Development Agenda Crucial for Nairobi Global Trade Conference

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By Dr. Patrick Gomes* | IDN-InDepthNews VIewpoint

BRUSSELS (IDN) - The year 2015 has witnessed a number of global events so important to development, namely; the Financing for Development Conference that took place in Addis Ababa from July 13 to16, 2015, the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit in New York that took place from the September 25 to 27, 2015, the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP21) scheduled to take place in Paris from the November 30 to December 11, 2015 and the World Trade Organization Tenth Ministerial Conference (MC10) scheduled for the December 15 to 18, 2015 in Nairobi Kenya.

This is the first time that a WTO Ministerial Conference will be held on the continent of Africa and in an ACP Country, therefore I have no doubt that we are all equally enthused by this fact. Some reports from Geneva on developments in the negotiations at the WTO might damper our enthusiasm.

Agreement on issues of particular interest to the ACP Group, especially the development aspect, remains elusive. We have learnt of sentiments from some WTO Members that suggest that it is now time to fold the Doha Development Round (DDA) and close shop because of this lack of agreement on the issues under negotiation.

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ACP Group Faces Tough Challenges at Global Trade Conference in Nairobi

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By Ronald Joshua | IDN-InDepthNews Analysis

BERLIN | BRUSSELS (IDN) - The Tenth Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO), to be held in Kenya’s capital Nairobi from December 15-18 will not only be “a milestone in terms of the future of the organization”, but also a challenge to the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States.

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ACP Ministers Convene to Adopt Strategy for Global Trade Meet in Kenya

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By INPS* | IDN-InDepthNews Report

BRUSSELS (IDN) - African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries’ trade ministers will gather in Brussels on October 19 for a strategic two-day meeting to prepare for the Tenth Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO), to be held in Nairobi, Kenya from December 15-18.

According to the ACP Secretariat, the meeting would discuss ACP strategy and adopt a Declaration on the WTO ministerial conference in Nairobi. Key issues of concern for the ACP Group include those related to development, agriculture, Non-Agricultural Goods Market Access (NAMA), and appropriate provisions for Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and Small and Vulnerable Economies (SVEs).

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U.S. Hedge Fund Threatens Use of Free Trade Accord to Sue Peru

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By INPS* | IDN-InDepthNews Analysis

Washington DC (IDN) - An emerging-markets focused U.S. hedge fund that bought Peru’s 5.1 billion dollar decades-old military debts is threatening to sue the country.

Gramercy argues that the Peruvian government's current repayment plan is inadequate and that if payments do not increase, it will sue Peru through a tribunal system embedded in the United States-Peru Free Trade Agreement (PTPA) that entered into force on February 1, 2009.

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Uruguay Pulls Out of ‘Secret’ Talks on Trade in Services

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By Roberto Bissio* | IDN-InDepthNews Analysis

MONTEVIDEO (IDN | SUNS) - Just a week before the deadline for submitting national offers on liberalisation of services sectors under the on-going “secret” talks for a Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA), Uruguayan President Tabare Vazquez decided on September 7 to abandon the plurilateral negotiations.

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Free Trade Is Not So Free After All

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By Julio Godoy* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

BARCELONA (IDN) - International negotiations on so-called “free trade agreements” have always had something surreptitious about them. In the late 1990s, the industrialised countries represented at the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) wanted to pass a “multilateral agreement on investment” (MAI) with the alleged goal of facilitating – liberating, so to speak – international investment. But, for all the good that such investment was supposed to bring about across the world, the OECD managed the negotiations in a most clandestine way.

With good reason: Only thanks to the extraordinary work of civil rights activists and journalists, it was revealed that the MAI draft constituted a carte blanche for corporations to commit all kind of violations of national legislation on social and environmental matters.

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Trade: Some Unfinished Work Remains After Bali

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By Kanaga Raja* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

GENEVA, (IDN | SUNS) - The ninth session of the Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO) came to a close on the morning of December 7, after adopting a Ministerial Declaration, the entire Bali package of ten texts, and five other Ministerial decisions.

The conference, which began on December 3 and was scheduled to end on December 6, spilled over into Saturday , when a very small group of countries, citing some concerns, had refused to join the consensus on the draft Bali package at an earlier informal Heads of Delegation (HOD) meeting.

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Trade: Move To Railroad Developing Countries To Surrender at Bali

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By Chakravarthi Raghavan* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

GENEVA (IDN | SUNS) - As trade ambassadors in Geneva, having packed their bags are wending their way across half-the-world, and trade ministers from around the globe, gather in Bali for the biennial Ministerial Conference of the WTO from December 3 to 6, the multilateral trading system is once again trying to prove the ‘uncertainty' principle of quantum theory in physics.

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Trade: Guard Against WTO Wall On Way To Bali

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By Chakravarthi Raghavan*  | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis | SUNS

A controversial package consisting of agreements on trade facilitation, agriculture and development issues is on the anvil in run-up to the Ninth Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO) to be held from December 3 to 6, 2013 in Bali, Indonesia. One of the contentious proposals pleads for a take-it-or-leave it “political decision”. The writer walks through a labyrinth of agendas, negotiations and deadlocks, laying bare all sorts of traps into which developing countries with little political clout tend to fall rather inadvertently.

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Global Trade Talks Remain Stuck

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By R. Nastranis and Kinda Mohamadieh*
IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

GENEVA (IDN) - Uncertainty clouds the fate of the current round of global trade negotiations under the umbrella of the World Trade Organization (WTO), which commenced in November 2011 and have been stalled since July 2008. All eyes are now set on the ninth ministerial conference (MC9) to be held on the Indonesian island of Bali December 3-6, 2013.

The reason behind the impasse, according to Dr Rubens Ricupero, a former UNCTAD Secretary-General, is that the advanced economies are retracting on their promises given at the WTO's Fourth Ministerial Conference in Doha, Qatar, in November 2001.

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China Alone Abides by Commitments to World's Poorest

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China Alone Abides by Commitments to World's PoorestBy Raúl de Sagastizabal*
IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

MONTEVIDEO (IDN) - The WTO member countries are moving towards the Eighth Ministerial Conference in Doha next December, again with no concrete results, even on issues relating to least-developed Countries (LDCs), recognized by the member countries' ambassadors in the informal meeting of last July 26.

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