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Additional resources for From Singapore To Cancun- Knowledge, Power And Hegemony In The Negotiation Of Investment Rules At The Wto
For the investment issue, the Cancun ministerial appears to be the end of the road after seven years. The Working Group has not been reconstituted and no chair has been named. The EU has sent confusing signals but claims it is no longer a demandeur on investment issues. No one it appears has any appetite to talk further about the negotiation of an agreement. Conclusion After seven years of trying to “educate” developing countries to accept the idea of negotiating an investment agreement at the WTO, it appears the developing country proponents have given up.
This has been complimented by a rising critique of the WTO from the civil society sector, which although the media focus is heavily on what occurs in the streets, has actually been doing much behind the scenes to bring forward alternative knowledge and framing of issues. This has helped to build a stronger capacity in many WTO members to challenge and question the extent to which agreements serve their interests. The result has been perhaps that the old business as usual approach at the WTO will no longer suffice and that more balanced agreements, that are truly sensitive to the needs of developing countries will have to be the order of the day.
Canada, however, had also been an active proponent of negotiating investment rules and the other issues at the WTO. At the smaller meeting, confessionals as they are called in WTO parlance, the extent of disagreement on the Singapore issues was evident. Evident too was the link for a number of developing countries between these issues and real progress on agriculture. No agreement on the first was likely without the second. (Aziz, 2003) They also raised concerns about the process and reminded the Minister of the clear absence of an explicit consensus.
From Singapore To Cancun- Knowledge, Power And Hegemony In The Negotiation Of Investment Rules At The Wto