOTHO: Government to Turn its Back on Textile Industry

Lesotho’s textile sector – the country’s largest employer - is regarded by many as the only way out of the poverty trap in a tiny kingdom where more than half of the population lives on less than 1.25 dollars a day. But what many do not know is that the government and the World Bank have unofficially turned their backs on the sector and will soon cut important subsidies.

Three-year-old Henry Shales, visiting from New York, takes a close look at a solar panel on display at the DOE Solar Decathlon 2011. Credit: Stefano Paltera/U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon

U.S.: Solar Homes Offer New Hope for Renewable Energy

As a light drizzle fell Saturday, U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu pointed to solar houses constructed by students on the National Mall park in Washington as evidence that the U.S can compete internationally in the renewable energy market to create jobs and win "the war against climate change".

University of Swaziland students. The university failed to open this term because of a lack of funds from government. Credit: Mantoe Phakathi/IPS

SWAZILAND: Disagreement on How South African Loan Should be Spent

Despite the 2.4 billion emalangeni (342 million dollar) loan from the South African government to its cash-strapped neighbour, Swaziland is sinking deeper into debt.

Washington Urged to Recognise Brazil as Global Power

The United States should recognise Brazil as a global power and treat it accordingly, concluded a major new report issued by the influential Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) here this week.

Prices for DR-TB drugs remain too high worldwide.  Credit: Kristin Palitza/IPS

HEALTH: High Drug Prices Hamper Drug-Resistant TB Treatment

Access to treatment for drug-resistant tuberculosis (DR-TB) remains compromised, especially in developing countries, because too few pharmaceutical companies manufacture quality-assured drugs. Lack of competition has led to skyrocketing prices and this means that public health budgets are quickly spent.

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