Hello delegates! Welcome to the Second Edition of the Stella Maris College MUN 2011.

As members of the Executive Board at the World Trade Organization (WTO), we take great pleasure in inviting you to take part in what we hope, will be an exciting three day session, that sees brilliant levels of debate and skills of diplomacy and international convergence as behoves an organisation of the calibre of the WTO! Let us acquaint you with the Executive Board members who‟re going to be with you for the ensuing three days of the Council. Varun Munjuluri will be your Chair for the three days and joining him on the dais will be Rasikha Venkat, your Vice-Chair and Tejaswi Subramanian, the Director, of the WTO. All three of us have a certain level of experience when it comes to MUNs and hope that we will be able to assist and guide you through the entire process, starting from research till the very nuances of debate flow at the Council. The WTO is the only intergovernmental organisation in the world that deals with the trade rules between nations. While being the preserver of trade liberalization and all things laissez- faire, the WTO is also exacted to cater to some of the more humane ideals of encouraging non-discrimination, fair competition, economic development and reform. Keeping this in mind, we encourage you, as delegates, to debate and deliberate, in the best interests of the great nations that you represent, in the context of the two agendas that have been presented to you. As Executive Board members, our role will be to simply facilitate moderation of debate, while the actual debate flow will be up to the Council. In the sessions being moderated, we‟ll be looking to discuss both the agendas and the Executive Board strongly urges that adequate research be done on the agendas given. The study guide has been excellently drafted by the Director of the Council and this should considerably aid you during research! The study guide is merely a funnel to deeper research. For the first-timers, it lays down the basics bare. If you would like to know how to research, or if you are simply confused about the rules of procedure of MUN and the working of the WTO as such, feel free to contact any of us through e-mail or Facebook. For all the MUN veterans out there, this might be a part of a broader subject matter that you have read up about for a MUN Conference earlier. We hope this guide is of help and that you have a great time learning more about two very important topics of contemporary times, meeting new, like-minded people and of course enjoying all that the City of Chennai has to offer. We look forward to welcoming and meeting every single one of you. Can‟t wait for August! Varun Munjuluri (varunmunjuluri@gmail.com), Chair, WTO, SMC MUN 2011 Rasikha Venkat (rasikha.90@gmail.com), Vice-Chair, WTO, SMC MUN 2011 Tejaswi Subramanian (maggie.winks@gmail.com), Director, WTO, SMC MUN 2011

THE ISSUE AT HAND- DOHA ROUNDS: PIONEERING OR FAILURE? Graph 1: Participation and Duration of Rounds

The underlying fact that the very foremost Millennium Development Goal deals with the problem of global hunger and starvation, reassures the need to devise a way towards achieving food security. However, the lofty aspirations of eradicating hunger by stabilizing food supply and sufficiency suffers a reality check when the MDG aims at only reducing the world‟s population experiencing hunger, starvation and malnutrition by only half. This when, during the first World Food Summit, 1974, the then US Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger had proudly prophesied the end of global hunger by 19841. However, the number since then has only risen continually, to swell up to nearly a billion who go to bed every day without their „minimum dietary energy requirement‟ fulfilled in 2010. Coupled with rising population growth in the poorer regions of the world, the prospects for achieving the MDG target of 10%, are bleak. In fact, the first MDG is largely criticized for placing too much emphasis on quantitative targets rather than qualitative aspects. The absence of vital protein and micro-nutrients such as iron and iodine impairs the ability to learn and reduces resistance to disease, especially in young children. UN AND WORLD HUNGERIn April 2008, the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon established the High Level Task Force on the Global Food Security Crisis, resulting in the joining of the hands of 22 different organizations, funds, programs and other entities within the UN family, including the WTO, to address food insecurity in a more „sustainable, coordinated and comprehensive way.‟ It was designed to compliment a rights-based approach to food security, imposing obligations on national governments to establish non-discriminatory and non-political laws to ensure that their populations have access to adequate food. As is observed, many of the world‟s food security problems stem from disregard of the fundamental right to food by way of aiming for figures in terms of volumes of trade and profit for shareholders. In a rights-based approach to solving hunger, these will become subservient. After all, while poverty could be a chief cause contributing to global hunger, it can and is more often than not, also a consequence of hunger.

