From 15 to 18 December, Food Rights Alliance joined other Civil Society Organizations working in the field of trade in Nairobi, Kenya to take part in the 10th WTO ministerial conference. This event was also the sixth round of the Doha Round of discussions, which began in 2001.
The main focus of the discussions FRA took part in was on agriculture and the key issues of developing countries related to trade. Over the course of the week, several activities were held by CSOs among which included a rally and procession against the expansion of the WTO and self-fulfilling agenda of the United States. An introduction session of SEATINI’s recently released Advocacy Guide for Civil Society on Investment Treaties was also held and a Trade and Development Symposium.
The Trade and Development Symposium was a four-day side event of the Conference, put on by the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development. The Symposium included a series of sessions four times a day, on a variety of topics, from emerging governance to climate change to food security. Outside of the negotiations, this was the place to be for NGOs and CBOs.
Two sessions – one on Promoting Pro-Development Investment Agreements and Policies, and another on Synergizing Trade and Climate Change and Livelihoods in the EAC – featured SEATINI’s Country Director and FRA Vice Chairperson Ms. Jane Nalunga as a speaker.
Referring to the latter session, it highlighted some of the pending – and current – impacts of climate change on food security, naming the increasing frequency and intensity of instances of flooding and drought as one of the region’s greatest challenge.
Ms. Jane spoke specifically on the role that trade can play on the adaptation of climatic impacts, while reinforcing that issues concerning food security, or the environment on the whole, have not been addressed.