June 12, 2003
1. WTO (World Trade Organisation)
The Nation (Kenya), June 7, 2003
The proposed WTO agreement on government procurement poses a threat to the economies of developing countries, a Cabinet minister said yesterday. Planning minister Anyang Nyongo said the World Trade Organisation rules that are expected to liberalise public procurement would overwhelm developing countries.
ANOTHER DEADLINE MISSED
Target date missed in WTO talks on industrial tariff cuts, AFX-Focus, May 28, 2003
WTO countries have failed to meet an end-May target for agreeing a plan for cutting tariffs on industrial goods, said Pierre-Louis Girard, the Swiss ambassador chairing the negotiations.
BID TO SAVE WTO MEETING
News 24 (South Africa), June 9, 2003
A number of trade ministers are to make a last-ditch bid to resolve deadlocks on trade liberalisation before the September meeting of the World Trade Organisation (WTO). A mini-meeting of trade ministers of like-minded countries is planned to identify issues that could be resolved, deputy trade and industry minister Lindiwe Hendricks said on Monday .There is a feeling that Cancun will be a dismal failure unless something happens before that, Hendricks told reporters in Pretoria. She declined to name the countries that will take part the pre-WTO meeting.
US CHARGES CHINA IS VIOLATING WTO
U.S. Trade Official: China Violating WTO, AP, June 12, 2003
China is failing to give promised access to U.S. farm goods, in violation of its World Trade Organization commitments, a U.S. trade official said Thursday.
PAKISTAN SENDS MESSAGE TO US, EU
Pakistan seeks US, EU action for WTO talks, Reuters, June 10, 2003
United States and the European Union must take steps on two trade issues important to developing countries for an upcoming World Trade Organization meeting to succeed, a top Pakistani official said on Monday .European agricultural reforms and US flexibility on generic drugs
CANADA-EU ENHANCED TRADE AGREEMENT: CONSULTATION DEADLINE JUNE 13
Canada-European Union - Proposed Trade and Investment Enhancement Agreement, DFAIT Press Release
AFRICA TO WTO: NO PATENTS ON LIFE
Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy Report
The Africa Group of WTO negotiators issued their new position paper for Cancun on TRIPs Article 27.3(b). It firmly states, Patents on life forms are unethical and the TRIPs Agreement should prohibit them, through modifying the requirement to provide for patents on micro-organisms and on non-biological and microbiological processes for the production of plants or animals.
INDIA SAYS NO TO INVESTMENT ISSUES
Indias WTO Ambassador calls for investment issue to be dropped after Cancun, Our World is Not for Sale Press Release
At a seminar on investment organised by NGOs, Indias Permanent Representative to the WTO, Ambassador K.M. Chandrasekhar, made a presentation in which he reiterated Indias view that it does not want a multilateral investment agreement in the WTO.
Farm Issues And Trade Negotiations: WTO Keeps Its Fingers Crossed, by Eric Toroka, Business Times (Dar es Salaam), May 30, 2003
Successful conclusion of global trade negotiations would be difficult if the issue of reducing tariffs and subsidies on agriculture is not straightened out before the Cancun ministerial conference later this year. This is the view of the spokesman of the World Trade Organisation, Keith Rockwell, as expressed to Business Times by video telephone from Geneva, Switzerland, on Wednesday last week.
COTTON COULD TIE UP TRADE TALKS
Reuters, June 12, 2003
Nearly 20 African countries indicated they would block any new global trade pact unless the United States and the European Union agreed to end all subsidies to their cotton farmers.
FARMERS TESTIFY ON IMPACT OF TRADE AGREEMENTS
America Needs Human Rights, Americas Working Poor and Farmers to Testify in Congress on the Impact of Trade Agreements, Our World is Not For Sale Press Release,
The America Needs Human Rights campaign of Food First/The Institute for Food and Development Policy in collaboration with Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), Co Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus will host a briefing on June 12, 2003 in Washington, DC on the impact of free trade agreements on the working poor in America.
CIDA MINISTER SPEAKS ON IMPORTANCE OF AG TO POOR
Canadian Launch of the Human Development Report in South Asia 2002, Notes for remarks by Susan Whelan, Minister for International Cooperation, At The Launch of the Human Development Report in South Asia 2002, May 29, 2003
The international community has identified agriculture as central to achieving the Millennium Development Goals, especially those dealing with poverty and hunger. Agriculture is clearly key to food security, and it plays a critical role in education and health. Its also a major contributor to family incomes and environmental sustainability. Its central to the quality of life, directly and indirectly, for all of us. Three-quarters of the worlds poorest people live in rural areas and depend on agriculture for a living.
2. GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms)
Canada may resolve GM dispute with EU bilaterally, outside WTO - Chretien, May 29, 2003, AFX-Focus
Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien said the EUs dispute with Canada over genetically modified foods may be resolved outside the World Trade Organisation, where the Canadian government has joined an appeal launched by the US. We believe the problem can be resolved and that we will be able to find a bilateral solution with the European Community without taking recourse to the WTO, he told reporters during a Canada-EU summit held in Athens.
GM FOOD: U.S. PLAYING WITH HUNGER
Friends of the Earth International Press Release, May 23, 2003
Food aid has now become controversial on four continents because of U.S. Genetically Modified (GM) food donations, according to a new report* released by Friends of the Earth International today .In May 2003 the U.S. Congress has passed legislation tying AIDS assistance to acceptance of Genetically Modified Organisms, or GMOs [i].
SCOTLAND WARNS US AGAINST TRADE WAR OVER GMO
GM Trade War Could Jeopardise America, by Gavin Cordon, PA News
Environment Minister Michael Meacher today warned the United States not to start a trade war with Europe over genetically-modified (GM) food products.
US FARM GROUPS BACK US PRO-GMO STANCE
Farm groups support WTO case filing, June 12, 2003
Farm and agribusiness groups are applauding the U.S. governments decision to seek an end to the European Unions moratorium on approval of imports of genetically enhanced crops.
EGYPT WITHDRAWS FROM WTO GM COMPLAINT
US-led trade war coalition starts to crumble, Friends of the Earth International Press Release, May 28, 2003
Attempts by the United States administration to force Europe to accept Genetically Modified (GM) food and crops received a serious blow after Egypt announced that it would not be part of a World Trade Organisation challenge to the European Unions de facto moratorium on approving new GM licenses.
WHEAT BOARD ASKS MONSANTO TO WITHDRAW APPLICATION
CWB asks Monsanto to put the brakes on roundup ready wheat, Canadian Wheat Board News Release, May 27, 2003
The Canadian Wheat Board (CWB) has called on Monsanto Canada to withdraw its application for an environmental safety assessment of Roundup Ready¬ wheat (RRW). Monsantos RRW application is currently before the Canadian Food Inspection Agency .Economic harm could include lost access to premium markets, penalties caused by rejected shipments, and increased farm management and grain handling costs, signed by Ken Ritter, chairman of the farmer-controlled board of directors, and Adrian Measner, President and CEO.
UK MAY ALLOW GM CROPS OVER PUBLIC RESISTANCE
Environmental News Service, May 22, 2003
Environment Minister Michael Meacher has suggested that the UK government may allow genetically modified crops to be grown commercially in the UK regardless of public opinion. Speaking on the BBC radio program Farming Today on Monday the minister said a ban on transgenic crops would be illegal unless there is scientific proof that they harm people or the environment.
3. Softwood Lumber
DFAIT Press Release, May 27, 2003
International Trade Minister Pierre Pettigrew today welcomed the news that a World Trade Organization (WTO) panels interim decision supports Canadas claim that Canadian provincial stumpage programs are not subsidies. Yet again, it appears that the U.S. is being told that its attempts to prove that our softwood industry is subsidized are flawed. We expect more results from our WTO and NAFTA challenges to U.S. harassment of our exports in the summer and fall, said Minister Pettigrew.
US SHOULD RETURN MONEY TO CDN COMPANIES: DHALIWAL
37th PARLIAMENT, 2nd SESSION, May 27, 2003
Mr. John Duncan (Canadian Alliance): Mr. Speaker, today Canada won the arguments before the WTO on Canadian lumber exports to the U.S., but yesterday the main U.S. lumber lobbyist said that the U.S. would appeal and drag this dispute out as long as possible, win or lose. Delay is essentially the only negotiating leverage the U.S. has left. ÊÊÊWhen will the minister reverse the rhetoric and demand the return of the billion dollars collected unfairly by the U.S. on Canadian lumber exports? Mr. Murray Calder (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for International Trade, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, as I have said before, our approach as a government has always been a two track system. It appears today that we have won on the first track. On the answer to the second track which the member brings forward right now, we will do in consultation with the industry, the provinces and the producers .Hon. Herb Dhaliwal (Minister of Natural Resources, Lib.): Todays decision again shows that Canada is right and the Americans should remove the duty, return the duties that have been collected to Canadian companies and make sure that we have free trade in lumber as in the free trade agreement.