The HLTF, in consensus over the need for consumers to be protected and to avoid protectionism in disguise, put forth two proposals

Hunger to be tackled as part of liberalization talks in order to avoid critics who accuse the WTO of requiring governments to force their consumers to accept unsafe food. The proposal is for a written understanding agreed among WTO members. It would do no more than endorse dispute panel and Appellate Body interpretations of sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) provisions on precaution. This while, some members question whether this is appropriate as part of the agriculture negotiations rather than under SPS. Moreover, there is discussion about whether the SPS Agreement is clear enough to maintain the balance between protecting consumers without embracing protectionist tactics, appropriately.

Developments in food safety issues since the end of the Uruguay Round negotiations mean the current talks (Doha Round especially) need to deal with food safety. Examples include: new consumer concerns about genetically modified organisms; recent disease outbreaks such as BSE; and toxic substances such as dioxin. These are being examined in other organizations such as the OECD and Codex, and the WTO should coordinate with these other efforts, according to this view.

THE ROLE OF THE DOHA ROUNDMany economists and political analysts alike, place (at least) the near future fate of the global trading system and the other areas subsequently affected by decisions taken in that sphere, squarely on the consequences and the conclusion of the Doha Development Agenda. Many critics emphasize on the observation that the arbitration progression is on the “wrong track and unlikely to produce a balanced and widely beneficial new agreement.”2Many are worried that the end result might tilt towards favouring the developed countries and thereby, corrode the very underlying basis of launching, what is known as the, Doha Round- which is to help developing countries gain and grow from trade liberalization without letting the dominant membership of developed countries in the WTO cast an overruling shadow. Given that, the Doha round aims to deal with some of the most pressing issues faced by these countries without compromising on the WTO‟s adage of nurturing and promoting free trade. A foremost concern is the problem of food insecurity and shortage, especially in developing countries in Africa and Asia, which arises from a number of factors such as low buffer stocks of staple crops like wheat, rice and corn, high oil prices, limitations posed by the scarcity of natural resources, and the lack of conducive climate for food production in major food producing areas around the world. Moreover, the current global trend of edging out food crops to grow commercial crops, more recently for appeasing the need for biofuel, is yet another concern. Growing speculation in the commodity markets have caused inflation and wide fluctuations in the price of food essentials which have no defence against them, thereby taxing the poor even more. One of the raison d'être for which the opponents of the Doha Round tout it as a failure is because, they do not see the negotiations heading towards a direction that will strike a balance between establishing barrier-free trade in the international arena and helping poor countries achieve self-sufficiency in food production, while protecting the livelihood of the local farmers, which is further threatened by dominant international grain traders who exercise control over larger portions of the global food markets. Furthermore they claim that, the trade and investment agreements currently in place are detrimental to options otherwise available to the governments that help tame price volatility of foodstuffs like using price control and price support tools, consumer subsidies and managing domestic stocks among others. There is a continual barrage of questions raised about the steps and measures that will be taken to address the following problems

The worldwide environmental predicament of climate change that we currently face- an enquiry that is ardently endorsed by the UN-body of the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change; Ironically, in the same breath, there is the need to tackle and regulate the rampant international trade in biofuels which are causing conflicts between the use of land and water

