End the Pandemic!
TRIPS Waiver Now!

Civil Society Open Letter to the WTO Director General (16 February 2022)

Global Call to Action: WTO Waiver Now to End the Pandemic!

The global health community, civil society around the world, legislators, international agencies, former heads of state, and over 100 WTO members support the waiver on intellectual property rules on COVID-19 related treatments, diagnostics, and vaccines to end the pandemic. The TRIPS waiver can be agreed at any General Council meeting and does NOT require a Ministerial. This is the ONLY agenda that WTO Members should be focusing on at this time.

Quotes and photos from the 2021-11-30 press conference “No profit on covid”

more on ending the pandemic / TRIPS waiver now…

Sham “Walker Process”

Having refused for over a year to agree to the waiver that would resolve the pandemic, trade negotiators from the EU, Switzerland, Canada, the UK, and a few other countries - representing the interests of Big Pharma over their own citizens and global public health - have invented a diversionary tactic called the “Walker Process.” Allegedly a “WTO Response to the Covid-19,” this process is designed to try to save the WTO from its increasing irrelevance and illegitimacy, by drawing attention away from the WTO’s failure to remove the barriers of its Trade-Related Intellectual Property Rules (TRIPS) agreement to resolving the pandemic.

Open letter to WTO Director General and all WTO Members Against the Sham “Walker Process” and in Favor of the TRIPS Waiver: English, Arabic

Press Release on CSO Open Letter to WTO Director General and all WTO Members Against the Sham “Walker Process” and in Favor of the TRIPS Waiver

Quotes from Civil Society on the so-called Walker Process

US CSO Letter to Biden on TRIPS Waiver and MC12

WHAT’S COOKING FOR MC12? Two processes that could reshape the WTO in the interest of the most powerful: English, Spanish

12th Ministerial Conference

The 12th Ministerial Conference of the WTO was scheduled to take place Nov 30 - Dec 3, 2021 in Geneva.

Update: It has now been rescheduled for 12-15 June 2022 in Geneva.

What’s at stake at the WTO?

Open letter to WTO Director General and all WTO Members Against the Sham "Walker Process" and in Favor of the TRIPS Waiver: English, Arabic

Letter to WTO Members: Postpone the 12th Ministerial - TRIPS Waiver Now!   English, Spanish, French, media release.

Global Civil Society Calls for a WTO Turnaround: New Multilateral Trade Rules for People-Centered Shared Prosperity and Sustainable Development (2021): English, Spanish, French.

Over 200 organizations from 67 countries say: “Fundamentally transform the WTO: The WTO’s own policies have caused its existential crisis, which the COVID-19 crisis only amplified”: English, Spanish, French.

Fisheries

WTO members are working to finalize new disciplines on Fisheries Subsidies at MC12. However, many members, abetted by the WTO Director-General, are trying to ensure that these exclude development considerations which are part of the mandate. Developing countries - which have not contributed to the global collapse in fish stocks - need fisheries for their livelihoods and for food security.

Fisheries subsidies negotiations towards the WTO’s 12th Ministerial Conference: Considerations for developing countries and LDCs.

Market access the true aim of WTO fisheries subsidies negotiations: English, Spanish

Fisheries subsidies negotiations and development in the World Trade Organization

more on fisheries …

Development agenda

Rich countries have blocked the development agenda since the founding of the WTO, and now are waging an assault against existing flexibilities.

Reforming the international trading system for recovery, resilience and inclusive development.

South sets out developmental priorities in face of COVID-19.

Updated TWN Briefing paper on International negotiations by virtual means in the time of the COVID-19 pandemic.

New WTO DG delivers "divisive" trade agenda at GC meeting.

Recovering better from COVID-19 will need a rethink of multilateralism.

more on the development agenda …

Agriculture

Agricultural negotiations for MC12: A factsheet for developing countries: English, Spanish

Inequitable WTO rules in agriculture continue to impact farmers in the developing world: English, Spanish

more on agriculture …

Stop WTO Expansion!

Pro-corporate governments at the WTO are attempting to pursue a failed agenda of WTO expansion. Developed countries are attempting to undermine the core fundamentals of the WTO's mandate as a multilateral institution and alter decision-making procedures by using MC12 to normalize the “Joint Statement Initiatives (JSIs)” launched at the Buenos Aires Ministerial and henceforward.

WHAT’S COOKING FOR MC12? Two processes that could reshape the WTO in the interest of the most powerful: English, Spanish

Why the Joint Statement Initiatives Lack Legal Legitimacy in the WTO, by Law Professor Jane Kelsey, a rebuttal to a previous document by Hamid Mamdouh, “Plurilateral Negotiations and Outcomes in the WTO.” Resumen en español.

The JSI on domestic regulation is finalized. The JSI on investment facilitation is nearly finalized. The JSI on digital trade (a.k.a. “e-commerce”) is still under negotiation.

In addition, there are JSIs on environmental issues and on gender and the WTO. Rather than being progressive calls for putting planetary sustainability or gender equity above commercial interests, these declarations are attempts to push a failed liberalization agenda — “old wine in new bottles”.

WTO reform

Global Civil Society Calls for a WTO Turnaround: New Multilateral Trade Rules for People-Centered Shared Prosperity and Sustainable Development (2021): English, Spanish, French.

As WTO dispute settlement system collapses, civil society calls attention to need for fundamental change in global trade

The WTO 20 years after the 'battle of Seattle'

Looking back on the 1999 protests in Seattle: nwLaborPress.org article

more on WTO process issues …

Investment

Investment Facilitation Joint Statement Initiative: No home in the WTO

Scope of an investment facilitation framework: Implications for its developmental claim

Investment facilitation – Another plurilateral initiative at the WTO and its potential implications

Rebuttal to “The WTO Investment Facilitation Initiative: Why It Matters” – background note: Investment Facilitation for Development: Opening the doors of the WTO for hard rules on investment

more on investment …

Services

Disciplining non-discriminatory domestic regulations in the services sectors – Another plurilateral track at the WTO

“Domestic regulation” rules in the WTO: English: pdf, docx. Spanish: pdf, doc.

Session at the 2019 WTO Public Forum: #111. What would services as the next trade frontier look like?

Session at the 2019 WTO Public Forum: #119. Why are computer and related services important?

more on services …

Digital trade

Some countries are pushing for anti-development, anti-public interest and pro-Big Tech rules in the WTO under the guise of “e‑commerce.”

Building back better with e-commerce: A feminist roadmap

Digital Trade Rules: A disastrous new constitution for the global economy written by and for Big Tech: English, Spanish

E-commerce proposals at the WTO: a recipe for corporate greed

Digital trade rules and Big Tech: Surrendering public good to private power

US to target countries that impose digital services taxes

Updated Twelve Reasons: English: pdf, docx. Spanish: pdf, doc. French: pdf, docx.

more on the digital economy …