Indonesian government should reject the upcoming World Trade Organization ministerial meeting as it is irrelevant for the global economy, an organization on global trade and investment has said.

Indonesia for Global Justice (IGJ) research and monitoring manager Rachmi Hertanti said on Thursday that the WTO “is prone to accommodating the interests of giant powers. Lobbying often takes place with only several developed countries and their allies. Trade-offs of interests are done under the table.”

The WTO’s 10th meeting, scheduled on Dec 15-18 in Nairobi, Kenya, would follow up the unsolved market access for the least developing countries (LDCs) and facilitation issues, and also achieving a permanent solution for a public stockholding proposal.

If the meeting were to take place, Rachmi said Indonesia should push its agenda on food security and defend its agricultural interest from developed countries.

“The issue at stake since the formation of the WTO has always been agriculture. It’s the disagreement between developing countries with their ideals of food sovereignty and developed countries with their ambitious market expansions,” she said during a press conference.

Initiated at the ninth WTO ministerial meeting by 33 developing countries (G33) in Bali in 2013, this proposal called for new rules on public stockholding for food security purposes and domestic food aid.

G33 asked for more flexible rules for farm subsidies in order to support poor farmers, “but they failed to negotiate with developed countries who held their interests on trade facilitation,” Rachmi said.

“President Joko Widodo should better use this opportunity to fight for the public stockholding proposal. A permanent solution on food security should be achieved because it is related to the well-being of our people,” she added.

– See more at: