WIDE+ joined 341 organizations of civil society from over 100 countries of the global North and South to urge states to substantially turnaround the negotiations in the WTO in advance of the December Ministerial in Nairobi. Global trade policy must be evaluated by whether it contributes to global goals such as food security and food sovereignty, sustainable development, environmental conservation, financial stability, expanded access to quality public services, the creation of good jobs, and the reduction of poverty and inequality.
Negotiations to further liberalize “trade in services” through the expansion of the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) must be immediately halted. Strong public oversight over both public and private services is crucial for democracy, the public interest and development.
For similar reasons CSOs oppose the continuation of negotiations to further liberalize trade in goods through the Non-Agricultural Market Access (NAMA) pillar, including the expansion of the Information Technology Agreement (ITA-II) and the negotiations on Environmental Goods. Such negotiations instead must focus on job creation and the Decent Work agenda developed by the International Labor Organization working in conjunction with the global labor movement, rather than on the narrow agenda of reducing corporate taxes.
While there are many aspects of the Doha Round (with main issues for development and agriculture) to which many CSOs are opposed, failing to fulfill the development aspects while replacing that mandate with a new mandate that focuses solely on the wrong issues is the opposite agenda of what needs to be prioritized in global trade.
Development must come before binding commitments on Trade Facilitation.