Governments: Listen to your people! Abandon Doha—Confront the Crises!

The 7th Ministerial Meeting of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) was held in Geneva in the midst of multiple crises, when people all over the world are demanding that governments take decisive action to protect their livelihoods from the dangers of corporate led globalisation. The failure of deregulation and liberalisation that the WTO locks in through its trade regime are all too evident to the ordinary people in the world. That this Ministerial was a non-negotiating meeting, is a reflection of the massive resistance to the WTO trade regime from workers, farmers, fishers and social movements from across the world. Trade ministers did not come to Geneva empowered with a popular mandate to move forward the negotiations. But in an inexplicable but expected disconnect to the realities back home, many of them have called for a speedy conclusion to the Doha Round in 2010.

Fifteen years after its inception, the WTO is further away than ever from an equitable, just, rules-based multilateral trading system that can foster development. Since its launch eight years ago, it has become progressively more evident that the Doha Development Round is completely antagonistic to the real priorities of peoples in developing countries. Instead, the demands of the global powers continue to set the agenda for trade negotiations and are doing so in a climate of fear where the ‘blame game’ has become the order of the day. Any country that is not prepared to support the speedy conclusion of the Doha Round is in danger of being blamed for the failure of the multilateral trading system.

The WTO is not a solution to the multiple crises that the world is facing. On the contrary, evidence shows that WTO trade rules are more a cause of and will exacerbate the current food, financial and climate crises. If the the main purpose of this ministerial meeting was to examine the role of the WTO in the current global economic environment, then governments must:

  • immediately halt all negotiations on the Doha Round;
  • reverse WTO commitments and reject progressive liberalisation;
  • conduct comprehensive development audits of the impacts of WTO trade on local and national economies;
  • in collaboration with national constituencies, develop new trade rules that will ensure food sovereignty, financial, economic and environmental security and climate justice;

Governments: listen to your people! Abandon Doha! Confront the Crises!

Endorsed (so far) by:

La Via Campesina

Hemispheric Social Alliance

Kilusang Mangingisda/ Fisherfolk Movement Philippines

Red Brasilera por la Integracion de los Pueblos (REBRIP)

Polaris Institute

ActionAid International

Women in Development in Europe (WIDE)

Transnational Institute

Focus on the Global South

World Development Movement

The Development Fund, Norway

Stop the New Round Coalition Philippines

ATTAC Norway

ATTAC Germany

ATTAC Austria

ATTAC Argentina

Kilusan para sa Pambansang Demokrasya

Pambansang Kalipunan ng Makabayang Magbubukid

Alliance of Progressive Labour, Philippines

War on Want

Global Network Asia

Coalition Against Trafficking in Women, Asia-Pacific

Labour Education Research Network (LEARN), Philippines

Initiatives for Dialogue, Empowerment through Alternative Legal Services (IDEALS)

The Latin American Solidarity Committee of Norway

Institute for Global Justice, Indonesia

The Berne Declaration

Council of Canadians

Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy

Resistanze and Alternative, Mauritius

India FDI Watch

Ecologistas en Accion, Spain

International Gender and Trade Network

REDES–Friends of the Earth Uruguay

MOSIP (Movimiento por el si de los Pueblos)

Center for Encounter and active Non-Violence, Austria

Fair, Italy

Bharatiya Krishak Samaj, India

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