Nairobi, WTO talks last into the night

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By KBC Reporters
Negotiations at the World Trade Organisation’s 10th Ministerial Conference could see the delegates what they call “Stop the Clock” until a consensus is found.

The main issues of contention are reaching an agreement on the 14 years old Doha Development Agenda which has remained a major sticking point in the Nairobi talks.

Trade fascilation is also another of the issues being raised at the meeting and which most developing and Least Developed Countries want addressed.

Meanwhile protests reverberated in Nairobi as the last sessions of the tenth Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization went on inside the KICC.

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What was thought would be an amicable ending to the four days World Trade Organisation Tenth Ministerial Conference in Nairobi, protesters turned an otherwise quiet into a protesters zone over what they termed a takeover of the talks by the developed economies.

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The protestors were protesting the inflexible standpoints taken by developed countries including, the US, Australia, Canada and the EU.

Reports this evening from the KICC the venue of the 10th WTO Ministerial Conference was being held, indicated that talks had hit a stalemate.

Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amb. Amina Mohammed however, pacified the fears saying the negotiations were still on and she was optimistic of a positive outcome from the Ministerial Conference.

Protesters are accusing developed countries of a casual approach to the negotiations.
CS Amb. Amina is urging for calm and patience as delegates engage each other to find an amicable consensus that addresses the concerns of all.

The United States and the European Union are being accused of hijacking the 10th WTO Ministerial Conference by disregarding concerns raised by Least Developed Countries.

More than 200 Non-Governmental Organizations from 50 countries under the banner Our World Is Not For Sale, blamed the two of disregarding issues contained in the Doha Round by introducing new issues which are meant to exploit poor countries.

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The NGOs claim the US is a major impediment to conclusion of the Doha Development Agenda that has been under discussion for the last 14 years.

The USA is said to be the biggest impediment to conclusion of the 2001 Doha Round of talks during the 10th WTO Ministerial Conference talks in Nairobi.

In the ongoing talks, the US is said to be colluding with other rich countries mainly from the European Union to ensure least developed countries do not gain any meaningful deal from the talks.

Already, America is part of two rich countries’ backed trade blocs, comprising the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership with EU and Trans-Pacific Partnership with 11 other countries in the pacific rim among them, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Singapore, Mexico

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The EU has been accused of only fronting an agreement that benefits the bloc such as Trade in Services Agreement, Environmental Goods Agreement and Information Technology Agreement that was concluded Wednesday evening.

The Information Technology Agreement would see elimination of tariffs on 65% of IT products with estimated value of Ksh 103tr mostly controlled by Europe.

Issues pursued by rich countries coalition are to do with investment, competition and procurement which NGOs say do not serve to advance interests of poor countries but to impoverish them. A deal on agriculture is yet to be reached ensuring LDCs are protected from imports originating from rich countries which enjoy subsidies at production.

NGOs say if the Doha Declaration Agreement is not reaffirmed in the Nairobi MC10 declaration, poor countries will have little for the development agend

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