By: InterAksyon.com November 24, 2013 12:07 PM
MANILA - The 9th Ministerial Meeting of the World Trade Organization (WTO) should move toward sustainable and equitable alternatives, not business as usual, civil society said Sunday.
“The devastation caused by super typhoon Yolanda is considered by many a wakeup call not just to the reality of our vulnerability to extreme weather events that have sadly become the new normal, but also the need to make drastic and radical actions to address climate change. And an imperative to move toward alternative pathways that are more sustainable and equitable,” said Joseph Purugganan, who campaigns against WTO’s unfair “fair trade” policies.
“It is ‘business as usual’ however in the WTO,” said Purugganan, coordinator of the Trade and Investment Program of the Focus on the Global South.
As part of the effort to re-energize the campaigns and actions against the WTO and the free trade agenda, Focus and Social Movements for Alternative Asia launchrf the Derailers’ Guide to the WTO and Free Trade Regime 2nd Edition, which discusses the issues underpinning the debates in the lead up to WTO Conference in Bali, he said.
The guide book discusses the WTO agenda in Bali and beyond Bali. It also explains why this agenda is being resisted by trade campaigners, health advocates, and environmental and climate justice activists in the Philippines and across the globe.
For one, Purugganan said, governments and multilateral institutions are strongly pushing for a “early harvest” agreement to come out of Bali. They want faith in the multilateral trading system renewed; they want the transformation of the WTO into a 21st century institution with higher standards of liberalization, and less talk of development nor the implications of a hyper-globalization agenda on climate change.