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August 06, 2008

We Need a New Global System

As the failed seven-year odyssey to complete the Doha Round of negotiations at the WTO has shown, we need to start developing new systems of global governance. This is particularly true when it comes to agriculture and food.

A series of three reports IATP published today look in detail at how global institutions like the WTO, World Bank and IMF have undermined basic human rights, stalled international development and harmed the environment. The reports are part of our "New Global Contract" series, which highlights conflicts between global institutions and internationally-recognized rights, and points toward more accountable and sustainable alternatives.

Values in Conflict: How Trade and Finance Rules Curtail Our Rights, by Andre du Plessis, maps out where global trade and finance systems directly conflict with the environment, human rights, publlic health and agriculture.

Promoting Human Rights and the Environment in Trade and Finance Rules, by Maria Julia Oliva, identifies successful strategies by civil society groups to challenge unfair multilateral rules.

A Framework for Rebalancing Global Norms, by John Foster, analyzes the role of global trade and financial institutions in undermining human rights, and identifies strategies for global organizing in support of a new system.

As IATP's Alexandra Spieldoch put it in our press release, "From volatile financial markets to skyrocketing oil prices, food riots and the growing gap between rich and poor - the current system is not sustainable. The food and climate crises compel us to re-build a new global system based on the needs of people, communities and the environment."

Ben Lilliston

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