for meeting growing energy needs of the world and the stark quandary of achieving food security; If and whether there is a proposed solution to regulate financial speculation in the commodity market- a major cause for price volatility in the food market circled upon by both, the FAO and UNCTAD; The dilemma of dealing with fluctuating and, more often than not, skyrocketing oil prices which not only affect transportation but vital spheres of industrial agriculture like the production of fertilizers and pesticides and is heavily impactful on paving the way towards mechanization of farming activities in poor countries that will positively affect productivity, efficiency and quality, like the introduction of irrigation pumps, the use of machines like tractors and threshers, etc. The need to silence and take decisive action to end Free Trade vs. Agricultural Subsidy debate: whether to continue to foster the WTO dictum of trade liberalization or to help countries achieving food self-sufficiency and stabilize the source of income for poor farmers who hail from these regions, with the agricultural sector being the main employment-provider in most of these countries. This gives voice to another important question- how and how many jobs is the Doha round going to create or destroy, on its conclusion? The nature of influence of the NAMA (non-agricultural market access) sectoral agreements, if and when they are accommodated, on industries key to the agricultural segment itself. For instance, the chemicals trade- which while constituting much broader interests for developed economies, narrows down to agricultural chemicals like fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides for the LDCs. Two other such sectors which are open to being largely impacted by the NAMA sectorals, while still being of relevance to the import interests of the developing countries in terms of the agriculture and food processing industries are- industrial machinery and electronic products. Still further, the potential initiative of extending NAMA sectorals to the sector of environmental goods and services, which has been receiving growing consensus from both developed anddeveloping countries, while being critical to addressing the urgency of global climate change, which will affect all economies, whether WTO members or not.

Whilst continually keeping in mind the necessity to uphold the WTO dual-maxim of trade liberalization and dispute settlement, it would be encouraging to see countries being proactive and focussing on devising feasible answers centring on the need for (or the „need to be deficient in‟) regulating global competition and price volatility in the food market, and reviewing the Uruguay Round Agreement on Agriculture and the Doha mandate to suit the agenda of strengthening domestic food and agricultural systems, especially in developing countries. However, certain people also envisage the Doha round to be doomed beyond repair and have suggested pursuance of what they believe to be feasible alternatives such as, regional and bilateral trade contracts that have been particularly successful in Asia and Europe (SAARC and EU), the ambitious Europe-led negotiations to replace current preferential trade agreements that aim to benefit Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific, while the USA exercises its fast track negotiating authority to breakthrough more novel bilateral free trade agreements. The delegates of the WTO, SMC MUN 20110 are now invited to take on the daunting task of taking a concrete and momentous step towards thinking up and formulating a resolution that will encourage a trade deal that will “capture the positive potential of global trade to accelerate economic growth and job creation,”3 even as they embark upon equipping countries and people with the right legislation and tools to attain and maintain food security. POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS AND DIRECTIONS FOR RESOLUTION-MAKINGGiven the novel nature of problem hampering food security, it is about time that we innovated solutions feasible to tackle the problems at hand in the present day.

