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Nombre de messages : 199
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Date d'inscription : 06/01/2006

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La réaction des américains:

Press Availability
with Ambassador Susan C. Schwab, USTR
Mike Johanns, Secretary of Agriculture
Monday, July 24, 2006
WTO Headquarters

Ambassador Schwab: Good morning everyone.

We are obviously very disappointed that the G-6 Ministers were not able to reach an agreement last night. The United States came to Geneva with the flexibility to offer more on domestic support and market access. We took seriously the admonition of the leaders of the G-8 Summit in St. Petersburg, but unfortunately the promises of flexibility and market access coming from St. Petersburg did not materialize in Geneva.

Unless we figure out how to move forward from here we will have missed a unique opportunity to help developing countries and to spur economic growth.

While the United States was prepared to do more, yesterday's focus on the loopholes in market access, on the layers of loopholes, revealed that a number of developed and advanced developing countries were looking for ways to be less ambitious, to avoid making ambitious contributions.

But that doesn't mean the United States is giving up. 'Doha Lite' has never been an option for the United States; it is still not an option. There was no package on the table yesterday that we could have recommended to the President or to the United States Congress.

That said, the United States remains committed to a successful Doha Development agreement. One that creates real market openings, that brings new economic opportunities, opens markets for all WTO member countries. We feel strongly that we need to avoid the temptation in the coming weeks and months as we sort out where we go from here. We feel strongly that we need to avoid the temptation of pulling anything off the table. We need to focus on how we move forward, how we make a success of the Doha round, how we achieve the promise of the Doha round without degenerating into a finger-pointing exercise.

Let me end my formal comments by extending our appreciation and thanks to Director-General Pascal Lamy for his tireless efforts. We look forward to working with him as we move forward to see the Doha Round realize its full potential.

Thank you.

Secretary Johanns: Let me, if I might, start my comments by also expressing my appreciation to Director-General Lamy. He has worked very, very hard through this process and diligently worked to try to close the gap.

We in the United States also appreciate the good work of the WTO, the World Trade Organization. We believe in it, we believe that it is key to the future of the world, and we are absolutely committed to its success.

I also want to indicate at the outset how much I appreciate the leadership of our President. It was our President that some weeks ago, actually some months ago, announced maybe to the surprise of the world, that he favored the complete elimination of trade-distorting subsidies. His commitment to ambition in this round has truly been an inspiration to me and to Susan.

I also want to express my appreciation to our Congress and to our commodity groups. In October we tabled a really historic, ambitious, bold offer. Just to remind everyone, we proposed cutting our Amber Box, which is the heart of our farm program, by 60 percent. It would have eliminated the possibility of the same farm program. It just wouldn't fit. The cut was too dramatic. We also proposed cutting the Amber Box and the De Minimus Boxes, rather the Blue Box and the De Minimus Boxes. In the case of the Blue Box we went well beyond what was called for by the July framework. During the many weeks of very difficult negotiations they hung in there and stuck with us on this proposal.

Some weeks ago at a time when there was a transition in our government from Ambassador Portman to Ambassador Schwab, we felt that it was very important that we return to Geneva, all of us, to speak to our colleagues from around the world. We had a whirlwind trip those days that we were here. We spoke to you at that time. We met with Ministers from over 90 countries. It was a rather remarkable 72-hour period of time.

The issue that we raised during those discussions was an issue that we had had conversations about before, but we felt it was an issue that we revisit and give our colleagues from around the world the opportunity to offer their input. That issue was the level of ambition in this Doha round. We used words like 'Doha Lite' to try to describe a lesser result and ambition to describe a strong result. To the contrary, to the contrary our colleagues from around the world committed again to an ambitious Doha round.

Now any study that has ever been done relative to this round or to trade in general will tell you that the real gains will be made in market access. It's not something we invented because we happened to think it up, it is something that has been studied, economically analyzed, and the future of this world depends upon our ability to wrestle the trade distortion out of
our market access situation.

So we returned to the negotiating table with Ambassador Schwab, and my next thank you is to her because she maintained that strong level of ambition and commitment to get an ambitious result from the Doha round.

We said from the very beginning and we said over the last couple of days, look, we will be flexible. If we can see ambition in market access we can be ambitious, as we have been, with domestic support.

Well, let me just give you one example. I'll kind of approach this from two different angles. Approach number one is developed countries, the EU proposal. We finally got down to some specifics. You all know that around the world a lot of beef is grown. We're not the only country that grows beef. There was this talk about 800,000 tons of beef that would come in, and I must admit I was confused by it. I really couldn't see it in what was being tabled. Well, as it came out it was pretty clear that beef was going to be a sensitive product so therefore there would be a TRQ for beef.

The current tariff for high quality beef in the EU is 80 percent. That
blocks the market. There is no more effective trade distortion than that. To just simply block the market, to close the door. Under the proposal, the new tariff would be 61 percent. That is still a remarkable blocking of the market. It makes it impossible to compete. It makes it impossible to sell beef into that marketplace.

So the TRQ, we finally found out after discussion, for the whole world ladies and gentlemen, would allow in 160,000 tons of beef. That's two percent of the market. That's what we were getting. For the world. That wasn't a bilateral discussion, this is a multilateral discussion.

We then went on to the discussion about developing countries and I said a few weeks ago when we were here I was worried about what was being proposed for developing countries. Now advanced developing countries are world class competitors. This would be China, this would be India, this would be Brazil, this would be other countries around the world that quite honestly can compete with anybody very effectively. Yet in the proposal that they tabled, it essentially blocked 95 to 98 percent of their market. Not our figures. That was an analysis done right here at the TWO.

So in the end, what we were faced with is this: we've got a very bold proposal already, we've announced our willingness to be flexible but we're still not seeing the market access that is necessary for world trade. And again, let me just wrap up my comments and say this. Many countries will come before you today. The multilateral process is bigger than any one country, the United States included . It is a process that is designed to lift people out of poverty, to open up new markets, to increase trade flows so all have an opportunity for economic advancement.

I just rest my case by saying and asking the question, can anybody seriously argue, for example, that 160,000 tons of beef, two percent of the marketplace, is an increase in trade flow? Can anybody seriously argue that advanced developing countries literally arguing for 95 to 98 percent of their marketplace being protected in agriculture is going to result in an increase in trade flows? I think not.

But I agree with Susan. I strongly feel that even though today truly represents a failure, let's be blunt about it, that this isn't a time to pull offers off the table, to talk about take it or leave it. If you look at the history of the Uruguay round it stopped and started a number of times. We are committed to the multilateral process, we are committed to these negotiations, we are committed to the WTO, and we have a President who is committed to the elimination of trade distorting domestic support. We have a historic opportunity here.

