Trade Must Reflect Right to Food:
Next month's WTO meeting, (in Geneva December 15-17, 2011), will focus on the future of the so-called Doha Round of negotiations on reducing international trade barriers, as well as the future of the global trading system. “We should grasp the opportunity to ask what kind of trade rules will allow us to combat food insecurity and realize the human right to food,” according to Mr. De Schutter. He noted that “trade did not feed the hungry when food was cheap and abundant, and is even less able to do so now that prices are sky-high.” Global food imports will amount to $1.3 trillion in 2011, and the food import bills of the least developed countries (LDCs) have soared by over a third over the last year, he added. (READ – “State of Food Insecurity in World 2011” - http://diplomaticallyincorrect.org/films/blog_post/state-of-food-insecurity-in-world-2011-un-report-by-ambassador-mo/36153 ).
Some measures that have been cited as helpful in rehabilitating local food production capacity in developing countries are higher tariffs, temporary import restrictions, state purchase from small-holders, and targeted farm subsidies. But WTO rules leave little space for developing countries to put these measures in place, said Mr. De Schutter. “Even if certain policies are not disallowed, they are certainly discouraged by the complexity of the rules and the threat of legal action,” he stated. “Current efforts to build humanitarian food reserves in Africa must tip-toe around the WTO rulebook. This is the world turned upside down. (Read –Rural Women in Addressing Food Security & Poverty” - http://diplomaticallyincorrect.org/films/blog_post/rural-women-in-addressing-food-security-poverty-by-susan-sacirbey/36280).
“WTO rules should revolve around the human right to adequate food, not the other way around, We need an environment that encourages bold policies to improve food security,” according to Mr. De Schutter.
Read- “Land Grabbing Threatening Food Security” - http://diplomaticallyincorrect.org/films/blog_post/land-grabbing-threatening-food-security-by-ambassador-mo/35743
By Ambassador Muhamed Sacirbey
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