-The importance of safety net schemes which provide cash for poor households to buy foods is increasingly advocated as effective hunger prevention. Innovative crop insurance has a prominent role to play. -UN negotiations on climate change have agreed that national adaptation strategies in developing countries should gain financial support. These will typically involve research into climate resilient seed varieties, soil conservation, groundwater table replenishment, maintenance and its efficient use through utilization of methods like drip irrigation. Small farms also have the greater potential for reducing the impact of agriculture on the environment while, coupled with organic farming, could result in raising yields by almost 80%. However, here exists the conflict of ideologies. The marketoriented model advocates that small “peasant” farms should be consolidated and alternative livelihoods found for surplus labour, in search of a new green revolution, larger industrial farms can raise capital for the expensive products of modern biotechnology and compete in export markets. This is opposed by the proponents of subsidised inputs and credit. While drafting the resolution, there will perceivably be attempts to achieve middle ground between the two conflicting ideologies. However, before leaving things to the devices of the delegates, I would like to stress ona) the “No Free Lunch” principle by requiring delegates to sizeably direct their focus on funding the course of progression towards achieving the noble ideal of eradicating hunger, especially during a time when the world is still recovering from a financial crisis, whose anatomy has been dissected in great, voluminous detail, and whilst still being on the verge of being plunged into another- what with the rise of the fiat currency and the sovereign debt crisis. b) The criticism of inequality perpetuated in the WTO regime as illustrated by the ban on tradebalancing measures and foreign exchange balancing requirements, thereby ignoring the realities of a global economic system in which poorer countries are locked into a model of export-oriented industrialization and massive overseas debt. In the same breath, although World Trade laws permit export restrictions to alleviate food shortages, environmental concerns, or resource shortages, a WTO report warned against their excessive use, bordering on the line of protectionism in the wake of the Global Financial Crisis. Some of these include the raise in export quotas on rare earth minerals, and coal in China, extension of a 2006 export ban on pulses in India, temporary ban on light petroleum distillates in Kazakhstan, temporary ban on wheat and wheat-rye products in Macedonia and Moldova, increasing use of import restrictions such as health standards by trading powers (particularly in the United States of America), and increasing use of customs procedures to slow imports among others. Bon Appétit!
1 Food Security Guide [Online] (Updated January 2011) Available at http://uk.oneworld.net/guides/food_security [Accessed on 2nd July, 2011); 2 The Future of WTO- Policy Outlook: Trade, Equity and Development Project; Sandra Polaski, September 2006; Carnegie Endowment for International Peace; 3 Background Note: NAMA Sectorals- Should LDCs be concerned? 5 January, 2009; Agency for International Trade Information and Cooperation,


“Music fans are sued; Google is blocked from digitising books; people are prohibited from incorporating images, sounds or even cultural references to create new things. Copyrights, first enacted 300 years ago, often holds back creativity and progress. It has adapted poorly to new technologies. The strength and duration of protection has expanded enormously. Does the system favour content owners above the public, for which it was designed?” <Copyright and Wrongs Debate, The Economist; May 2009> The house eventually decided by an overwhelming majority, exceeding 70% of the participants, that copyrights did more harm than good to the public. And it does not stop there. Intellectual Property Rights, especially those in the context of the entertainment and art industry, have garnered even more international political and legal spotlight ever since. Be it the sensational news of the U.S. Senator who stood up to block the controversial bill that would have, if successful, enlisted ISPs, search engines and other businesses in blocking access to alleged websites infringing copyright. In the United Kingdom, concerns raised by consumer advocacy groups, who have routinely described the copyright laws of UK as suffocating and rooted in the obsolete, was mirrored by Prime Minister David Cameron in his speech in November 2010, during which he explained how Google said that they could not have founded their company in the UK as the copyright laws are too restrictive. This because, Google‟s search service is based on an algorithm that, simply put, is to take a snapshot of all the content on the Internet at one time, which in essence amounts to an interpretation of mass copying.

FROM THEN TO NOWIn its increasing interaction with digital technology, existing copyright laws are being deemed economically sub-optimal. The current system is described as „consumer regulating‟ and is criticized for being based on digital rights management. Does copyright stunt creative growth or does it merely recompense the artistic and inventive genius? Is it fair to regard it as the motor that drives the knowledge economy towards progress, or is it safe to assume that only the chosen and lucky few reap liberally from it? There are strong and extreme opinions in relation with copyrights out there, among people today. Copyright is exactly as its name suggests- the right to make copies. Obviously, the dilemma over or even the need for its existence did not come into being before the launch of the printing press. The mechanisation of making books by the bulk, without going through the laborious task of manually printing the letter or hand-binding the books was gone, and the trend of making copies grew rather ostentatiously, while getting cheaper in price. Thus was born copyright 300 years ago. Originally, to liberate literary works by limiting the term o exclusivity before they entered the public domain for anyone to reproduce, it slowly grew to cover sheet music, fine art, photography, motion pictures, architectural works, software and you-name-it! It was a symbolic revolt of the capitalist and democracy against monopoly and monarchy.

But today we observe that on one hand, there are people feeling smothered by the existence of redundant intellectual property in the entertainment and art industry, while on the other are those who cling to it and defend its importance to the financial backbone of the system.

