call for strong outcome on PSH and SSM
Published in SUNS #8594 dated 12 December 2017
Buenos Aires, 11 Dec (D. Ravi Kanth) - The G-33 coalition of developing
countries led by Indonesia on Saturday (9 December) called for strong
outcomes on the permanent solution for public stockholding programs
for food security and the special safeguard mechanism (SSM).
After the meeting of G-33 trade ministers on Saturday, Indonesia's
trade minster Enggartiasto Lukita told reporters that members in the
coalition reiterated their commitment to ensure strong and effective
outcomes on the two issues at the WTO ministerial meeting that will
start on Sunday.
"The G-33 Members are committed to reaffirm the commitment of
all WTO Members to a robust, fair, and predictable rules-based multilateral
Minister Lukita emphasized "the importance of the development
dimension of agriculture negotiations and the necessity to deliver
progress in an effort to reform current agriculture regime in the
WTO, and the conclusion of the DDA [Doha Development Agenda] trade
The G-33 Members remain united to ensure "a permanent solution
for public stockholding for food security purposes, as mandated by
Bali and Nairobi Ministerial Decisions," he said.
Further, the coalition underscored the need to "establish an
effective SSM to safeguard the livelihood of farmers and to better
pursue rural development."
"The G-33 Members are disappointed that, despite the reaffirmation
of the mandate for negotiations on SSM at MC10 in Nairobi, there has
not been adequate engagement shown by other Members," he said.
Minster Lukita expressed concern that the convergence on these two
issues "has not been achieved on PSH and SSM."
"Nevertheless, the Group remains committed to work together along
with other WTO Members to deliver meaningful outcomes on both issues
in MC11," he said.
The G-33 Members want that "WTO Members shall sustain the effort
to conclude the DDA after Buenos Aires, bearing in mind the special
and differential treatment necessary for developing Members in the
In the broader context, he said members must encourage other WTO members
to "resume negotiation on the domestic support and market access
pillars and continue to seek a level playing field in global agricultural
Meanwhile, trade ministers of the African Union on Sunday (10 December)
vowed to stick to their positions for strong outcomes based on the
Doha work program while rejecting new issues such as tweaking the
mandate for electronic commerce based on the 1998 work program, investment
facilitation, and disciplines for micro, small, and medium enterprises.
But Kenya's cabinet secretary in charge of foreign affairs Amina Mohamed
said that the African countries must consider participating in discussions
on new issues because of long-term implications.
She said that even if African countries oppose the new issues, they
must participate in the discussions, said an African trade minister
who asked not to be quoted.