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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Bali ’13: WFO urges political leaders on increasing trade systems

As the city of Bali hosts the 9th World Trade Organisation (WTO’s) ministerial conference, the World Farmers’ Organisation (WFO) has urged the political leaders of trade to give new momentum to the multilateral trading system, in order to throw-up new balance of trade that is transparent, reports NaijaAgroNet.

“Farmers from throughout the world today called on leaders attending the WTO ministerial in Bali this week to give new momentum to trade talks by reaching a balanced agreement and a clear work programme to ensure a fair, predictable and transparent trading system” says the Marco Marzano, executive director, WFO.

This was the main message of the WFO at their side event held in Bali, Tuesday, during the Trade and Development Symposium, which is being held in parallel with the 9th WTO Ministerial Conference.

The panel of the session featured: Bruce Wills, President of Federated Farmers of New Zealand, Henri Brichart, Vice-President, National Federation of Agricultural Holders’ Unions (FNSEA), Ron Bonnett, President-Canadian Federation of Agriculture.

For Bonnett, the international trade is one important way of evening out supply and demand imbalances, but more work is needed if farmers are to meet future demand for food around the world. The World Farmers’ Organisation believes that an agreement on terms of trade at a multilateral level is the best way to ensure the greatest benefits for the widest population and strongly supports the World Trade Organization. 

According to him, it is not only important that the Ministerial tackles some long-standing trade problems but also look for solutions to new challenges, such as the increasing concern about food security, in ways which do not result in trade distortions.”

“The WFO's trade policy position was adopted by farmers’ organizations from Africa, Asia, North America, Latin America, Europe and Oceania in April 2013 – added World Farmers’ Organisation - . The WFO is committed to the pursuit of ambitious trade policy objectives guided by basic principles which ensure that farmers throughout the world can fulfil their wider economic, social and environmental role and that the special needs of the least developing countries are taken into account. 

WFO is also calling for action to reinforce the global trading systems by strengthening international standards, reducing protectionist measures, encouraging capacity building, increased transparency and predictability of agricultural markets, and ensure farmers benefit from the opening of markets. The WFO calls on world leaders in Bali to set out a clear work program for 2014 which will ensure concrete progress in this direction”.

“We welcome the conclusion of the agreement, a clear sign of another step forward in ensuring a more balanced and transparent trade system also for farmers," the group emphasised.

Isaac Oyimah/GEE:
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