WTO AND COPYRIGHTSThe WTO, as we know, is a step further from the General Agreement on Trade and Tariffs (GATT) in the essence that the former does not limit its dealings to the trade of goods, as was the mandate of its precedent, but also covers traded intangibles- services and intellectual property. The last part of the above statement, regarding WTO „s involvement with the trade of intellectual property, has been the focal point of a heated debate since the information technology (IT) revolution began gaining speed by becoming accessible to the common masses, rather than just scientists and academicians for use in research. This has led to the cropping up of services, custom-made to be enabled, used and experienced only through the medium of IT. In the forefront of it all, it came to be dubbed as the Information Age, as it made large volumes of data, libraries of intellectual data, available to anyone with access to the respective medium. However, this eventually led to people prodding even further and accumulating gen that would be considered tradable, not essentially because of the material invested to produce them but chiefly since much time, research and creativity has gone into devising them, or even confidential- that too at speeds and magnitudes never before imagined. Sometimes, without a trace. And that‟s how and why, intellectual property rights came into being. Intellectual property rights can be broadly divided into copyright and other creativity-related „neighbouring‟ intellectual property rights and industrial property that includes trademarks, patents and more. In relation with intellectual property rights, the TRIPS agreement is the most comprehensive outline of the set standards, means of enforcing these standards and methods of dispute settlement in case of deviation from these standards- the outcome of the WIPO Conventions of Paris and Berne. WIPO, in case you are wondering, is the World Intellectual Property Organisation that has been in existence for much longer than the WTO and specializes in dealing with only, you guessed right, intellectual property. An interesting question would be, why, while the WIPO continues to subsist should the WTO be concerned with intellectual property rights (IPR)? This is simply because, it is traded. As long as ideas remained just that, without any complex channels in place for them to be exchanged and expanded upon, it remained the sole realm of the WIPO. Once the trading scene of ideas became more profitable and multifarious, it came to be under the mandate of WTO as well. Given the fact that there is more than on actor participating in the same policy space, questions have also been raised about the extent of WTO‟s command, while criticisms about its passivity and alleged lack of proactivity have also surfaced.

THE COPYFIGHTTo understand how we can handle things at a time when copyrights are supposed to be becoming too restrictive and are possibly heading towards insignificance, we must understand the social purpose of having such rights in place at all, which is to “encourage and reward creative work”. The chosen targets to gain from these privileges are the „cultural entrepreneurs‟- the artists, performers, producers of phonograms and broadcasting organisations. In this context, we face the twin dilemma of

