Ministers from dozens of countries, including the U.S., EU, Brazil, India, Indonesia, Philippines, South Africa, Kenya and Egypt, will meet in Geneva on July 21 to attempt to push through the conclusion of the WTO’s Doha Round.
After years of negotiations, failed Ministerials, and re-starts, this is their “last chance” before President Bush leaves office. The Ministers are seeking to conclude this faltering round while pushing aside key global priorities like the food crisis, fuel prices, global warming, global poverty and debt.
If concluded, the expansion of the WTO will benefit large corporations – but will have profoundly negative impacts on workers, farmers, women, consumers, and the environment. Falsely labeled a “Development Round” the real consequences would be:
- Job loss, de-industrialization, and the foreclosing of development space for decades to come. Rich countries are demanding that developing countries provide “new market access,” meaning slashing protective tariffs on manufactured goods and natural resources.
- Farmers’ livelihoods, food security, and rural development would come under even greater pressure. The United States and Europe continue to subsidize their agribusiness exporters, while at the same time fighting against key protections for millions of farmers in developing countries. This is outrageous in the face of a global food crisis.
- Increased privatization and deregulation of services, including in key sectors such as finance and energy. Recent instability in global markets demonstrates the need for increased intervention in and oversight of global financial and other markets, not more deregulation.
- Global efforts to tackle climate change may be curtailed by the WTO expansion.
- The poorest countries will be the biggest losers. Economic projections of a potential Doha deal, by several think tanks and even the World Bank, show that the costs of lost jobs, reduced policy space, and lost tariff revenues far outweigh supposed “benefits” of the so-called “Development” Round.
We cannot risk allowing the Doha Round to conclude. Social movements and civil society organizations across the world must unite to oppose the corporate agenda of the WTO Doha Round. We call on all people to:
- Organize national public pressure (media, mobilizations, campaigns) as your Trade Minister leaves for Geneva and from July 19-21, to ensure that your government acts in the interests of the people, not corporations or foreign governments. Basic Talking Points and a list of Call to Action Resources should be included in the attachments to this Call to Action; if they are not, please contact Verda Cook at email@example.com.
- Demand a meeting with your Trade Minister to express your opposition to the Doha Round, demanding that they do NOT agree to a Doha conclusion – and let your government know that you are monitoring their activities in Geneva.
- Contact the media and tell them about the negative impacts on the economy, workers, farmers, consumers, fisherfolk, women, climate change, and the environment of the WTO.
- Send a national letter, endorsed by a wide variety of social movements, to your national government (OWINFS will be circulating a sample letter which can be adjusted to your national context soon.)
- Come to Geneva to lobby your Minister during the Ministerial Conference, 19-25 July, and tell the media in Geneva what you think about the Doha Round. Please contact Deborah James at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are planning on traveling to Geneva.
The global network Our World Is Not For Sale is working to coordinate global actions, support national campaigns worldwide, and alert international media about actions across the globe. It is critical that we track where national actions are taking place. Please contact Verda Cook at email@example.com so that we can include your action in our listing of national events and if you are interested in receiving more action resources. For more information on the WTO, please see www.ourworldisnotforsale.org.