"Bali package must allow ambitious food security policies" – UN expert on WTO SummitListen /
There's been a call for developing countries to be granted the freedom to use food reserves to help secure the right to food, without the threat of sanctions under current World Trade Organization (WTO) rules.
The UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food, Olivier De Schutter's call comes on the eve of a high-level WTO summit in Bali, Indonesia, (3-6 December) which will try to reach agreement on proposals on developing countries' food stockholding for food security, as part of the Doha Round trade negotiations.
De Schutter says "Trade rules must be shaped around the food security policies that developing countries need, rather than policies having to tiptoe around WTO rules," adding, "Supporting local food production is the first building block on the road to realizing the right to food, and trade must complement local production, not justify its abandonment."
The expert warned that food security is at high risk when countries become overly dependent on global markets, as shown during the global food crisis of 2007-08. He said "They must develop ambitious and innovative food security policies that support their own production base, building on successful experiences in a growing number of countries."
Donn Bobb, United Nations.