East African WTO Negotiators Will Brief the Public at a Series of Meetings in August

Aug. 21, 2013. Geneva, Switzerland.

From 21 to 30 August, CUTS International, Geneva and its partners will hold a series of meetings in East African Community (EAC) countries. There, stakeholders from the government, the business, farming communities, CSOs, media and think tanks, will share their perspectives on ways to address climate-related hunger through trade in their countries and at the EAC level. World Trade Organization (WTO) negotiators will also brief the audience on the on-going multilateral trade negotiations in Geneva, Switzerland.

Climate change is altering agricultural and trade patterns, and causing additional large-scale hunger in the East African Community countries of Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda. If appropriate policies are in place, trade can help in lifting these countries out of poverty and in mitigating the negative impacts climate change has on their citizens, especially on small-scale farmers. But such policies that take into account equally agriculture, climate and trade hardly exist, neither in individual countries nor at the EAC level.

The pro-trade, Geneva-based think-tank CUTS International, Geneva and its civil society partners in the five countries have constituted multi-actor consultative groups that meet twice a year in order to shape the essential elements of such policies, which once implemented will have to alleviate hunger in the face of worsening climate change.

The meetings in August will give an opportunity to representatives of the government, the business, farming communities, CSOs, media and think tanks and others to share their sectors' perspectives on important cross-cutting topics like access to « green » technology, doing Business in agriculture, success stories of adapting to climate change, and the evolving relationships of farmers with land as a result of climate change. They will also learn about and debate on the main finding of five research studies that have been carried out and completed under CUTS' PACT EAC project.

Another highlight will be the participation of Geneva-based WTO negotiators of the five EAC countries who will explain the key offensive and defensive interests of their countries in the on-going WTO negotiations and their strategies to promote these positions. These trade negotiators gather in Geneva once every two months at the "EAC Geneva Forum" meetings organised by CUTS under the same project.

For general inquiries, please contact:

Josiane Rufener, geneva@cuts.org, +41 22 734 60 80