determining why and how, in the age of information technology are IPR deemed unjust and how do we go about devising a replacement such that the „cultural entrepreneurs‟ are continued to be reimbursed for their creativity and efforts towards performance, and go on with churning out pieces of art. While a majorly contested reason endorsing the phase-out of copyrights is that the actual artists barely receive any of the proceeds and given the oversupply of the said „good‟ in the respective market, the bargaining power enjoyed by the artists is on a very miniscule scale. But the basis for which IPR should be of any concern to the WTO at all, is prominently because of the claims of oligopoly in the entertainment and art industry, wherein a few large conglomerates exercise their clout over an astoundingly large part of the industry, while only the very cream of the artists earn considerably well. Moreover, given the power vested in these large establishments when dealing in the art and entertainment markets, allegations to the effect of accusations of limiting cultural exchange and stunting the growth and promotion of new art forms and variants have sprouted. This ongoing situation is in direct conflict with the WTO‟s motive of ensuring fair competition in all areas of trade. This is consistent with the implementation of control of anti-competitive practices in contractual licenses, articulated by Article 40 of the TRIPS Agreement which „recognizes that some licensing practices or conditions pertaining to intellectual property rights which restrain competition may have adverse effects on trade and may impede the transfer and dissemination of technology.‟ 1 Accordingly, member countries may adopt, consistently with the other provisions of the TRIPS Agreement, appropriate measures to prevent or control practices in the licensing of intellectual property rights which are abusive and anti-competitive. The agreement provides for a mechanism whereby a country seeking to take action against such practices involving the companies of another Member country can enter into consultations with that other Member, subject to domestic law and to the conclusion of mutually satisfactory agreements concerning the safeguarding of its confidentiality by the requesting Member. Similarly, a country whose companies are subject to such action in another Member can enter into consultations with that Member. A major part of the TRIPS Agreement was as already appropriated by the Berne Convention of the WIPO for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works. The point of departure from the set standards should be, it was decided, the existing level of protection under the Paris Act of 1971, which constitutes Article 1 to 21 of the said convention. Certain other technicalities surrounding copyrights that are often described as flawed are as followinga. Copyright protection has grown to be too long. With the exception of Seychelles, Djibouti and Afghanistan, the lowest copyright terms based on the authors‟ death is 30 years, following the artists‟ lifetime. There is near consensus regarding the opinion that the current terms are much longer than necessary to provide appropriate stimuli for creativity or to protect authors‟ legitimate interests in the sanctity of their creations. b. If copyrights were devised originally only as a means of economic incentive to reward creativity and ingenuity, then, going by the claims of 17 renowned economists, including five Nobel Prize winners, “it is highly unlikely that the economic benefits from copyright extension outweigh the additional costs.” c. Moreover, with the provision of the article 5(2) of the largely ratified Berne Convention affording „the enjoyment and the exercise of copyrights‟ to not being subject to any formality, makes every conception, design or creation with any input of creativity and affixed in some tangible medium, automatically protected by copyright law, whether the artist chooses for it to be so or not. Resultantly, there is no cataloguing procedure in place that registers copyrighted items, listing the uses they can be subject to legally or otherwise. Any ignorant reproduction of creative works produced since nearly a century ago, could get the „violator‟ into a run-in with the law. Cultural exchange has been unforeseeably damaged

by the existence of copyrights; unforeseeably because there exists no factual data points on the development of these expressive works in the non-existence of copyrights. With markets like P2P filesharing to trade intellectual property and platforms like iTunes, Picassa, Youtube and e-books to stage and parade works of art, Intellectual Property Rights, especially in the context of point of departure, can easily be proven to be outdated and the need for them to catch up with growing digitisation becomes more clearly defined and blatant. On the other hand, advocates of copyrights, still stubbornly emphasize on aspects such as the fineness of „individually‟ produced works of art that are shone with genius and entity‟s creativity, as against „networked mashups‟. They point at the very examples of medium such as Youtube and Flickr used by the opponents, to communicate the possibility of a co-existence between both the commercial and non-commercial channels of expression.

POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS AND DIRECTIONS FOR RESOLUTION-MAKING Reforms related to copyrights need not necessarily be limited to bringing down the lifespan of a copyright, be it in terms of creation/publication dates or artists‟ death. Nor does it have to be in the annihilation of intellectual property rights altogether. Suggestions of alternatives to copyright have been on the lines of General Public License and the Creative Commons which aim at two birds with one stone- tackling exploitation of artists while making incentive available and facilitating cultural exchange and enrichment while respecting the rights of the author/artist. Above Figure: Creative Commons Original Licenses. Consequently, while regarding dispute settlement- there is a glaring want for the transformation of domestic policy affecting the protection and broadcast of intellectual property, such that it becomes a globally binding principle that resolves the conflict between securing competitive balance and promoting common social goals through clean, well thought-out IP norms. 3
1 Overview of the TRIPS Agreement, Official WTO Website; 2 Imagining a World without Copyright, Marieke van Schijndel and Joost Smiers; 3 WIPO-WTO Relations and the Future of Global Intellectual Property Norms; Ruth L Okediji, Legal Studies Research Paper Series: Research Paper No. 09-07, University of Minnesota Law School;

Also Watch: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iu0ztxdsFis&feature=player_embedded