Global Unions highlight WTO failure and propose remedies
In a statement in the run-up to the 8th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in Geneva, December 15-17, The Global Unions make a joint statement criticizing the WTO for failing to address fundamental problems, and propose remedies.
GLOBAL: The international trade union movement is unanimous in its harsh critique of the WTO: "Despite the criticisms expressed by millions of working women and men worldwide, there is still scant regard at the WTO for equitable growth, development or the creation of full, decent and productive employment based upon the respect of workers' rights and other human rights.
While workers and families are the object of severe cutbacks in connection with the current debt crisis, "The existence of the WTO does nothing to prevent trade imbalances growing to unsustainable levels and many countries entering into deep recession. The deal currently on the table, untransparent and based on the December 2008 WTO negotiating modalities on NAMA and Agriculture as well as ongoing negotiations to liberalise services under the GATS, will not assist in enabling trade to result in economic recovery, employment creation and genuine economic development."
The Global Unions urge the WTO to negotiate a package for the least developed countries, to at least ensure a positive outcome for the poorest countries. Such a package should in the unions' view include duty free and quota free market access for all products from the least developed countries. Cotton subsidies should be eliminated.
Moreover, in response to the current global financial problems, the WTO should not impede different commonly recommended financial regulatory measures, such as capital controls, bans on risky financial services, size limits on banks and "firewalls" between banking and investment services.
All ITUC affiliates are asked to submit the statement to their Trade Ministers ahead of the upcoming 8th WTO Ministerial Conference.
See the full statement here.
Dec 14, 2011 – Rainer Santi