It is very, very difficult for us today to sit here before you and recognize this is where we're at, but we're going to do everything we can to encourage this discussion to continue to occur. There's too much at stake not to.
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et la période de questions...

Question: Fishermen from Asia were having a press conference a half an hour ago and they said that the WTO is for the rich only and it works for the poverty of the poor, making the poor more poor, and that they would like to dismantle it. What is your reaction?

Ambassador Schwab: I think the WTO is and should continue to be a real friend of developing as well as developed countries. The WTO is a venue where developing countries, no matter how small, have the opportunity to come in and enforce their rights, require that other countries meet their obligations vis-à-vis that country. It is a forum where the dispute resolution process enables developing countries to make a case.

In the case of the Doha round negotiations, the large majority of developing countries would not have been asked to make any contributions whatsoever in terms of market access. In fact they would have been 100 percent beneficiaries of this round without being required to pay anything for this round. This as a development round is fine for the middle tier and certainly the least developed countries, so this is a wonderful organization for developing countries in that it promotes their rights, it promotes growth and economic development, and access for their goods in other markets in ways that no other institution in the world could help them, and I would note that the implications of trade generated growth are so much greater than anything that you can get in overseas development assistance. Any comparison you look at, the benefits to those farmers, to those fishermen, from trade far out-pays anything that an official aid agency could ever provide.

Question: My question would be about a possible timetable. Has there been any kind of timetable, any idea of when these talks could get restarted? Probably at the next ministerial of the WTO next year?

Ambassador Schwab: I think we should defer to the Director-General in terms of the schedule going forward. As Secretary Johanns noted, this is a serious failure that we find ourselves in and the question is how to regroup and how quickly could one regroup and move forward and in what manner. I think Pascal Lamy will address that today.

I think the members of the WTO need to stand ready, willing and able to
engage in this process. I don't think we can leave it entirely up to the Director-General. The Director-General shouldn't be expected to do this on his own, shoulder this burden on his own. Hence our comment that it is within our power not to pull anything off the table, to make sure that we are positioned to move forward and generate more momentum when we have a sense of the best direction to go in. So I would defer to Pascal Lamy in terms of timing and pacing, but I think the key role for individual members of the WTO, particularly those of us in a leadership role, is to do everything we can through bilateral meetings, through small group meetings. There are a series of opportunities coming up and opportunities we can create for ourselves to help him, to help the Director-General move the process forward.

Question: Secretary Johanns, I hear you mention the TRQ on beef. As I understand it, the combined tariff cuts and TRQ on beef would give an extra 800,000 tons of access to the European market. I was surprised to hear you use that as an example because as I understand it the US doesn't export beef to the EU because of the hormone ban.

Secondly, did you make any new offer on domestic support at all? Thanks.

Secretary Johanns: The hormone ban on beef, I would love to spend the next 15 minutes visiting with you about that. We absolutely want to ship beef to the European Union. The European Union uses a number of mechanisms, phyto-sanitary/sanitary mechanisms, in addition to their tariffs that really create challenges, and I'm being very diplomatic here, really create challenges in terms of our ability to sell products into their marketplace. But let there be no doubt about it. We want to sell beef to the European Union, we want to sell grains, we want to sell poultry, and yet we continue to struggle with them on phyto-sanitary/sanitary bans. We've, as you know, exercised our rights in the WTO process, I might add successfully, but we still struggle to find entry to that market.

I ask you to study that 800,000 ton figure very, very carefully because once I came to understand what they were promising, I have to tell you I was very surprised. What the TRQ actually promises is 160,000 tons worldwide. The way they get up to 800,000 tons is somebody did a study saying, but we may need additional beef. We're not going to give it to you in a TRQ, we just may need it. So the study says that you will have the possibility of selling that into our marketplace.

Now there is no definition of market access that I know of that says that that's the appropriate approach to bind an agreement between parties in a multilateral basis. So in effect what you end up with is a maybe on the vast majority and a binding on 160,000 tons that we get to share with the whole world, or the whole world gets to share is a better way of putting that. That's two percent of the marketplace. That's just really minuscule. That really isn't opening at all, that isn't market access even setting aside that phyto-sanitary/sanitary issue which again I think is very, very clear, we need to overcome to get the marketplace open in the first instance.

In terms of our flexibility, let me remind everyone again, there is one leader in the world who has called for the elimination of trade-distorting domestic support. You know where our President stands on this issue and he hasn't been shy about repeating that statement. And like I said, I think he probably surprised a lot of people in the world.

We came here and expressed our willingness to be flexible. To be flexible on domestic support, to be flexible on market access. But in the end when we studied the market access proposals on the table there was no there there. There was no additional market access that we could grab a hold of and say we are making progress. In fact, speaking of 'Doha Lite', 'Doha Lite' got a lot lighter in the past 30 days. All of a sudden we came to realize that not only was there going to be substantial protection and barriers in developed countries, but in these advanced developing countries that are world class competitors to everybody, that they were basically arguing that 95 to 98 percent of their ag market should be protected. That they would have the ability to choose when, how and if they would do business. And that was the proposal.

Now again, if somebody can make a case to me that that somehow was market access that we could respond to, I'm all ears, but I didn't see it. Just the facts, not indicting anybody, but the reality is the facts are that there was no there there on market access.

Question: I'm sorry. To be clear, you're saying you didn't put anything new on the table?

Secretary Johanns: We did. We indicated our flexibility from the very
first statement.

Question: But you didn't make any new offer with any numbers yesterday?

Secretary Johanns: What we did in the opening yesterday is we said we are ready to be flexible. We have to see something in market access. And quite honestly, we didn't see it. It wasn't there. There just was nothing there that we could grab onto that allows us to take that step. There was just simply nothing there.

Ambassador Schwab: Let me add to that. We not only said we were prepared to do more in terms of cutting trade distorting subsidies along with obviously our commitment to eliminate export subsidies, we also indicated that we understood that other countries had some sensitivities that they would want to protect. And that we were even prepared to allow sensitive products, the scope of sensitivities, to be greater than that which had been in our position in October, but not to the extent of negating the fundamental market access purpose of this round.

Question: There is a general perception among the trade ministers who attended the meeting yesterday that your maximalist agenda on market access does not quite match with your minimalist agenda on the trade distorting domestic support because there was no clarity in terms of balance between what you are ready to reduce in trade distorting domestic support and what you in turn want in the market access. That's just one issue.

The second issue is you keep mentioning about these layers of protection through the special products. Can you actually indicate as you indicated in the case of beef for the European Union, can you actually indicate what are the products that you Rae currently facing problems entering into markets like China or India? Given the low tariffs, you have a tariff of about five to ten percent on wheat; you have a tariff of zero percent on many dairy items. What exactly is it that you're facing in terms of your entry into the emerging economies? Because the general argument is you are not a competitive exporter in relation to Argentina or Brazil or Australia or Thailand.