4. IMF (International Monetary Fund) & The World Bank
Transcript of a Press Briefing by the Managing Director, Mr. Horst Kûhler at the Burj Al Arab Hotel, Opening Remarks of Mr. Ibrahim Belselah, Coordinator General of Dubai 2003, June 6, 2003
It is definitely a milestone for us that the (World Bank-IMF) Annual Meeting is taking place, for the first time, in the Arab world .For its part, the IMF is prepared to help in the reconstruction and development of Iraq. This weekend, I will be sending a small staff team to Baghdad for fact finding and assessment of technical assistance needs. And the IMF concentrates on its core areas of competence that is how you set up a budget -a transparent integrated budget-, how you set up a monetary policy, including a central bank which runs a monetary policy, how you set up relations to the external world, a payment system and a stable currency. All this has to be reviewed and hopefully we can give some good advice for this macro-economic framework for sustained growth and recovery in Iraq.
DUBAI POLICE ANTICIPATE BORDER CONTROLS FOR IMF MEET
Dubai to ban anarchists, violent protestors from IMF-World Bank meet, AFP, May 27, 2003
Dubai police said Tuesday it will bar anarchists and protestors with a history of violence from entering the Gulf emirate during the September 2003 joint meeting of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund .Up to 20,000 people, including around 25 heads of state and scores of ministers and central bank governors, are expected for IMF-World Bank meeting scheduled for September 23-24, 2003.
INDONESIA STUDYING IMPACT OF SEVERING TIES WITH IMF
May 26, 2003
An official at Indonesias Coordinating Ministry of Economic, Financial and Industrial Affairs said the impact of stopping relations with IMF is being studied by a development strategy team.
IMF-HONDURAS LOAN TALKS STUCK ON PUBLIC SECTOR WAGES
Honduras talks with IMF hurt by public sector wages, Reuters, May 27, 2003
Honduran President Ricardo Maduro said on Tuesday that negotiations with the International Monetary Fund on a new loan package are bogged down with his government refusing to cut the public sector pay bill.
DOMINICA REJECTS IMF PLAN TO STABILIZE COUNTRYS ECONOMY
Dow Jones Newswires, May 30, 2003
Dominica rejected proposals by the International Monetary Fund to cut wages and maintain a temporary 4% income tax hike, saying the deficit-cutting measures were unworkable.
WORLD BANK GIVES $250 MILLION TO TANZANIA
World Bank Provides US $250 Million to Fight Poverty, UN Integrated Regional Information Networks, May 30, 2003
The World Bank announced on Thursday that it would provide US $250 million to support efforts by the Tanzanian government to reduce poverty in the country through three main operations: a Poverty Reduction Support Credit, a water supply and sanitation project for Dar es Salaam, and an agricultural development project.
5. FTAA (Free Trade Area of the Americas) & NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement)
By Charles Roth, Of DOW JONES NEWSWIRES, May 30, 2003
The U.S. hope of sealing a free trade deal covering the Western Hemisphere by 2005 looks increasingly unrealistic, notwithstanding official declarations to the contrary .But given potential obstacles such as the U.S. electoral cycle and the touchy issue of its agriculture subsidies, and a smaller-scale regional integration initiative in South America, skepticism about the formal timeline abounds.
CEC RECEIVES SUBMISSION AIMED AT ONTARIO POWER PLANTS
CEC Press Release, June 5, 2003
The Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) has received a citizen submission asserting that Canada is failing to effectively enforce the Canadian Environmental Protection Act and the federal Fisheries Act against Ontario Power Generations (OPG) coal-fired power plants. The attorneys general of the states of New York, Connecticut and Rhode Island, along with 48 Canadian and United States nongovernmental organizations and two towns in New York State, filed the submission The submitters assert that emissions of mercury, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides from OPGs coal-powered facilities pollute the air and water downwind, in eastern Canada and northeastern United States.
