Issue No. 634, 1-15 February 2017
US flags aggressive trade policy stance

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UN rights body holds panel discussion on access to medicines
A panel discussion at the UN Human Rights Council on access to medicines heard calls to ensure that intellectual property protection does not override this fundamental element of the right to health.
by Kanaga Raja

Housing now valued as a financial commodity, charges UN expert
The treatment of housing as a commodity for wealth accumulation is disconnecting it from its social function of providing a place to live, and undermining the realization of housing as a human right, a UN rights expert has said.
by Kanaga Raja

“Investment facilitation” could intrude on policy space, cautions paper
Measures taken to promote “investment facilitation”, a subject of discussion in various national and international fora, should not impinge on states’ regulatory and policymaking flexibility, says a new paper published by a developing-country think-tank.
by Kanaga Raja

ICs intensify efforts on e-commerce negotiations at WTO
Industrial countries are persisting with a contentious push for negotiations at the WTO to craft rules on electronic commerce.
by D. Ravi Kanth

Ugly dance of global hegemon, source of concern and confusion
The new US administration may have threatened to turn its back on the WTO, but the fact is that the multilateral trade body has served its interests well over the years, writes D. Ravi Kanth.