The Cancún WTO Ministerial Conference
The Fifth Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organisation was held in Cancún, Mexico from the 10-14 September 2003 - and was a crucial stage in the Doha Round of trade liberalisation negotiations.
The RSPB attended the conference on behalf of BirdLife to advocate for a more sustainable agricultural system and a greater awareness of the relationship between trade and the environment. They found little or no regard for the environment or sustainable livelihoods in agriculture.
The failure of WTO members to reach agreement in Cancún is a setback for a more sustainable multilateral trading system. The new alliances established by developing country groups at the talks do, however, provide an opportunity to strengthen the WTO’s legitimacy and to move forward on a fairer agenda focused on sustainable development.
There is a real risk that this opportunity will be lost if rich country governments walk away from agreeing trade rules globally towards only doing deals with individual countries or regions, and if the developed and larger developing countries choose to ignore or not differentiate the needs of the smaller least developed countries. BirdLife urges governments to resist this path and to focus instead on building a stronger multilateral system that works for all countries and has sustainable development at its heart.
A number of policy papers which outline BirdLife's position on key issues in this round of WTO negotiations have been produced and are available below.
- Summary of BirdLife's position on Cancun WTO Conference (pdf, 157k)
- Eco-labelling, BirdLife Position Paper (pdf, 153k)
- Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs), BirdLife Position Paper (pdf, 147k)
- Sustainable Development & Sustainability Impact Assessments (pdf, 160k)
- Trade & Agriculture, BirdLife Position Paper (pdf, 161k)
- Environmental goods and services - BirdLife Position Paper (pdf, 139k)
- Intellectual Property Rights & the Convention on Biological Diversity (pdf, 147k)
- WTO & the Mid Term Review of CAP (pdf, 157k)