A new vision for agriculture
momagri, movement for a world agricultural organization, is a think tank chaired by Christian Pèes.
It brings together, managers from the agricultural world and important people from external perspectives,
such as health, development, strategy and defense. Its objective is to promote regulation
of agricultural markets by creating new evaluation tools, such as economic models and indicators,
and by drawing up proposals for an agricultural and international food policy.
A look at the news

WTO: For Pascal Lamy “New issues, new challenges”

October 6, 2014

The failure of ratifying the Bali Agreement, a repeated lack of confidence between the Organization’s member-states on crucial issues such as agriculture, a show of dissent for an organization, whose prerogatives in international trade will only end up being solely honorific, and whose opinions are mainly advisory…

Such record of operational failure of the WTO is not the exclusive preserve of WTO denigrators. Who is better positioned than its former Director General––Pascal Lamy––to report on the WTO’s internal dysfunctions? The man, who led the international organization for eight years, has engaged in such reflection in a paper published by the think tank “En Temps Réel”.

“The reality of international trade, and thus its regulation, will never be fundamentally the same,” suggests Pascal Lamy. Especially at issue, abandoning mercantilist policies for a world marked by the “convergence of collective preferences”, and the “rise of emerging countries” that rewrites geo-economic and geo-strategic global balance. As a result, “the negotiators’ culture must more or less adapt,” adds Pascal Lamy. As far as agriculture is concerned, the rules that yesterday governed the sector are now no longer adjusted to reality, especially in dealing with the issues raised by the export restrictions implemented by countries such as Russia, China or Argentina.

In fact, agriculture seems to be the obstacle on which the Doha Round stumbles, and we recently observed it. At the end of July, the WTO General Council was not able to formally adopt the plan on facilitating trade, which was agreed upon at the Bali Ministerial Conference, and this because of India’s blockade. The new Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi refused to give in on his demand regarding subsidies for public reserves. The blockade makes “the situation very precarious” concedes Roberto Azevedo, the current WTO Director General, who feels that the parallelism between easing trade and food security cannot exist.

Yet, agriculture and food security cannot be considered as a adjustment variable, or as a smoke screen “for protectionism in disguise”––as Lamy calls it––but as a Global Public Good.

Lastly, Pascal Lamy raises the issue of what governance in order to make better progress? One thing is sure: The compromise diplomacy is no longer enough. It is now urgent to move beyond a totally obsolete discourse that is disconnected from economic reality and based on a system whose very viability, and rules that govern it, are undermined.

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Paris, 17 June 2019