CANADA CONCLUDES CHAIRMANSHIP OF SUMMIT OF THE AMERICAS
June 9, 2003
Prime Minister Jean ChrÚtien issued today the following statement to mark the conclusion of Canadas chairmanship of the Summit of the Americas: we have made substantial progress in furthering democracy, strengthening human security and enhancing prosperity and social development .Argentina takes over the tremendous privilege and responsibility of chair
Legislation Introduced to Ratify the Protocol On Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty (The Madrid Protocol), Environment Canada Press Release, June 6, 2003
The Honourable David Anderson, Minister of the Environment and the Honourable Bill Graham, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today introduced legislation that would allow Canada to ratify the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty (the Madrid Protocol) to protect the Antarctic environment.
FEDERAL MONIES SPENT ON CLIMATE CHANGE: REPORTS
Climate Change: The Federal Investment, 1997 - 2002 Comprehensive Report
Building on Success: Canadas Climate Change Action Fund, 2001-2002 Annual Report
PM ON THE NEED TO PROTECT THE ENVIRONMENT
ADDRESS BY PRIME MINISTER JEAN CHR°TIEN ON THE OCCASION OF THE MAPLE LEAF DINNER, April 29, 2003
Preparing Canadas future means a focus on the environment. Our natural beauty, the quality of our environment touch a profoundly shared Canadian value. We owe it to our children and to future generations to do all that is necessary to ensure clean air and safe water, to preserve our wilderness areas and to address the challenge of climate change. Sustainable development is not a slogan for today. It is the Canadian way. To find global solutions to global problems. We are working with the United States on air and water quality. We are completing our national parks system. And we are playing our role as global citizens. The ratification of the Kyoto Accord was a highlight of this session of Parliament. And we are moving aggressively to implement a climate change action plan which was funded in the budget.
POVERTY, DISEASE, ENVIORNMENTAL DECLINE THREATEN GLOBAL STABILITY
Worldwatch Institute Press Release, May 22, 2003
Failure to meet the needs of the worlds poorest citizens threatens long-term global stability, reports Vital Signs 2003, the latest publication from the Worldwatch Institute, a Washington, D.C.-based research organization. The report points to the more than 13 million children who have lost a parent due to AIDS, the 14.4 million people who die each year from infectious disease, and the 12 million international refugees in the beginning of 2002 as clear indicators of a world where human suffering is rampant. While the global economy has grown sevenfold since 1950, the disparity in per capita income between the 20 richest and 20 poorest nations more than doubled between 1960 and 1995.Ê
BUSH ATTACKS ENDANGERED SPECIES LAW
Bush Administration to Launch Attack on Essential Component of Endangered Species Act
Natural Resources Defense Council Press Release, May 28, 2003
Conservation groups have learned that the Bush Administration is planning to undermine one of the most important protections offered by the federal Endangered Species Act: critical habitat designation. This announcement represents the second wave in a two-pronged attack on critical habitat (those places needed for recovery for species).
FORD THREATENED WITH CONSUMER BOYCOTT
Environmentalists Tired of Fords Rhetoric; Call For Action to Minimize Auto-Related Global Warming Pollution, Bluewater Network, May 22, 2003
Today Bluewater Network wrote Ford CEO William Ford Jr., asking him to turn his environmental rhetoric into industry leadership Fords actions have fallen far short of his highly publicized statements that Ford Motor Company is committed to environmental protection.
Water: A G8 Action Plan, G8 Press Release
We are committed to
2.5 Promote public-private partnerships (PPPs), where appropriate and suitable, particularly by: inducing private-sector investments and encouraging use of local currency; facilitating international commercial investment and lending through use of risk guarantee schemes; encouraging the harmonisation of operational procedures; facilitating the issue of national and international tenders
Health: A G8 Action Plan, G8 Press Release
Action against famine, especially in Africa: A G8 Action Plan
G8 action to address famine in Africa will take place within the framework of the G8 Africa Action Plan, in support of the New Partnership for Africas Development .
Marine environment and tanker safety: A G8 Action Plan
STATEMENT ON CO-OPERATIVE G8 ACTION ON TRADE
G8 Press Release
We stress our faith in and commitment to the multilateral trading system, which has The multilateral system embodied in the World Trade Organisation (WTO), and the current Doha Development Agenda, is thus central to the G8s approach to energising the global economy, increasing employment, spurring sustainable development, improving international governance, and eradicating poverty.
EVIAN: CORPORATE WELFARE OR WATER FOR ALL?
Corporate Europe Observatory, May 2003
The EU Water Fund, to be presented at the G8 summit in Evian, seems more about corporate welfare than helping the worlds poorest. The EU plan builds on controversial proposals by former IMF director Michel Camdessus, to use aid money to subsidize the expansion of private water corporations.
