Presentation on theme: "Liberalizing Trade in Agriculture and Food Security Vanderbilt Symposium on Food Security Prof. Christine Kaufmann, University of Zurich Nashville, 16."— Presentation transcript:
Liberalizing Trade in Agriculture and Food Security Vanderbilt Symposium on Food Security Prof. Christine Kaufmann, University of Zurich Nashville, 16 February 2007
2 Starting Point “In many cases, it [agriculture] underpins the socio- economic fabric of rural areas and often, that of countries.” (Mauritius) Agriculture produces food, underpins food security Role of trade liberalization in agriculture to enhance human rights, reduce poverty and increase food security?
3 Overview Key Provisions on agricultural trade in WTO law –AoA, SPS Agreement –(Textiles and Clothing, TRIPS, Enabling Clause) Legal foundations of the right to food and food security –Instruments and content –State obligations Reconciling the two issues Current issues, potential conflicts Conclusions
4 Key principles of AoA(1/2) Market access –Tariff only protection (tariffication) –+ reduction commitments Domestic support –No or minimal distortive effect: Green box Service programmes for agriculture and rural community, e.g. infrastructure for drinking water Food Aid Direct Payments –Trade-distorting effect: Amber box
5 Key principles of AoA(2/2) Export competition/ subsidies –Limit in Articles 3.3 and 9 AoA –Anti-circumvention provision in article 10.4 AoA: definition of food aid Export restrictions –Article 12: Consideration of food security in importing countries Special provisions for LDCs and NFIDCs –Marrakesh decision –Longer implementation periods, lower reduction rates Further negotiations: Article 20 AoA
6 SPS Agreement Food safety measures –Based on international standards –Define own level of protection within SPS Issues –Criteria for risk assessment: Science only? Include cultural or social factors of food safety? –Product differentiation Barriers to market entry Likeness under Article III GATT –Conflicting interests: Food safety in developed countries vs. food security in developing countries?
7 Main legal features of the right to food (1/2) Key universal Instruments –Universal Declaration of Human Rights: Art. 25 –ICESCR: Art. 11 –Convention on the Rights of the Child: Art. 27 –World food Summit Plan of Action 1996 Commitment 4: Link to agricultural trade Commitment 7: Mainstreaming approach –Voluntary Guidelines of 2005 on food security
8 Main legal features of the right to food (2/2) Core content –Availability in terms of quantity and quality –Accessibility: Economic and physical –Stability of supplies Unsolved issues –200 definitions, 450 indicators for food security –Relevance of non-food factors, such as health etc. –„Food sovereignty“ vs. liberalization of trade in agriculture (Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food)
9 Obligation to respect, protect and fulfil –Traditional concept of non-interference –Protection from violation by third parties –“facilitate opportunities by which the rights can be enjoyed” –Assistance in emergencies Progressive realisation –to the maximum of available resources –as efficiently as possible International assistance and cooperation –Article 2(1) ICESCR –What does it mean exactly? State obligations under the ICESCR
10 What is so special about trade in agriculture? Specifics of agriculture –Uncertainty in supply due to unforeseeable climatic influences and weather conditions (element of risk) –Concentration of market suppliers leads to greater fluctuation in prices in cases of abnormal weather conditions in these countries –Agriculture as a producer of positive externalities and public goods –Foods as a most essential good and the role of agriculture in providing food security –Farming as the fabric of rural society: Contribution of agriculture to rural development –Agriculture as a key element for the development of other sectors Multifunctionality Non-trade concerns
11 Reconciling the two(1/2) Structural similarities in the legal framework –Enhancing welfare and development as objectives Instrumental nature of trade liberalization Right to food as a precondition/essential element for the enjoyment of other human rights –“Openness” of both legal frameworks Preamble, multifunctionality, food security as a non-trade concern in AoA Right to Food: Obligation to fulfil and to internationally cooperate Consistency is built into the agreements
12 Reconciling the two(2/2) Implementing the agenda in Article 20 AoA –Consider specific characteristics of agriculture –Take into account special situation of LDCs and NFIDCs Improving market access for DCs Special and differential treatment for DCs Revision of Article 5 AoA to better serve DCs interests with respect to food security Lower export subsidies for agricultural products from developed countries Continue work on Revolving Fund Provide Food Aid Basically different concepts of non-discrimination in trade law and human rights law
13 Current issues Migration and urbanization –Rural-urban migration –Food insecurity –Specific nutritional problems among migrants Food security and culture –Appropriateness of food –Food taboos –Biotechnology Access of farmers to resources for production
14 Conclusions Legal frameworks for right to food, food security and trade in agriculture are reconcilable More detailed studies are necessary –Impacts of current agricultural policies on the right to food –Impacts of product differentiation on the right to food –How could policy measures be tailored so as to be more efficient for beneficiaries? –Develop benchmarks for measuring the implementation of the right to food