A victory for the peoples of the world: the 11th Ministerial Conference (MC11) of the World Trade Organization (WTO) that was held in Buenos Aires, Argentina, from December 10 to 13 ended without agreements. Governments did not reach consensus on issues such as electronic commerce, fishing and agriculture, among others. According to social organizations that opposes WTO polices, its agenda, if approved, would only benefit transnational corporations and would have serious consequences for the "common" people.
"The social movements that fight against the neoliberal agenda of the WTO have a slogan that says: 'no agreement is better than a bad agreement'. For that reason we celebrate that there was no agreement. We defend multilateralism, but we can not allow the advance of the interests represented by the WTO over these years", says Jocelio Drummond, Regional Secretary for PSI Inter-America.
PSI and its affiliates participated both in the official conference, lobbying for governments not to accept proposals that are harmful to the people, as well as in parallel meetings and protest marches.
Issues in discussion
On Wednesday, December 13, Our World Is Not For Sale Network (OWINFS), that brings together 250 organizations from 50 countries, distributed a statement with urgent recommendations to delegates attending the WTO Ministerial Conference (MC11). The document call on government delegates to change existing WTO rules "that are constraining policy space for job creation and development" and to "reject the wrong agenda to expand the failed model of the WTO to new issues".
The OWINFS statement is available at: http://ourworldisnotforsale.net/2017/R_recommend.pdf
Read below a summary of the main points:
EU-Mercosur Trade Agreement
Another victory of the social movements that fight against neoliberal globalization was the non-signing of a pre- trade agreement between the European Union (EU) and the Common Market of the South (Mercosur). With the changes of the governments of Brazil and Argentina in recent years, the expectation was that the pre-agreement would be announced at the closing of the WTO Ministerial Conference. The intention now is to sign it at the start of next year.
"Agreements with the European Union have been very harmful to Latin American countries. The commercial treaties defended by the EU privilege the interests of the transnationals more than those of the peoples. And there was a enormous pressure on the part of the Conservative governments of Mercosur to sign an agreement at all costs. For this reason, the postponement of the signing of the pre-agreement was one more positive aspect for the workers", explains Jocelio Drummond.