Secretary Johanns: Ravi, let me take a first attempt at your question and let me again maybe study a little history in terms of our domestic support proposal.

Our farm programs by and large fit into a classification that you're all very familiar with. We call it the Amber Box. That really is the majority of the US farm programs. They are slotted into that box.

When we were out there talking to our colleagues around the world about what they thought we should do in terms of our proposal, some said you've got to cut your Amber Box by 50 percent; some said you've got to cut your Amber Box by 55 percent. We listened to that very, very carefully. We consulted with Congress, our commodity groups, our President, and we decided that we should cut our programs by 60 percent in the Amber Box.

Now what's the bottom line, ladies and gentlemen? That eliminates those programs. They don't fit any more. Our farm program has just disappeared because there is no other way you can pigeon-hole our programs into any other area.

Go to the July framework. The July framework said that we should be at five percent of production on the Blue Box. We thought long and hard about that. We could have safely, confidently chosen to abide by that July framework and it would have been all the protection we needed. But the world was asking for leadership by the United States, and again, we debated that with our President and our Congress and our commodity groups, and we said you know what? We're going to go beyond the July framework and we're going to cut that to two and a half percent.

Now let me explain to you the significance of that. There was a lot of uneasiness that we might take our counter-cyclical program and slide it over to Blue Box. We could have done that had we chosen to keep it at five percent. We said to ourselves, the world needs greater leadership than that, and we literally cut it to a point where we can't fit our counter-cyclical program into the Blue Box. Another piece of our program just disappeared.

People have raised the issue about the De Minimus Box. We don't use a lot of De Minimus, we use some. But cost out the programs. They don't fit into the De Minimus Box. So in effect what we have said to our farmers in the United States is that programs that date back to the Great Depression, to the 1930s, will disappear. Will disappear.

Now if that isn't dramatic I don't know how you could possibly describe
these programs.

Now by comparison we said look, from day one we said look, we know we've done something really dramatic, we know we've eliminated the possibility of our farm programs continuing in their form in the United States, we know that we are flying in the face of 75 years of history here with our farm programs, we have to have market access.

Meaningful flow of trade. We're not asking for the world. We're just asking that we be able to look at what we accomplish and see trade moving. Does anybody want to argue with me that trade is moving when 95 to 98 percent of a marketplace is protected? Anyone want to argue with me that trade is moving when what you really come down to with beef products is 160,000 ton TRQ for the whole world? Does anybody want to make that case? It's not a case you can make.

Now in terms of specific products, here's the problem with your analysis. That would be like the United States saying look, folks, we want a trade agreement that says we can deal with you when and if we choose to and we'll decide under what circumstances we'll deal with you. That's in effect what this proposal is in terms of developing countries, whether it's wheat or any other product.

Now Ravi, as you know, wheat's probably a poor example because even though there have been tenders for wheat, the phyto-sanitary/sanitary requirements put in place for example by India have made it impossible for us to enter that market. We hope we can change that. We hope we can bring about a more sensible approach because phyto-sanitary/sanitary barriers can also be very very effective barriers to trade.

So the bottom line is we did submit a very very bold proposal. It stands as a bold proposal. The world acknowledged it as a bold proposal, but we even said from day one this is negotiation. We will be flexible. We announced it again during the course of this meeting. And I have to tell you, I have reached the conclusion, as I said, that in the last 30 days 'Doha Lite' got a lot more light in the market access area.

Question: Do you think, Ambassador Schwab, first do you think that disputes will increase in this meanwhile since countries have no other choice than to try to resolve their issues in the dispute settlement body?

And secondly, do you think now is the time to perhaps renew the attempt of the FTAA since this trade agreement will not be completed?

Ambassador Schwab: I think that it is probably inevitable that disputes will increase. I think that we all need to be mature and sensible in terms of how we approach the next several weeks and several months to make sure that the progress we have made in connection with the Doha Round isn't lost and that we're in a position to build on it going forward.

I think going to your second point, I think the critical issue going forward is before jumping to conclusions about this kind of approach and that kind of approach, the US remains fully committed to the multilateral trading system and to the World Trade Organization. We also have a very ambitious agenda in terms of bilateral and regional negotiations and we'll see how that plays out.

For my part, over the next several months and weeks, and days actually, I intend and I know Secretary Johanns intends to be very active in terms of exploring options and seeing what we can do to move forward on a multilateral agenda. That means in my case travel, not yet confirmed but as early as next week. Next month I'll be going to meet with the ASEAN Trade Ministers. There is a meeting of CAIRNS Group Trade Ministers scheduled in September. The APEC Summit, the APEC Ministers meeting in Vietnam in November. So there are a series of meetings and engagements that will punctuate these efforts to move the ball forward.

Thank you.
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puis la réaction européenne:

24 July 2006

"We have missed the last exit on the motorway": Peter Mandelson statement to the press following suspension of WTO Doha negotiations

Trade Commissioner says US "unwilling to accept or... acknowledge flexibility being shown by others"

"I want to express the profound disappointment and sadness of the member states of the European Union, and of Mariann and myself, that the world trade talks are having to be suspended today.

This is neither desirable nor inevitable. It could so easily have been avoided. What stands between us and the modalities of an agreement are not vast numbers or enormous sums. In fact, our lengthy G6 meeting yesterday – which was to be the first of several continuing to the middle of August –was actually the best of its kind, until it became the worst. Having been mandated by heads of government at the G8 to come together to indicate further flexibility, I felt that each of us did, except the United States.

The United States was unwilling to accept, or indeed to acknowledge, the flexibility being shown by others in the room and, as a result, felt unable to show any flexibility on the issue of farm subsidies.

This was meant to be a consensus building meeting, a “what if” meeting, one in which we could indicate movement without tabling formal new offers so that, in the end, we could bring the ingredients together and finally act in concert. Nobody was being asked to act prematurely or unilaterally. The idea was, through intensive informal discussion, to build up a series of combined moves that would take us to the level of ambition at which everyone would feel comfortable to settle.

In deciding to withhold any indication of future flexibility, the US has judged that it would be better for the process of negotiation to be discontinued at this stage. This is not in keeping with the spirit of the St Petersburg summit. Actions have consequences and this action has led to the Round being suspended.