THE OTHER WAR: FIGHTING GLOBAL PANDEMICS
by Kingsley Chiedu Moghalu, Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, May 30, 2003
The metaphor of war, used by U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan when he issued a call to global action to confront and reverse the impact of the AIDS pandemic, is an apt one. AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria kill 6 million people every year and wreak their havoc on a daily basis: AIDS claims 15,000 lives a day worldwide; a child expires from malaria every 30 seconds in Africa. As the SARS and the mosquito-borne West Nile viruses clearly demonstrate, the mobility of infectious diseases has become part of the phenomenon of globalization .It is important that the G-8 nations, which made initial contributions that enabled the fund to take off, not balk at the large, sustained flow of money required to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria over the next decade.
LETTER TO G8 FROM KOFI ANNAN
Letter to the Heads Of State And Government of the Group Of Eight,
United Nations Press Release, May 29, 2003
key [WTO] negotiating deadlines have been missed, and there is now a grave danger that the next ministerial meeting, in Cancþn this September, will pass without those two vital promises being met. And yet the importance of meeting them can scarcely be exaggerated. Without it, the hopes of many millions of people will be dashed, and the developing countries will find it very hard to maintain their belief in an open market system governed by agreed rules that give a fair chance to all. At a time of weak economic growth, when it is so important to restore confidence in the world economy, that would be a tragic outcome indeed. But it need not happen, if together you summon the political will to give priority to a global interest shared by all peoples.
G8: DONT SURRENDER IN THE WAR ON POVERTY
Oxfam Media Advisory, 29 May 03
In the shadow of the Eiffel Tower, eight people wearing giant papier- mÅchÚ heads representing the G8 leaders will wave white flags as a symbol of their surrender in the battle against world poverty. Oxfam believes that, in spite of repeated promises, G8 leaders may fail to make any breakthrough in Evian on key areas of reforming unfair trade rules, increasing aid and cancelling debts for poor countries, particularly in Africa.
Government of Canada Increases Support of International Business Development in Nunavut, Industry Canada Press Release, June 5, 2003
The Government of Canada and the Government of Nunavut have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to encourage partnerships between federal and territorial organizations in developing international business opportunities for Nunavut companies. This Memorandum of Understanding affirms the partnership between Nunavut and Canada to create a regional trade network aimed at increasing exports from Nunavut and attracting investment from abroad, which will strengthen the Nunavut economy, said Nancy Karetak-Lindell, on behalf of Allan Rock, Minister of Industry.
GOVERNMENT SEEKING BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES IN IRAQ RECONSTRUCTION
Sanctions lifted in Iraq: Reconstruction opportunities for Canada, DFAIT Press Release, June 04, 2003
With the adoption of resolution 1483 on May 22, 2003, the United Nations (UN) Security Council lifted most sanctions against Iraqwith the exception of the arms embargowhile the purchase of oil from Iraq is subject to some conditions under that resolution. Canada is undertaking measures to implement resolution 1483 . Reconstruction efforts in Iraq are at a very early stage and are currently limited to U.S. government-funded contracts, most of which are administered by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). However, sub-contracting for U.S. government reconstruction contracts offer opportunities for Canadian companies. The Canadian Embassy in Washington is following developments closely with U.S. officials and has prepared a Web site to help Canadian exporters pursue potential opportunities. U.S. officials have confirmed that Canadian bidders are welcome.
SEPT 11 USED AS EXCUSE TO INVADE PRIVACY: COMMISSIONER
The Balance Between Privacy and Security, Speech by George Radwanski, Privacy Commissioner of Canada, May 24, 2003
In fact, it is clear that law enforcement and other state agencies have seized on the September 11 attacks as an opportunity to push for their privacy-invasive agendasnot just video surveillance, but monitoring of our communications, removal of our right to anonymity, and tracking us as we travel.
ENRON USED US GOVERNMENT TO BULLY DEVELOPING NATIONS
by Emad Mekay, Inter Press Service, May 30, 2003
Defunct energy giant Enron used the U.S. government to coerce the World Bank and poor nations to grant concessions and resolve its investment problems, according to documents and correspondence released by the Treasury Department.
Sierra Club of Canada has an active programme on Trade and the Environment. SCC has challenged Chapter 11 through the courts on the S.D.Myers case, played an integral role in the fight against the MAI and works in coalition with the Common Front on the WTO, Common Frontiers and the Canadian Alliance on Trade and the Environment.