The language contained in agreements being negotiated by the EU through the WTO with their southern counterparts often deliberately diguises real political goals, obscuring the negative economic implications for those countries of the neoliberal agenda.
Sixty activists from the global South and Europe are currently touring Europe on their way to Copenhagen. Starting out at Seventh Sessions of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Ministerial Conference in Geneva from 30 November to 2 December, the tour passes through Italy, Germany, France and Belgium before arriving in Copenhagen on 9 December.
Ten years on from Seattle, TNI and other activists from Enlazando Alternativas have mobilised in Geneva together with the global network Our World is Not For Sale (OWINFS) to expose the role of the WTO and the "free trade" agreements in causing economic and climate crisis.
Some Key Points for Member Groups of the Our World Is Not For Sale Network [OWINFS] at the United Nations Conference on the World Financial and Economic Crisis and its Impact on Development, June 22-24, 2009.
Since the current financial crisis started, none of the governments, experts or media who have called for new regulations for the financial industry have taken into account rules of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) which actually impose extreme financial service deregulation on many WTO member countries.
Today, just as faith in deregulated markets has evaporated in the nightmare on Wall Street, so too is the long reign of market fundamentalism (or neoliberalism) ending in the development arena. And, a debate over the best route to development has returned.
As the world is still assessing one of the most violent shocks in international financial markets ever, and measures to avoid future financial crises are still not in place, developing countries should be cautious of dangers associated with further liberalisation of their financial sectors.