Timeline

Agricultural Trade and Investment

We explore alternatives to the current multilateral framework governing agriculture trade and investment.
December 2014

French, Chinese and Spanish translations of our Trade Liberalization and Food Security booklet are now available!

French, Chinese and Spanish language translations of Trade Liberalization & Food Security: Examining the Linkages by Jennifer Clapp are now available. The paper is part of our project working towards a New Framework for Trade & Investment in Agriculture, in which we are exploring some of the questions at the heart of defining the purpose, structure and direction of governance of trade and investment in agriculture, in order to place livelihoods, dignity, sustainability, resilience and food security at the heart of the rules governing these areas.

Downloads of the booklet are available at the link below:

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October 2014

QUNO hosts WTO working session on agricultural trade and food security

QUNO organized a working session at the WTO Public Forum, to address the forum theme of “Why Trade Matters to Everyone." QUNO posed the question “are the benefits of trade sufficiently inclusive?” in consideration of food security. In addition the sub-themes of trade and employment and trade in Africa were addressed by contextual presentations by panelists.

Moderated by Susan H. Bragdon, QUNO’s Representative for Food & Sustainability, the panel consisted of Jennifer Clapp, Professor & Canada Research Chair in Global Food Security and Sustainability at University of Waterloo, Jerome Bunyi, the Agricultural Attaché to the Philippine Permanent Mission to the WTO and Morrison Rwakakamba CEO if the Ugandan farmers` association, Agency for Transformation .

Jennifer Clapp presented findings from her paper, “Trade Liberalization and Food Security: Examining the Linkages” addressing the underlying narrative of trade liberalization and its relationship to food security. Jerome Bunyi gave context to the paper by providing an account of,  the situation of the Philippines and trade liberalization from the founding of the WTO until the present. Morrison Rwakakamba brought the perspective of small-scale farmers to the fore in sharing his experience in Uganda.

The session was well received by a highly engaged group of more than 80 attendees and included perspectives and questions from a number of different stakeholder groups. An audio recording of the working session can be found here.

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October 2014

QUNO and the South Centre host discussion on trade liberalization and food security

QUNO and the South Centre, a Geneva based intergovernmental organization of developing countries, hosted a seminar with State delegates where author Jennifer Clapp presented the findings of her paper, “Trade Liberalization and Food Security: Examining the linkages.”  The paper was commissioned by QUNO, and is available here.

State delegates expressed appreciation for the opportunity to step back from the details of the World Trade Organization trade negotiations to discuss the underlying narrative that supports arguments for trade liberalization.  The meeting was well attended with a lively discussion of the paper’s conclusion that context is important in determining the most appropriate trade policies to ensure food security.

 

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October 2014

QUNO hosts side event on trade and food security at the Committee on World Food Security

QUNO hosted a side event entitled “Harnessing Trade for Food Security” at the 41st meeting of Committee on Food Security. Susan H Bragdon, QUNO’s Representative for Food & Sustainability, introduced the conceptual inter-linkages between trade and food security and the challenges the dominant paradigm of increasing trade liberalization may present to countries as they implement food security measures.

Aileen Kwa, the Coordinator for the Trade and Development Programme at the South Centre continued the panel presentation by explaining more specifically the evolution of the WTO Agreement on Agriculture and in particular the current impasse at the World Trade Organization.

Isabel Mazzei, present in her personal capacity, described the struggles for a WTO trade negotiator from a developing country when trying to reconcile desired national measures on food security with pressure to brought to bear to decrease policy flexibilities in the WTO.

Ivan Polanco, director of Asamblea General de la Asociación Nacional de Empresas Comercializadoras de Productores del Campo (ANEC), a peasant organization that represents small and medium producers of basic grains, also sat on the panel. Ivan described the experience of Mexico after NAFTA and in particular the marginalization of small-scale producers and an increasing dependence on food imports. 

Billy Mayaya, the Director of the Right to Food Network in Malawi, discussed his country’s experience both with trade rules and with pressure from philanthropic sources to pursue economic development through engagement with the global market.  Both Ivan and Billy stressed the need for policy flexibility for countries to support small-scale farmers and the development and maintenance of agricultural biological diversity as a key means to ensure food security and resilience over time.

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September 2014

Read QUNO Geneva's latest Geneva Reporter newsletter

QUNO Geneva is pleased to share the most recent issue of our Geneva Reporter newsletter and accompanying briefing paper on The Aarhus Convention. Other featured articles include updates on our A New Framework for Trade and Investment in Agriculture work, the Human Rights Council, UN Climate Summit, and Peace and Disarmament.

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February 2014

Susan Bragdon joins QUNO Geneva as Representative for Food and Sustainability

Susan Bragdon joined QUNO Geneva on 1 February as Representative, Food and Sustainability to lead our work on intellectual property of plants and on a new framework for trade and investment in agriculture. Susan, trained as a resource ecologist and patent lawyer, brings in depth experience of UN agencies and other international organisations and negotiations, especially on intellectual property of plants and biodiversity. Susan, presently based in Portland, Oregon, will work initially as a consultant before relocating to Geneva later this year.

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December 2013

QUNO holds side event on “Business, Human Rights and Conflict” at 2013 UN Forum on Business and Human Rights

Photo Credit: Claire Rodgerson

QUNO - together with the UN Global Compact, the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights, and the Constructive Engagement Group - held a side event on Business, Human Rights and Conflict at the 2013 UN Forum on Business and Human Rights. Diane Hendrick of QUNO moderated the discussion. During this event, Lynn Finnegan from QUNO spoke about the impact that business activities can have on local communities’ access to natural resources such as water, land and food. QUNO also outlined good practices for effective company-community engagement.​

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November 2013

QUNO hosts agriculture and food panel at the WTO Public Forum 2013

Photo Credit: WTO

QUNO hosted a panel discussion at the WTO Public Forum 2013 on “Exploring New Frameworks for Trade and Investment in Agriculture”. Speaking on the panel were Caroline Dommen, QUNO Representative for Global Economic Issues, Hans Herren, recipient of The Right Livelihood Award 2013 and Mark Halle, from the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD).

During this event, panellists and members of the audience considered environmental and social impacts of the current agricultural system. This led to discussion about what considerations are necessary for decision makers to take on board, in order to ensure an agricultural system that responds to the needs of the world today.

You can listen to an audio recording of the session here.

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November 2013

QUNO speaks at UNCTAD meeting on Trade and Food Security

QUNO’s Caroline Dommen was a panellist at the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) discussion forum, “Why Trade Matters in Development Strategies”. The panel gathered experts on trade and food security to foster dialogue between Geneva trade diplomats and national officials in charge of development planning.

Caroline presented some of the main findings from QUNO’s recent survey on trade and investment in agriculture. She also highlighted some key questions for consideration by national officials when planning for development. These included the importance of asking what kind of development is desirable in the long-term before designing policy and the importance of considering employment factors in agricultural policy.

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October 2013

Geneva Reporter, July-October 2013

Read QUNO Geneva's newsletter for the period July to October 2013. Features stories:

  • Children of parents sentenced to death or executed
  • New framework for trade and investment in agriculture
  • Conscientious objection to military service
  • New energy on nuclear disarmament
  • Highlights from QUNO New York

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