World Trade Organization (WTO)

Working Cambodian Women ‘Too Poor’ to Have Children

The movement for reproductive justice sees women’s decision to have – or not have – children as a fundamental right. Should they choose to bear a child, women should have the right to care and provide for them; if they opt not to give birth, family planning services should be made available to enable women to space or prevent pregnancies.

Storm in a Rice Bowl

Rice, a staple of the South Korean diet, is stirring up a bowlful of worry for Seoul. Under a promise to the World Trade Organisation (WTO), the government has to make a tough choice on rice imports by June this year.

The Global Trading System Aims to Improve Children’s Lives

Although some people don’t see the connection, the global trading system is aimed at creating some of the essential conditions needed to improve children’s lives and their prospects in the future.

Trade – Growth Recovering but Restrictions on the Rise

The Bali Package, approved on Dec. 7 by the World Trade Organisation (WTO) members, was a historic achievement, representing a significant boost for trade, growth and development around the world. But its true significance lies in what it allows us to do next to conclude the Doha Development Agenda.

Bali Package – Trade Multilateralism in the 21st Century

At the Ninth Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), held in Bali Dec. 3-7, a series of decisions was adopted aimed at streamlining trade, allowing developing countries more options for providing food security, boosting least developed countries' trade, and bolstering development in general.

Glaring Asymmetries in Bali Accord

As industrialised countries celebrate the World Trade Organisation’s Bali accord, the developing and the least-developed countries are forced to carry their battle to another day after securing only half-baked results and grandiose promises, said several trade ministers.

Food Security, Trade Facilitation Clash in Bali

The World Trade Organisation’s ninth ministerial meeting at Bali, Indonesia has morphed into a fierce battle between the countries seeking social safety nets for hundreds of millions of poor people and those insisting on having advanced import-facilitation programmes in the developing countries on par with the industrialised nations.

WTO Urged Not to Treat Water Like Widgets

As government representatives gather Tuesday in Indonesia for what could be final negotiations towards a global trade agreement under the World Trade Organisation (WTO), environmentalists and social justice campaigners are urging them to specify that water resources cannot be treated as commodities.

Global Trade Winds Leave the Poor Gasping

For years, it was the power chamber at the headquarters of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in Geneva - the Director General’s Conference Room, more popularly known as the Green Room, where a handful of delegates would gather for important discussions and meetings.

The Very Future of Third World Agriculture Is at Stake

The battle lines are clearly drawn. At a time when food security in the developing countries is snowballing into a major trade conflict between the developed and developing countries, what in reality is at stake is the livelihood security of an estimated 1.5 billion small farmers in the majority world.

Opportunity Knocking

A sense of urgency brought on in recent years by food price volatility inspired collective action to reduce the likelihood of further price spikes and food supply shocks.

WTO: Stingy with the Poor, Generous with the Rich

A fight taking place in the World Trade Organisation (WTO) negotiations towards the Bali Ministerial Conference shows how the rules on agriculture allow developed countries to continue to shell out huge subsidies while penalising farmers in developing countries.

The World Trade Organisation after Eight Transformational Years

On Aug. 31, I will be stepping down after eight years as Director-General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

The Role of the State in Developing Countries under Attack from New FTAs

Two new trade agreements involving the two economic giants, the United States and the European Union, are leading a charge against the role of the state in the economy of developing countries.

Global Value Chains from a Development Perspective

The current discourse on Global Value Chains by key proponents and also the World Trade Organisation (WTO) secretariat is that developing countries should liberalise - in goods and services - and conclude a trade facilitation agreement.

A New Bretton Woods, to Prevent Future Crises?

Almost five years have passed since the global financial crisis, and the world economy is still reeling from its consequences. The main reason for this is the continued stagnation in developed countries, which is adversely affecting economic dynamism in other regions.

Africa Leading the New Patterns of Growth

The old theories governing the way that countries produce and trade are being replaced. The pattern of trade is being transformed by increasingly sophisticated technology and innovations in transportation; and the topography of actors is shifting to reflect new poles of growth.

WTO Chooses New Latin American Chief to Mark a Change in Course

Brazilian diplomat Roberto Carvalho de Azevêdo was named the new director general of the WTO with broad support from the developing world, beating out his Mexican rival Herminio Blanco, who was backed by the industrialised nations.

WTO, Dubious Prize for a Latin American?

The complicated challenge of invigorating the debilitated World Trade Organisation (WTO) and the multilateral trade system that it governs will fall, for the next four years and for the first time ever, to a Latin American.

The Two Faces of International Commodity Trade

For decades, commodity trade has been understood from the point of view of “commodity dependent” exporting countries, those whose revenues are largely generated by commodities exports. The trend of decreasing agricultural commodity prices was the focus of attention. However, from the beginning of the 2000s, there was an upward trend in agricultural commodity prices culminating in the price peak of 2007-08.

The World Needs More Trade to Contain the Slowdown

The global economy is facing strong headwinds that have set back world trade and output growth. Despite the measures implemented in many countries to contain the slowdown, production and employment trends continue to be negative. In the light of these developments, the World Trade Organisation (WTO) recently revised its forecast for world trade growth in 2012 to 2.5 percent, down from the previous 3.7 percent forecast. We foresee a volume of trade growth of 4.5 percent in 2013, below the long-term annual average of five to six percent that we have enjoyed for the last 20 years.

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