WTO All Night Talks Reported On Indymedia Via IRC

Published: Wed 14 Nov 2001 06:10 PM
EDITOR’S NOTE: The WTO Doha meeting has gone all night Tuesday night and it is now around 8am Doha time. A new text is allegedly about to be presented though nobody has seen it yet (apparently). The following reports have been posted recently on Indymedia San Francisco and consist of an IRC (Internet Relay Chat) conservation transcript with an Indymedia reporter (Sarah identified as “mexicatl”)attending the Doha convention. This is the cutting edge of activist news reportage.
IRC Log #2
Here's the next irc log from #radiodoha giving us some of the latest news from the wto meetings. we'll be getting more final information in several hours when the meetings will announce their final decisions.
Listen to "No New Round Radio" for more updates during the next few hours:
mexicatl: new updates
mexicatl: second hand from indian delegation
mexicatl: "The talks are on the brink of collapsing" about 5:00
mexicatl: "The ACP countries are fighting their own battle"
mexicatl: does this mean two fronts for the EC and US?
anna: the mike is on..:)
mexicatl: 1st hand from Hans Schramml, Austria Delegation
mexicatl: "We are not against extending the study period"
anna: then it was really hard ti understand what you said :) can you repeat please? :)
zapATIsta: hey anna, the mic is on.
mexicatl: although he said everything was going fine, once i told him about what the chief delegates from benin and ivory coast told me (last update) he froze, became uncooperative
mexicatl: for him there seemed to be a problem with the black african countries
mexicatl: what that was, i do not know
zapATIsta sings a verse of "dancin' on the ruins of multinational corporations"
mexicatl: oh, funny story. people in the delegation section seem really bored. taped one guy using the WTO connection to surf for porn :)
mexicatl: they are desperate methinks
mexicatl: the people here seem to think that they will fail, maybe go into the bilateral talks
PlatinumD: i'm sure the guy has "diplomatic immunity" or some other silly thing.
blicero dances on the ruin of the global trade!
mexicatl: hld on
ana: bilateral talks are even more dangerous, if you can imagine that
mexicatl: sorry i was talking to Milan HOVORA, permanent ambassador from the czech rep. to the WTO
mexicatl: he's good, nice spin doctor.
mexicatl: he has no doubt that a trade round will be launch
mexicatl: no nice quotes from him, very sharp guy. talks a lot, says little :)
ana-nyc: what his his reasoning for believing trade rounds will go thru...sounds like thats very debatable at this point?
mexicatl: people starting to come on
mexicatl: i agree, but he's an expert on this
mexicatl: ok, that's it until next round unless there are questions?
mexicatl: well, this guy Milan, he's not a chief delegator, so he probably doesn't know all the details
mexicatl: he believes that an agreement of some sort will be reached
mexicatl: it's a public access, so i don't know
PlatinumD: ahhh, so nice getting first-hand news from a place the mainstream will barely mention:)
end of log
stay tuned
IRC Log #1
An Indymedia reporter who is in the Sheraton in Doha just gave this report on irc. This is an excerpt from the irc report that he gave just minutes ago. more to follow in next few hours.
mexicatl: hello, updates from doha, no time or capability for audio updates
mexicatl: it is now 4:05 am here. i am inside the sheraton hotel now, most of the people have left since an announcement on any decision has been delayed until 7:00 am
mexicatl: the discussion are going on as i write this inside the "green rooms"
mexicatl: issues are limited to a 2-3 key countries now
mexicatl: i've heard india is being difficult
mexicatl: no, EU and US are very much on the same line
mexicatl: france is being represented by the EU trade commisioner pascal lamy (lemy)?
mexicatl: france is being represented by the EU trade commisioner pascal lamy (lemy?)
anna: lamy
mexicatl: now, india and ACP (african caribeean block) have a agreement of solidarity
mexicatl: africa being difficult too.
mexicatl: quotes from Mr. Lazare Sehouto, Minister for Industry, Commerce and Employment for Benin:
mexicatl: "If there is a new round of trade talks, it will probably not include Africa"
mexicatl: "Some delegations like Mexico's are protecting low wage jobs and American companies"
mexicatl: "The Mexican delegation is an arm of the United States"
mexicatl: (sorry for the mexican bias, but it was a very informal chat and I still have problems with me french
mexicatl: )
mexicatl: "There is some cohesion within the African nations"
mexicatl: "The EU and the United States are unwilling to make consessions"
blicero: mexicatl you are giving me one of the greatest news in my life!!
blicero: ;)
mexicatl: these came from a short interview i did with him about two hours ago, as he was leaving
anna: acp is africa, caribbean + pacific rim
mexicatl: he wasn't too happy and decided that since it had already run over, then he would leave. left his delegation to deal with the rest.
blicero: they kick ass
blicero: africa confederation is our only hope of a third economic system
blicero: no socialist no capitalist
mexicatl: more recently i just chatted with a the Minister of Commerce for the Ivory Coast, Mr. Eric Kplohourou Kahe
blicero: tribal communitarianism !! ;)))))))
mexicatl: this was about 20 minutes ago
blicero: when will you upload all of this studd?
mexicatl: i'm about the only press that is still here (!)
