The world is sliding into a recession due to multiple overlapping crises, the head of the WTO said on Tuesday.
Speaking at the opening of the WTO’s annual public forum in Geneva, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala noted that the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have both downgraded their global growth forecasts, and that trade indicators are “not looking too good.”
Colliding crises such as surging food prices, the soaring cost of living, and the energy crunch, first triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic and then aggravated by the Russia-Ukraine conflict, have created the conditions for a global recession.
The ministerial decision on the TRIPS agreement, spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic, was announced in the early morning in Geneva on June 17, almost two days after the expected end of the 12th Ministerial Conference. Although the decision was hailed by the WTO Secretariat and officials from the Global North as an unprecedented result, in practice it falls short of meeting the bare minimum of the world’s needs.
Several human rights groups, including Doctors Without Border (Médecins Sans Frontières or MSF), made an urgent appeal to the members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) on the eve of its scheduled virtual meeting on Thursday, April 22, to waive off the patent rights on COVID-19 vaccine production.
More than 100 countries, led by India and South Africa, have demanded the temporary waiver of some clauses of the Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) on the production of vaccines and other related medical equipment in order to increase their production and facilitate their wider and more equitable reach.Read More »
The World Trade Organization’s (WTO) dispute appeals system has collapsed. The body has collapsed due to U.S. blocking of appointments.
Roberto Azevedo, the WTO Director-General, said on Tuesday he was “very hopeful” that WTO members could conclude by mid-2020 talks on cutting fishing subsidies, seen by many as essential for the Geneva-based body to remain relevant, among other deals.
Speaking after the collapse of the WTO’s dispute appeals system due to U.S. blocking of appointments, Azevedo pledged to start immediate efforts to find a “permanent solution” for the Appellate Body.
Without naming any countries, he also urged members to refrain from unilateral measures that could harm the global economy in the meantime.Read More »
As key representatives of the three chief villains of international finance and trade, the IMF, World Bank (WB) and the World Trade Organization (WTO) met on the lush resort island of Bali, Indonesia, they warned the world of dire consequences in terms of reduced international investments and decline of economic growth as a result of the ever-widening trade wars initiated and instigated by the Trump Administration. They criticized protectionism that might draw countries into decline of prosperity. The IMF cuts its global economic growth forecast for the current year and for 2019.Read More »
There were at least two strong indicators of the paralysis of the 11th World Trade Organization Ministerial Conference in Buenos Aires. One was the Argentine government’s revocation of the accreditation of 64 representatives from 19 civil society organisations. And the second is that there was no Ministerial Declaration coming out of Geneva.
I will start with a paradoxical syllogism.
· One: The World Trade Organisation (WTO) – a multilateral trade negotiations body – is a veritable war machine controlled by the West.
Campaigners slam president Macri’s ‘draconian summit’ as civil society delegates returned from airport
Call for no deal on ‘new issues’ like e-commerce
Statement on the World Trade Organisation’s 11th Ministerial Summit in Buenos Aries, Argentina, which takes place from 10-13 December 2017.
On the summit:
“President Macri has excelled in his draconian approach to this summit. We’ve never before seen such a silencing and censoring of civil society voices. His attempts to block over 60 experts and campaigners from the host country are unprecedented, with observers now being returned home from the airport. This disgraceful display of power shows that Argentina should not host the G20 summit next year – Macri is unfit for that responsibility.”Read More »
The World Trade Organisation (WTO) is holding its tenth Ministerial Conference (MC10) in Nairobi from 15 to 18 December. This is the first of six blogs I intend to write before the conference. The objective is to analyse the ever-changing dynamics of the WTO and to raise the voice of democratic forces – from Africa and beyond – to try and influence the outcome of the Nairobi MC10. Why is that important? Because the processes and outcomes of MC10 are subject to manipulation – like all previous WTO Ministerials have been – by the big and powerful trio: the United States, the European Union and Japan. Read More »