The EU deeply regrets this as we have signalled before the meeting and during it that we are able to make a significant improvement in our agricultural market access offer, bringing our average cuts close to the level requested by the G20 group of developing countries, provided others move in parallel. I am glad the G20 were good enough to acknowledge our level of ambition may not be what some have demanded but I defy anyone to say that it is meagre: 100% elimination of export subsidies. 75% reduction in trade distorting domestic support. Readiness to go to a 50% average tariff cut. We also indicated that we were ready to talk about the number and treatment of sensitive products. This is more, much more, than anyone would have expected from the EU.

There is no more time left. We have missed yesterday the last exit on the motorway of negotiations this summer and it would be unwise to conceal this from ourselves.

Fundamentally, with what is already on the table, we are close to a package that is greater in value than anything ever achieved in previous trade rounds. To say that there is no new market access on the table is simply wrong.

Failure this weekend means losing from the table the important, tangible gains we have assembled for the developing world, including for the poorest nations.

Not only new opportunities for trade in agricultural and industrial goods and services, but stronger trade rules that could drive economic growth and development for the most needy in the world. We stand to lose Duty Free/Quota Free access to others` markets for the least developed countries. A sizeable Aid for Trade package is now in abeyance, not withstanding that the EU will press ahead regardless. A major agreement on Trade Facilitation will not go ahead. And perhaps most important of all, we do not have the once and for all multilateral programme of fundamental reform of farm subsidies in the rich world that should be the centrepiece of this Round.

But the cost is even greater. We risk weakening the WTO and the multilateral trading system at a time when we urgently need to top up international confidence not further damage it, and do what we can to stabilise the world not create additional tension and uncertainty.

Let's be clear, as well as an economic cost, there is a huge political cost of failure.

For all these reasons, the EU is not giving up on this Round. We have stuck with it, paid into it, given a lot, indeed given more than others. We will continue to do so because it is right and fair to do so towards the developing world, as well as in our own economic interests. I hope that when the smoke has cleared, others will want to do the same. We stand ready to pick up where we have left off."
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et quelques liens intéressants sur le sujet:

Communiqué de presse Oxfam – 24 Juillet 2006
OMC : la suspension des négociations ne résout rien

Talks suspended. ‘Today there are only losers.’

Lamy urges rethink for trade deal

Échec des pourparlers

India 'to pursue own trade deals'

No tears for Doha

Johannesburg - WTO talks collapse and SA

WTO talks called off

WTO round risks breakdown on Monday - diplomats

Heavyweights try to break ice
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Lamy snubs Mandelson on parts of Doha

By Alan Beattie, World Trade Editor

Published: July 26 2006 20:37 | Last updated: July 26 2006 20:37

If the “Doha Development Agenda” – as the Doha round of trade talks is properly called – is on permanent hold, can at least some of the pro-development parts be rescued?

Peter Mandelson, EU trade commissioner, said on Tuesday governments could continue with specific elements of the negotiations. But this seems unlikely, at least in those items that were an intrinsic part of the Doha talks rather than parallel to them. One of Mr Mandelson’s suggestions was to pursue the strand on “trade facilitation”, the unglamorous but important business of setting rules for getting goods through customs cheaply and rapidly.

But the plan got a resounding “no” on Wednesday when it was put to the EU committee that negotiates trade facilitation. Pascal Lamy, WTO director-general, also poured cold water on the idea of extracting discrete elements: “Peter Mandelson and others may say: why don’t we continue with what is painless for me? Unless and until we have an agenda for continuing the negotiations that is painless for everybody, we will not be able to do that.”

Meanwhile, the US signalled it did not consider itself bound by a commitment at last year’s Hong Kong ministerial to offer completely duty-free quota-free access to its markets for the poorest countries for 97 per cent of exports. The EU, which unilaterally offers almost complete free access to the poorest, has sought to embarrass the US by pointing out its reluctance to follow. A spokeswoman for the US trade representative said yesterday: “The commitments in the Hong Kong declaration pertaining to duty-free, quota-free, were of course, by the declaration terms, contingent on successful outcome of [Doha].”

Some matters that were clearly outside the talks, such as the discussions on aid-for-trade, are likely to continue.

But extracting individual strands from the Doha talks violates the longstanding tradition that trade agreements are a “single undertaking” in which nothing is agreed until everything is agreed. Mr Lamy said yesterday: “I don’t think this situation has changed.”

The Financial Times Limited 2006
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Rich countries not off the hook after breakdown of WTO talks

JULY 26, 2006

The European Union and the United States are making a serious miscalculation if they think suspension of the WTO talks spells a free-for-all in global trade, said international agency Oxfam.

Concern and anger over unfair world trade rules and harmful EU and US trade policies will only intensify following this week’s breakdown in negotiations. “The Doha round has opened people’s eyes to the fact that world trade could help millions of poor farmers and workers, but rich country farm policies are working directly against that,” said Celine Charveriat of Oxfam’s Make Trade Fair campaign.

The EU and US farm policies are now wholly discredited and it is widely recognised that they must be reformed. Even with talks on ice, their harmful agricultural subsidies are vulnerable to a suite of legal challenges just as significant as Brazil’s successful cases on cotton and sugar.

The two trading blocs will also face considerable opposition if they try to pry open developing country markets by negotiating harmful bilateral and regional free trade agreements. “The EU and the US must make amends by changing their mindset and begin meaningful reforms for development,” she said.

The indefinite suspension of the talks means that the chances of a deal in the immediate term is unlikely because of upcoming elections in key countries and the expiry next year of the US administration’s authority to negotiate a deal.

“This is a huge blow for millions of poor people, for instance cotton farmers who are struggling to make a living. If talks take years to complete, the entire West African cotton sector could be wiped out,” Charveriat said.

Oxfam says that the Doha suspension will:
• Continue to allow rich countries to capture the lion’s share of world trade flows;
• Continue to allow dumping, leaving countries little choice but litigation to stop it;
• Deny developing countries better access to rich markets;
• See the EU and US turn to bilateral trade agreements to open other countries’ markets.

The Doha round was primarily initiated in order to correct the rigged rules that allow rich countries to capture nearly 70% of world trade flows worth $20.6 trillion, while poor and developing countries representing 81% of the world’s people – many of them living in extreme poverty – got 30%. The entire continent of Africa got just 2.6%.

“These trade talks were about fostering equitable economic growth in all countries. This is in the long-term interests of everyone, especially the US and EU. However, for the past five years, both have behaved as if the Doha development round was a sacrifice for them to make,” Charveriat said.

The suspension of the Doha round could mean that the international community has lost the only diplomatic option to influence upcoming reforms of the US Farm Bill and the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) through negotiation.

But the option of litigation is still open because Oxfam says the EU and the US are violating existing WTO rules. Oxfam believes that $13bn worth of present-day EU and US subsidies are illegal. Countries such as Chile, Costa Rica, Argentina, Kenya, Peru, Ghana, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Egypt, Thailand and Nigeria among others could bring solid cases on rice, corn, sorghum, milk, butter, tobacco, fruit and tomato subsidies. “This is just the tip of the iceberg,” Charveriat said.

