AN inter-agency report has recommended that G20 governments should demonstrate leadership in multilateral negotiations to strengthen international disciplines on all forms of import and export restrictions, as well as on domestic support schemes that distort production incentives".
This is published on 12 June 2012. Early in 2012 Mexico, as G20 President, invited international organizations to examine practical actions that could be undertaken to sustainably improve agricultural productivity growth, in particular on small family farms.
The preparation of this report, coordinated by the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), is a collaborative undertaking by Bioversity International, the Consortium of International Agricultural Research Centres, the FAO, the International Fund for Agricultural Development, the International Food Policy Research Institute, the Inter-American Institute for Co-operation on Agriculture, the OECD, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, the UN High Level Task Force on the Food Security Crisis, the UN World Food Programme, the World Bank and the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
The report, which was used as a key input in the discussions of the G20 Agricultural Group, states that "substantially reducing trade and production distorting domestic support, improving market access opportunities, eliminating export subsidies and strengthening the disciplines on export restrictions will improve the enabling environment for investment and productivity growth".
It also notes the critical role played by the WTO's Sanitary and Phytosanitary Agreement, in contributing to the reduction of production losses due to pests and diseases, and the need to support capacity building in this field, including through the Standards and Trade Development Facility.
In a related development, on 28 June 2012, the WTO's Legal Affairs Division (LAD) will hold a conference to mark the 30 years since its predecessor, the General Agreement on Trade and Tariff (GATT) office of Legal Affairs, was created.
Participants will include previous LAD directors and other keynote speakers.
The conference will also pay tribute to Professor John Jackson for his invaluable contribution to the field of international trade law. The conference will conclude with a cocktail reception in the WTO's new atrium, where the third edition of the WTO Analytical Index will be launched.