blicero: I am eager ;))))
mexicatl: oh, before all this happened (as in last night) word was that the TRIPS agreement had been reached, but was very vague and lacking in details
mexicatl: some provisions for Least Developed Countries
mexicatl: quotes from Mr. Kahe
mexicatl: who is this second involved in the discussions inside the green room
mexicatl: "The subsidies issue has been agreed upon, but the environment and investment is still contested"
mexicatl: "The discussion could go beyond 7:00 am"
mexicatl: "The EU and the US are finally making concession"
mexicatl: my own analysis tells me that the eu and the us are getting desperate
mexicatl: the acp countries would not agree to anything that might harm their subsidies therefore i think that it is the us who gave in
mexicatl: i have talked to a delegate from brazil and from the EC (european commission), they said they didn't know anything about this
mexicatl: the two delegates from africa were the chief delegates, unlike the brazilian and the EC ones
mexicatl: they're probably better informed :)
mexicatl: here in the hallway i can count about 10 people, as opposed to about 300 just 3 hours ago
mexicatl: tension is intense though, massive security everywhere
mexicatl: no private cars or taxis can enter the red zone. one must go to the dana club, about 2-3 km from the sheraton where they pick up the shuttle here
mexicatl: there was an ngo protest earlier today, about 30 took par
mexicatl: it was limited to the press center and the outside hall connection it to the rest of the sheraton complex
mexicatl: a wall of security prevented them from entering, even though they had creditation
anna: 30 ngos or 30 people?
mexicatl: ngo here = one person. one person per ngo was accredited.
end irc log
stay tuned for more news in 3 hours.
11/12: Doha, Qatar Things are heating up in terms of the negotiations. The developing countries seem quite firm at this stage and talk about how they are not breaking ranks.
From: "Sarah L. Wright"
Sent: Monday, 12 November, 2001 03:25
Subject: Doha diary
Doha, Qatar
Things are heating up in terms of the negotiations. The developing countries seem quite firm at this stage and talk about how they are not breaking ranks. In fact, a few ministers from Southern Africa got up in a press conference and explicitly stated they would not break ranks with the other African countries over TRIPs. The US had proposed a deal that would give Sub-Saharan Africa a 5 year moratorium on implelmentation in a clear effort to divide up the LDCs.
Negotiations on TRIPS are particularly fraught. Presently there are two options: option on is supported by the developing countries and tries to get in provisions for exemptions under trips for public health, and to explicitly recognize the right for farmers to collect seed. The second defines public health very narrowly to refer to 'pandemics' (which I believe means a disease needs to be spread from person to person and doesn't even include diseases carried by other vectors and certainly not seed, agriculture, food security and drinking water kinds of public health issues.) The EU has proposed a compromise (a problem as this weakens the developing countries' position). There are also rumors that there is another text (proposed perhaps by Brazil) that is actually stronger than the existing options one. The Philippines with the African Group put out a very strong statement about public health and seem to be standing firm. Great news is the Switzerland did not get on the drafting committee for writing up the text. They are usually in every Green Room situation but the Chair (Mexico) said there were already enough people. This is great as Switzerland with its big biotech industry is very hardline on patents (maybe even more so than the US). The fact they are not there will very much change the dynamic of the group.
The tricks of TRIPS protest:
We had a great protest this morning on TRIPs calling for the inclusion of public health and food security into TRIPs and the need for attention to be paid to biopiracy. We carried in a dead farmer at the head of a funeral procession through the conference center and held an event just outside the press room. We had speakers telling the stories of real farmers that have committed suicide and sold their kidneys to pay of debt accrued due to high input agruiculture. We then had a woman dressed as basmati rice who gav testimony about how she is part of the cutlutres and lives of the people of the Himalias but that MNCs had attempted to steal and sell her. It was very powerful and a few people were crying at this time. We then had a panel of speakers including Vandana Shiva, Jose Bove, and people from ActionAid in Kenya to talk about the issues in more detail. It went off very well.
The Qatari officials and security are very nice and actually seem to enjoy the protests. I have had a number come up to me and say that it is very needed and they are very supportive of us. One came up after we had already held two protests in one day requesting another one. It appears they have been told not to stop us. Last night, I went with a friend from a South African NGO and plastered the whole meeting center with papers condemning the process. We also had green paper with the questions, "Do you know what the green man is doing?," and "Have you seen the green men?" Not only did security not stop us, they wanted copies, and gave me a free meal pass for dinner at the Sheraton. The media all wanted one as did the delegates. We handed out about 100 to delegates and I didn't get a single negative comment.
The Northern press is not giving us that much attention but the Southern press is plastered with the protests which is great. The local press is also covering us very heavily. This is great as they are the two more crucial areas to get this out. At this stage it is most important to provide support for Southern countries.
Impact of globalization movements is very helpful to LDCs:
The minister of Uganda in a press conference was asked what he thought of the NGOs and protests around the WTO. He replied that, although he was not in agreement with all elements (ie labor) of the protests, overall he found the worldwide movement for justice to be "very helpful" in supporting the Least Developed Countries. This was great to hear.
Apparently Jamaica has flat-out told the US that they will not support a new round. The Philippines is also very strong. At this stage the Like Minded Group and other African countries are saying that they don't want new issues as they don't have the capacity. There needs t be research and capacity building before negotiation but the Philippines is even stronger saying capacity is important but actually they don't want the new issues anyway. Apparently the US and the EU are fighting. Zeillick is barely talking to Lemy I have heard as the EU has said they may compromise on TRIPs. This is just a rumor but it would be great if it were true.

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