Oxfam also sees a danger that the EU and the US will turn to bilateral trade agreements to get what developing countries refused to give them at the WTO: unfettered market access and intellectual property and investment rules that are damaging to development.

The EU and US failed to see that times had changed since the Uruguay Round and that developing countries are now key players. “Developing countries were clear about what they need from the round. They showed real strength of unity in refusing to allow development to disappear from the agenda, which would have happened had they accepted the EU and the US offers,” Charveriat said.

There is also a growing public awareness about the unfairness of current world trade rules: an Oxfam petition calling for fair trade rules has 20 million signatures of citizens around the world and many more NGOs, farmers organisations, unions, workers and social movements mobilised against the current approach to trade negotiations.

National politics poisoned the Doha talks. The US Congress refused to give its negotiators the room to make meaningful reductions in US agricultural support. The EU was similarly hostage to its member states, for example France and Ireland, who refused to make meaningful reductions to its farm tariffs. “It is academic whether one was worse than the other. In the final weeks the US would not budge, but the EU is no less to blame by its earlier intransigence.”

Poorer countries were expected to cut farm tariffs too steeply, despite the risk to millions of subsistence farmers. They were put under pressure to give up their ability to protect their food security and policies to fight rural poverty.

In negotiations to open up industrial markets, rich countries tried to push through a deal whereby developing countries would have had to slash their tariffs by more than twice as much as rich countries. “Developing countries were asked put jobs and industrialisation under threat for the privilege of rich countries reforming their illegal agricultural policies – reforms that they had promised to make years before. This was trade negotiation at its most surreal.”

Oxfam is looking to the EU and the US to make amends. Irrespective of when talks restart, rich countries must end dumping – not only by ending export subsidies but by ending all trade-distorting subsidies that lead to dumping, especially on cotton. “The EU and US will lose all credibility if they take this suspension of trade talks as an excuse not to reform their Farm Bill and CAP,” she said. “Developing countries will refuse to come back to the table to discuss cutting their tariffs if the EU and the US are still dumping.”

“The cost of delay is too big and the potential for development too great for these talks to be left to wither on the vine,” Charveriat said. However, restarting the talks would be difficult if rich countries continue to deny developing countries the right to use the available flexibilities as they liberalise their markets, at their own pace and scale. “The EU and the US must not try to question the development mandate of the talks and ignore the fact that there is extreme poverty in most developing countries,” she said.

“The poorest countries of the world must not be made victims of this failure that is not their fault.” The least-developed countries should be given full 100% duty-free quota-free access to rich country markets. This must also include reforming the “rules of origin” that allow rich countries to use other means, for example overly burdensome health and safety, to exclude poor country exports.

The EU and the US must agree to a meaningful aid-for-trade, made up of new money and with no strings attached. “There is no excuse for this package to be suspended along with the Doha talks,” she concluded.

Louis Belanger – Oxfam spokesperson in Brussels on +32 4 73 56 22 60
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WTO collapse and Civil Society Dialogue meeting
at the European Commission
27 July 2006

Last weekend, the WTO negotiations collapsed. As the trade ministers of six of the more involved countries were unable to reach a consensus, Pascal Lamy suspended the talks for an indefinite period of time.

Yesterday, the European Commission invited the civil society to attend a dialogue session with EU’s Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson. It is worth noting that most of the attendees were representatives of corporate and industry lobbies. The few people representing NGOs and development organisations asked no questions and gave no comments during the session. Mr. Mandelson emphasized on the losses brought by the failure of talks: “We are loosing market access for Least Developed Countries, loosing possibilities of enhanced south/south trade and loosing most of the benefits of the Everything But Arms initiative”. Most of all, Mandelson pointed the setback in the consolidation of a multilateral world trade system.

Since all the questions came from corporate lobbies, the discussion was pulled in direction of private companies interests, mostly on the possibility of lowering the EU offer in the talks and the need to concentrate the Commission’s efforts on other issues and bilateral or specific agreements. Most of the attendees were happy with the Commissioner’s work and were in favour of having the Doha negotiations resumed. Still, among the participants, the Commissioner seemed the most committed to the “Development Agenda” and he was the only one pointing to the losses for developing countries if no solution was to be found.

Many observers fear that the failure seriously undermines the multilateral system and that many countries will potentially focus their efforts on bilateral agreements, leaving very small possibilities for weaker countries to unite and negotiate with a common voice. According to many NGOs (Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, etc.), “No deal is better than a bad deal”. However, this view is not shared by everybody as Oxfam clearly says that the situation as it is now does not allow developing countries and poor people to find their way to the markets. Since the release of the report “Rigged rules and Double standards”, Oxfam’s campaign Make Trade Fair focus on the great potential leverage of trade to pull millions of people out of poverty, specially by eliminating agricultural subsidies through the world trade negotiations.

None of these two positions provide directions for the coming events and developments. The absence of NGO intervention during the civil society dialogue might show that NGOs are struggling to find a clear position. Where were the NGOs? What further step would benefit poor people and southern producers the most? We have some good questions here and SILENCE may not be the right answer…

By Pierre-Olivier L. Tremblay, Intern, Fair Trade Advocacy Office
Friday July the 28th, 2006
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Le communiqué d'Oxfam Québec:

Suspension du Cycle de Doha – un rendez-vous manqué

Un cadre de communications pour les adhérents et le site Web d’Oxfam-Québec

En septembre 2001, à Doha, au Qatar, le monde s’est lancé dans un processus de négociations visant à réformer les règles régissant le commerce. Les pays riches ont promis d’aider les pays pauvres à récolter une plus large part des bénéfices du commerce mondial. Ils ont proclamé le Cycle de Doha, « cycle pour le développement » ayant pour but de rectifier un système commercial mondial qui favorisait nettement les riches. L’idée était, par la mise en place de règles plus équitables, de contribuer sensiblement au développement des pays pauvres et d’aider des millions de personnes à prospérer.

Maintenant, près de cinq ans plus tard, les négociations sont suspendues. L’acharnement des pays riches à défendre leurs propres intérêts – en particulier les États-Unis et l’Union européenne (UE) – a conduit à l’échec des négociations visant l’établissement de nouvelles règles commerciales qui favorisent le développement. L’énorme potentiel du Cycle de Doha est paralysé pour une période indéterminée parce que les pays riches n’ont pas obtenu ce qu’ils voulaient.

