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

Is the wind shifting within the WTO?

May 27, 2013


The name of the new director-general to lead the WTO after September 1 was disclosed on May. Brazil’s Roberto Azevedo will be Pascal Lamy’s successor to take the helm of an organization that many view as moribund.

As the first South-American director-general, Azevedo is an engineer by training, has been a career diplomat since 1984 and served as Brazil’s Permanent Representative to the WTO since 2008. This still recent appointment makes it difficult to draw definitive conclusions, yet some observations regarding the future directions can already be made:
    - There is every reason to believe that Azevedo will act as the undertaker of the Doha Round, after 12 years of unproductive negotiations and deadlocks. Going back to square one to launch a genuine modernization of the WTO could be one or the priorities of the new DG, who says he is “pessimistic” on reviving the Round.

    - Through the Azevedo appointment, a rift is looming between the United States and Europe on one side and the BRICs on the other side. Azevedo was China’s and Russia’s favorite candidate, whereas his challenger, Herminio Blanco, was clearly supported by the European Union and the United States. While Azevedo disallows any North-South split, he is nonetheless responsive to his supporters’ interests, and some sources indicate that he might appoint a Chinese diplomat to one of WTO top posts.

    - Although criticized by the media for his protectionist leanings as a result of his commitments to Brazil’s interests, Azevedo denies it. Although he did win several major trade disputes for Brazil at the WTO––especially against the United Stares regarding cotton subsidies and against the European Union concerning sugar export subsidies––Azevedo nevertheless formally advocates pursuing the decline of protectionism.
For the time being, Azevodo wants to appear consensual by following Pascal Lamy’s line, but there is little doubt that he has not yet played out all his cards, especially regarding the December 2013 Ministers Meeting in Bali, when the United States might support a partial agricultural agreement.

Notwithstanding the new DG’s directions, reforming the international trade governance system must developed. As far as the strategic and specific issue of food security is concerned, the framework of a World Organization for Agriculture (WOA) must be designed, so that agriculture is not left at the mercy of inadequate and detrimental negotiations.
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Paris, 16 December 2018