Saturday, January 2, 2016

The Deathbed of the WTO

Horace Campbell,

uncaptioned image from entry
Violence in the electoral process ... brought Kenya to the front of the international attention after 2008. It was after this post-election violence when the current President and Vice President were indicted before the International Criminal Court. In the face of this indictment, Kenya developed a Look-East policy and deepened its relationship with countries such as India, China and Iran. For two years after the elections of 2013 in Kenya, the public diplomacy of the leadership was to win friends and allies at the African Union and in the Group of 77 [see]. It was in this period of intense diplomacy when Kenya was chosen as the site for the 10th Ministerial Meeting [see]. But, the leaders of the USA and the EU did not sit quietly. As soon as it was clear that the political leaders in the Kenya political system were unprincipled, the western diplomats went to work. The Obama visit to Kenya and the inclusion of Kenya in the Power Africa project [see] was one indication of the pressures on the Kenyan leadership. After the Global Entrepreneurship Conference in August 2015 [see], various US transnationals such as IBM, Facebook, Starbucks and General Electric announced that they would open up new facilities in Nairobi. From Europe, it was made clear to the Kenyan exporters of flowers that if Kenya supported India and the so-called Doha Agenda, the floral business could be in trouble. Placing Kenya on the list of countries where European tourists should not travel was another weapon. Prior to the 10th Ministerial meeting, the government of France announced that it was safe for French tourists to travel to the Kenyan coast.
This kind of diplomacy set the stage for the 10th Ministerial meeting in Nairobi where before the meeting the USA made it clear that this meeting would drop the Doha development issues and the so called Africa Issues. The US delegation had dictated to the Kenyans that the Doha Development Agenda [see] should be kept out of the meeting and the political leadership of Kenya did not put up any resistance because, to them, their future before the ICC [see] was more important than the welfare of over 3 billion citizens of the Global South [see] who suffer from the unfair trading practices of the Global North. ... 

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