Pour que le commerce favorise le développement global, les pays riches devaient réduire considérablement leurs subventions agricoles les plus nuisibles. Ils ne l’ont pas fait. Ils devaient améliorer l’accès des pays en développement à leurs marchés. Ils ne l’ont pas fait. Et, sans rien offrir en contrepartie, les pays riches exigeaient des pays pauvres qu’ils ouvrent leurs marchés dans une mesure qui risquait de porter lourdement préjudice à leur développement.

À ce jeu aux règles faussées et appliquées de façon discriminatoire, les perdants sont les millions de paysans pauvres, les petits producteurs et les travailleurs des pays en développement dont l’issue permanente à la pauvreté dépend d’un système commercial qui est équitable envers eux – voire qui les favorise légèrement.

Les pays en développement, malgré les pressions considérables qu’ils ont subies, ont fait bloc contre la signature d’un accord médiocre ou néfaste qui aurait aggravé la pauvreté au lieu de la soulager. Le dénouement actuel est très décevant et trahit la promesse du Cycle de Doha. Les pays en développement sont prêts à reprendre les négociations pour obtenir ce qui leur a été promis. Peut-être devront-ils attendre un bon moment, mais il vaut mieux poursuivre les pourparlers demain que d’être contraints aujourd’hui à accepter un accord néfaste ou un échec des négociations.

La campagne Pour un commerce équitable d’Oxfam et ses succès, 2001 - 2005

Oxfam a lancé sa campagne Pour un commerce équitable en 2001. L’un des buts de la campagne était de créer une pétition mondiale colossale « Le Grand vacarme ». Jusqu’à maintenant, vingt millions de personnes, dont plus de 30 000 Québécois, ont signé la pétition et exigent ainsi que les règles qui régissent le commerce mondial bénéficient aux pauvres. La pétition Le Grand vacarme est gérée par des individus et organisations de la société civile dans le monde entier. C’est la clé de son succès.

De nombreuses célébrités internationales ont contribué à la campagne, Chris Martin de Coldplay, le premier, suivi de Colin Firth, Thom Yorke de Radiohead, Angélique Kidjo et beaucoup d’autres. Au Québec, la campagne a reçu l’appui indéfectible des Cowboys fringants et de Lundo, le chanteur de la Chango Family. Ils se sont tous volontiers soumis à une séance de photos où ils ont été noyés sous des produits agricoles divers. Les images saisissantes ainsi créées ont servi à illustrer, dans le cadre de la campagne, les effets désastreux du dumping pour les paysans pauvres. Par ailleurs, des dizaines de milliers d’activistes et de sympathisants ont, par leurs actions, publicisé la campagne et contribué à renforcer le mouvement.

La campagne Pour un commerce équitable dénonce sans relâche l’iniquité des ententes commerciales actuelles entre les pays riches et les pays pauvres et décrie implacablement les règles faussées et appliquées de façon discriminatoire des pays riches. Grâce à des arguments réfléchis fondés sur des données probantes, un lobbying soutenu, un solide appui des médias et la capacité de faire valoir le mécontentement généralisé de la population, la campagne Pour un commerce équitable a grandement fait avancer les choses.

Nos principaux résultats jusqu’à maintenant sont les suivants :

Propriété intellectuelle

En 2001, tous les membres de l’Organisation mondiale du commerce (OMC) admettaient pour la première fois que les règles de l’OMC sur les brevets privaient la population des pays en développement des médicaments dont elle avait besoin. Ils convenaient en outre de donner préséance à la santé publique sur les brevets et promettaient de faire en sorte que les règles de l’OMC ne nuisent pas à la santé publique. Les pressions exercées par Oxfam, d’autres ONG et les gouvernements de pays en développement afin qu’ils s’acquittent de leur promesse a donné lieu en 2003 à un accord visant à modifier les règles de l’OMC régissant les brevets. Aux termes de l’amendement, les pays les plus pauvres – ceux qui n’ont les moyens ni de produire des copies bon marché des médicaments (« des médicaments génériques ») ni d’importer des médicaments brevetés coûteux – pourront obtenir à prix abordable des médicaments nécessaires à la survie. Le fait que tous les membres de l’OMC reconnaissent la primauté de la santé publique par rapport aux droits de brevet a procuré aux pays en développement la latitude nécessaire pour produire et acheter des médicaments génériques sans crainte de représailles (de la part de sociétés pharmaceutiques américaines ou multinationales).

Règles régissant l’investissement

Au cours du présent cycle de négociations, l’UE visait à ce que l’OMC crée des règles qui réduiraient le pouvoir des gouvernements de régir les entreprises. Les règles proposées auraient amoindri la capacité des pays en développement d’exploiter des investissements à des fins de développement. Oxfam et d’autres ONG ont soutenu avec succès les pays en développement dans leur lutte contre l’imposition de telles règles. L’UE a finalement retiré ses propositions.

Dumping agricole

Nombre des subventions versées par les pays riches à leurs producteurs agricoles sont nuisibles parce qu’elles favorisent la surproduction. Le dumping des excédents sur les marchés internationaux entraîne une chute des prix qui frappe durement les agriculteurs des pays en développement. Pour un commerce équitable plaide avec persistance en faveur de l’élimination du dumping et a grandement contribué à réorienter le débat. La campagne a aidé à démontrer la futilité des arguments invoqués par l’UE et les États-Unis pour justifier l’octroi de subventions ayant des effets de distorsion commerciale et a favorisé l’assouplissement de leur position à cet égard. Par exemple, les pressions exercées par le public ont contribué à ce que l’UE s’engage à l’issue du processus à éliminer ses subventions à l’exportation d’ici 2013 et ont forcé les États-Unis à réexaminer leur propre position sur les subventions. Vu la suspension des négociations, les modalités et l’exécution de ces engagements restent à déterminer.

La campagne Pour un commerce équitable, en mettant en évidence les conséquences néfastes des règles commerciales inéquitables sur les moyens de subsistance de millions de fermiers des pays en développement, a contribué à réorienter le débat de sorte qu’on tienne nécessairement compte des questions de sécurité alimentaire et de réduction de la pauvreté rurale dans les négociations commerciales.

Détermination des pays en développement

La campagne Pour un commerce équitable a aidé les pays en développement à faire preuve d’une détermination accrue à l’OMC dans le cadre d’une vaste et solide alliance. À compter de 2005, l’union des forces de nombreux pays en développement a changé la configuration du pouvoir à l’OMC et a mené ces pays à rejeter un accord commercial qu’ils estimaient inéquitable et à l’encontre des intérêts de leur population. Les documents et notes d’information d’Oxfam ont en définitive aidé les pays en développement à mieux évaluer les propositions présentées par les pays riches durant les négociations et à résister aux pressions déraisonnables exercées sur eux.

