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G-33 Stresses Importance of Public Stockholding Ahead of WTO Ministerial Conference in Abu Dhabi

The G-33 underscores the vital role of public stockholding for food security, advocating for agricultural market flexibility.

Saurabh Shukla
G-33 Stresses Importance of Public Stockholding Ahead of WTO Ministerial Conference in Abu Dhabi (Photo Source: @wto/X)
G-33 Stresses Importance of Public Stockholding Ahead of WTO Ministerial Conference in Abu Dhabi (Photo Source: @wto/X)

As the World Trade Organization (WTO) gears up for its 13th Ministerial Conference in Abu Dhabi, the G-33 Ministerial statement has highlighted the crucial role of public stockholding for food security, particularly among developing nations. Comprising 48 member countries, including Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and Net Food Importing Developing Countries (NFIDCs), the group has underscored the significance of public stockholding in ensuring food security, sustaining livelihoods, and fostering rural development.

Key players in this 47-country group, such as India, China, and Indonesia, are advocating for flexibility in agricultural market opening. This move is expected to reinforce India's stance on defending the Minimum Support Price (MSP) for crops, a matter that has triggered protests by farmers globally.

Ministers and representatives from the G-33 countries convened in Abu Dhabi, UAE, on the sidelines of the 13th WTO Ministerial Conference. Their discussions centered on agricultural trade negotiations and priorities for the conference's outcome. Emphasizing the collective responsibility of all WTO members in addressing contemporary challenges, the group sees the upcoming Ministerial as a crucial opportunity to strengthen the multilateral trading system.

Addressing Urgent Concerns

Expressing concerns over projections by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, which indicate a potential rise in chronically undernourished individuals by 2030, the G-33 called for meaningful dialogue to address these challenges. They regretted the lack of progress in agriculture trade negotiations and urged for the adoption of a permanent solution, as outlined in their proposal JOB/AG/229, jointly submitted with the African, Caribbean, and Pacific Groups.

Proposals and Calls for Action

The group's proposal aims to engage WTO member countries constructively to achieve an outcome on public stockholding for food security purposes during the 13th WTO Ministerial Conference. Additionally, the G-33 reiterated the importance of developing countries' right to implement a Special Safeguard Mechanism (SSM) against import surges or price declines and urged WTO members to adopt a decision on SSM by the 14th WTO Ministerial Conference.

Within these deliberations, the stage is set for intense negotiations and dialogues as stakeholders converge in Abu Dhabi to chart the course for global trade policies. The outcomes of these discussions are anticipated to shape the future of agricultural trade and food security worldwide.

 
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