On 27 June, ICTSD organised an informal roundtable dialogue on the topic of public stockholding for food security as part of the E15 Initiative engagement process. The E15 Initiative is jointly implemented by ICTSD and the World Economic Forum.
WTO members have agreed to negotiate a permanent solution on public stockholding programmes for food security purposes, for adoption by the WTO’s Eleventh Ministerial Conference in Buenos Aires this December. While some have suggested that the Bali ministerial decision on this topic serve as a starting point for these talks, the G-33 has argued that purchases at administered prices should be exempt from counting towards countries’ WTO commitments. At the same time, some other developing and developed countries remain concerned that food purchased at subsidised prices could adversely affect their own producers, in some cases potentially also undermining food security and rural employment.
This event looked at experience using the public stockholding decision since Bali, and explored possible options for a permanent solution in this area. The dialogue built on discussions in the E15 Engagement Day on the WTO and MC11, drawing on recent ICTSD research and developments in the policy environment, with a view to deepening understanding of possible outcomes for Buenos Aires and their likely implications for aspects of the sustainable development agenda.