Société civile

Dans certains pays en développement, les gouvernements avaient une opinion négative des ONG. Pour un commerce équitable a contribué à changer leur optique et de nombreux gouvernements font dorénavant beaucoup plus d’efforts pour établir des liens avec leur propre société civile. Notre travail auprès de petits producteurs de coton les a aidés à saisir l’importance des activités de sensibilisation : ils ont constaté qu’ils pouvaient s’entretenir avec leur gouvernement de questions qui les touchent. Où les gouvernements reconnaissent l’utilité de l’action de la société civile, des relations réciproques solides sont établies.

Tout n’est pas terminé…

Notre campagne n’a pas donné lieu, dans le cadre du Cycle de Doha, aux progrès décisifs en faveur du développement que nous souhaitions. Nous ne pouvons pas, néanmoins, laisser les progrès accomplis au cours des cinq dernières années sombrer dans l’oubli.

Les négociations à l’OMC ne manqueront pas de se poursuivre sous une forme ou une autre. Les décisions qui y seront prises se répercuteront sur la vie de millions de personnes pauvres, pour le meilleur et pour le pire. Pour un commerce équitable doit continuer de surveiller les négociateurs à la table : chaque décision qu’ils prennent doit être profitable pour les pauvres, non seulement pour les riches et puissants.

Les négociations commerciales entre les pays riches et les pays pauvres sont en train de quitter la scène internationale de l’OMC pour la scène régionale et bilatérale. Les pays pauvres ont jusqu’à maintenant fait preuve de détermination – et, qui plus est, de cohésion – à l’OMC. Ils ont besoin d’un appui soutenu pour être en mesure de faire face aux pressions au moment de négocier, individuellement ou en très petits groupes, des accords commerciaux avec les États-Unis et l’UE.

Déjà, dans les Amériques, les États-Unis tentent d’imposer des accords qui favorisent leurs propres secteurs agricole et manufacturier aux dépens des gens pauvres des pays en développement. L’UE, pour sa part, négocie actuellement des accords de libre-échange avec les pays les plus pauvres du monde dont les modalités lui sont favorables. Pour un commerce équitable a besoin de votre appui pour veiller à ce que les accords régionaux ou bilatéraux qui vont à l’encontre des intérêts des gens pauvres soient abandonnés et remplacés par des ententes qui démontrent un véritable engagement de la part des pays riches à aider à réduire la pauvreté.

D’une part, nous lutterons pour la conclusion d’accords commerciaux régionaux et bilatéraux équitables et, d’autre part, nous presserons les pays riches et les sociétés pharmaceutiques de modifier les règles qui font en sorte que des médicaments nécessaires à la survie soient hors de prix – ou inaccessibles – pour ceux qui en ont désespérément besoin : ceux qui vivent avec le VIH/sida ou qui souffrent de maladies chroniques.

Il reste beaucoup à faire. Agissez dès maintenant – et engagez-vous à faire dorénavant campagne avec nous. En unissant nos forces, nous continuerons de rendre Le Grand vacarme planétaire de plus en plus bruyant.

Nous poursuivrons nos efforts tant que nous n’aurons pas persuadé les pays riches d’adopter des règles commerciales équitables.
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MessageSujet: Réponse de Ginette Karirekinyana   Fracture à l'OMC... Doh!a Icon_minitimeJeu 17 Aoû - 5:56

Échec du cycle de Doha à Genève : quel impact pour l’Afrique ?

Le cycle de négociations de l’OMC sur la libéralisation des échanges a été présenté depuis son lancement en novembre 2001 à Doha comme étant en faveur des pays en développement. Cinq ans plus tard, Pascal Lamy (le patron de l’OMC) a déclaré le 24 juillet 2006 la suspension des négociations en raison du manque de consensus politique dans la cour des grands. Sur 149 pays membres de l’OMC, seuls les Etats-Unis, l’Union européenne, l’Australie, le Brésil, l’Inde et le Japon tenaient la parole pour négocier les règles du marché mondial, le secteur agricole étant en cette session le point central des échafaudages du système multilatéral. Comme les États-unis et la France se jettent mutuellement le tort de l’échec, il y a lieu de se demander qui d’entre eux se soucient des intérêts des pays en voie de développement ?

Les règles de jeux à l’OMC veulent que les pays négocient en échangeant des concessions. Il semble que les Etats-Unis et la France se soient campés sur leurs positions respectives occasionnant le blocage des négociations. Les premiers ont refusé de diminuer les subventions internes aux agriculteurs tandis que la France, au nom de l’Union européenne, a refusé de toucher à la politique agricole commune en particulier la baisse des droits de douanes pour les produits agricoles. Les enjeux politiques et commerciaux des uns et des autres chez les principaux acteurs de l’OMC ne doivent pas faire oublier l’exclusion des pays pauvres. Quels que soient les responsables de l’échec des négociations du cycle de Doha, les frustrations ne font que s’accumuler pour les pays d’Afrique et des Caraïbes dont la voix est de toutes façons ignorée.

Dès l’idée du cycle d’Uraguay en novembre 1982, les négociations du GATT (General Agreement on Trade and Tariffs) ont toujours achoppé sur l’agriculture (le lancement officiel du cycle d’Uruguay a eu lieu en septembre 1986). Finalement signé en avril 1994 à Marrachech, l’Accord sur l’agriculture aura montré les difficultés à intégrer l’agriculture dans le champ du GATT. La référence de base du GATT était la libre concurrence. Considérée à juste titre comme un bien public, l’agriculture constitue pour l’Afrique, comme de nombreux pays en développement, un domaine crucial. Chaque accord d’ordre commercial dans le secteur agricole influe considérablement sur le sort des paysans des pays pauvres.

Quels que soient les perdants et les gagnant du récent fiasco multilatéral, on n’a pas l’impression que le message envoyé à Seattle (1999) par le groupe des 77 pays en développement réclamant (entre autres) la prise en compte des préoccupations et des intérêts de tous les pays africains ait fait écho à Genève la semaine dernière.

L’impact de la libéralisation du marché agricole est énorme non seulement sur les revenus d’exportation des pays pauvres (auxquels on a promis l’introduction de 97 % des produits des 50 pays les moins avancés sur les marchés des pays riches sans droits de douane ni contingents) mais surtout sur l’alimentation des millions des populations menacées par la famine. Aussi longtemps que « les préoccupations autres que d’ordre commercial » ne seront pas sérieusement prises en compte, les pays pauvres en seront toujours les premiers perdants. On peut, par ailleurs, aisément constater que les revenus d’exportations n’entraînent aucune valeur ajoutée locale (ou très peu).

La Banque mondiale, une de ces structures multilatérales des plus influentes du système international regrette l’échec des négociations du cycle de Doha. Selon ses analyses, controversées par ailleurs, la réussite des négociations occasionnerait la croissance mondiale de quelques centaines de milliards. Peut-être ! Mais, les pays pauvres en bénéficieraient-ils ? Si l’échec des négociations était total, les accords bilatéraux seraient renforcés. Dans ce système qualifié de méli-mélo par les experts, les échanges se passeraient entre les pays riches et les pays émergents au détriment des pays les moins avancés. La question est : les choses ne se passent-elles exactement ainsi ?

Dans un système comme dans l’autre (multilatéralisme ou bilatéralisme), les pays riches usent de tous les moyens pour s’assurer de la dépendance des pays pauvres, gagner le marché à leurs avantages, en l’occurrence, la propagation des OGM en Afrique. Pensons au programme de modernisation destiné à l’Afrique, mission de la « Nouvelle société » (Millenium Challenge Corporation) dirigée par Condoleeza Rice, Rob Portman, négociateur américain à l’OMC et le patron de l’USAID. Sous prétexte de soutenir l’agriculture des pays pauvres mise à mal par les normes du commerce mondial, ce programme établit le lien direct avec l’idéologie de tout génétique, une sorte de contrôle social à l’échelle mondiale à travers l’aide accordée aux pays pauvres. C’est ainsi que le Burkina Fasso a bénéficié de 7 millions de dollars sous forme de dons à condition, d’acheter les semences du coton BT ou Bollgard à Monsanto, de créer un climat favorable aux biotechnologies agricoles et de réformer la politique et les institutions, de ne pas faire obstacle aux négociations de Hong Kong à Cancun. Il semble que le Burundi ait reçu sa part du gâteau américain sous forme de dons à travers l’USAID.

Selon l’article du site intitulé « Le Burundi de nouveau dans les bonnes grâces des Etats-Unis » du 5 novembre 2005, la distribution des semences fait partie de l’aide en plus de 150 millions dans différents domaines les trois dernières années. Mais, a-t-on seulement cherché à connaître la nature des semences américaines ? Les interrogations s’imposent dans la mesure où les États-unis sont le plus grand producteur des semences transgéniques. (63 % des semences transgéniques sont produites aux États-unis, 21 % en Argentine, 6 % au Canada, 4 % Chine et Brésil chacun, 1 % en Afrique du Sud). Les pays pauvres tel que le Burundi disposent des moyens limités pour mener l’expertise nécessaire mais ils sont à même d’exiger le respect des normes éthiques de la part de leurs interlocuteurs et partenaires.

L’exemple du président zambien et à ce titre des plus instructifs. Il a pu surmonter la crise alimentaire à laquelle était confronté son pays après avoir dit non au chantage et au cynisme de certains ONG (OGM ou vous crevez de faim!). Nul ne peut a priori nier l’importance de l’ouverture de l’Afrique aux biotechnologies. On peut toutefois reconnaître qu’il s’agit d’un couteau à double tranchant dans la mesure où elles peuvent améliorer ou saper le sort de la majorité de la population mondiale dont le droit à l’alimentation est loin d’être assuré. Pour l’heure, force est de constater le danger de la dépendance accrue dans un domaine aussi crucial que l’agriculture en raison de l’illégalité et l’illégitimité entourant l’introduction des semences et produits transgéniques dans les pays en développement. Cette situation doit au plus haut point interpeller aussi bien les pouvoirs publics que les parties civiles. La durabilité de l’agriculture et la sécurité alimentaire en dépendent en tant qu’enjeux majeurs des pays à vocation agricole.

Est-il réaliste de penser que le cycle de Doha est en faveur du développement des pays pauvres ? Difficile à croire quand on sait que d’un côté les États-Unis refusent de supprimer leurs subventions agricoles favorisant ainsi un système discriminatoire à l’égard des pays vulnérables et de l’autre, imposent les OGM (soit pour écouler leur surproduction soit pour percer sur le marché africain) dans l’absence totale de l’éthique et l’irrespect des intérêts nationaux.

Dans un ordre mondial, le partenariat multilatéral ou bilatéral devrait respecter les règles les plus élémentaires d’éthique tel que le respect des conventions internationales. Au nom de la Convention sur la biodiversité, l’introduction des semences OGM dans un pays à l’insu des populations n’est en aucun cas acceptable. Si les intérêts des pays pauvres sont écartés dans le processus des négociations à l’OMC, l’arrogance et le mépris envers ces pays se manifestent sur tous les tableaux. C’est ce qui ressort de l’initiative de la Banque mondiale consistant à faire adopter un cadre sous régional de la biodiversité alors que la Convention garantit la souveraineté de chaque pays sur le plan de la conservation et l’utilisation durable de son patrimoine génétique. En principe, la Convention donne à tous les pays la possibilité de se prémunir individuellement d’un cadre de biosécurité en fonction de leurs réalités. Pourquoi la Banque mondiale ne financerait-elle pas l’encadrement éthique des biotechnologies et l’élaboration du cadre national de biosécurité comme l’a fait le PNUD dans certains pays ? Selon le communiqué de presse de la Coalition nationale pour la sauvegarde du patrimoine génétique au Mali rendu public la veille de la marche contre l’introduction des OGM au Mali en juillet dernier, le cadre sous régional de la biodiversité initié par la Banque mondiale permet de soutenir, en collaboration avec l’USAID, le projet visant à introduire les OGM dans quatre pays séléctionnés de l’Afrique de l’Ouest à savoir le Burkina Fasso, le Togo, le Sénégal et le Bénin.

De toute évidence, les questions relatives au commerce, à l’alimentation et à l’agriculture traitées à l’OMC et d’autres instances internationales influent sur les objectifs de la Convention sur la diversité biologique signée par tous les pays, le Burundi y compris. A défaut de la transparence dans le processus des négociations multilatérales, les pays pauvres devraient au moins savoir que dans un contexte de la mondialisation, l’ignorance n’est plus une excuse ainsi que l’enseignent les défenseurs du principe de précaution à la base du protocole de Carthagena sur la prévention des risques biotechnologiques.

Ginette Karirekinyana
Assistante de recherche, « Biotechnologies et société »
Doctorante en Philosophie, DEUSS en Éthique appliquée
Téléphone : (418) 656-2131 poste 12396
Courriel :
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Date d'inscription : 06/01/2006

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L'Europe se tourne, comme prévu, vers une stratégie d'accords bilatéraux...

Mandelson announces EU bilateral trade drive

04.10.2006 - 17:27 CET | By Honor Mahony

Often caught between the whims of protectionist and liberal member states, the European Commission on Wednesday firmly tied its colours to a liberal mast proposing a trade policy revamp focused on new markets and stamping out protectionism...
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