In December, the Ninth WTO Ministerial Conference will open in Bali, Indonesia. Agriculture, and the links between trade and poverty alleviation, food security, and environmental sustainability, will appear again as key issues in the negotiations. The new Road to Bali blog series will provide analysis and dialogue about the critical issues being discussed in the official negotiations, civil society, and research circles, with a particular focus on the negotiations' potential implications for developing countries.

Much like the 1952 Hollywood film of the same name, the WTO’s road to Bali has been largely a series of misadventures and misunderstandings, and has thus far had a very open-ended conclusion. In the film, when one main male character (George) wins the affections of both leading ladies, the other main male character (Harold) demands that the film continues and asks the audience to stay so they can see what happens next. The stalled Doha round negotiations have left global audiences, just like the film’s audience in 1952, waiting to see how the story will turn out.

Over the next few weeks, we will try to touch on several of the many issues and interests that will be discussed in Bali, focusing specifically on the overall implications for developing countries’ economic growth and food security. Our hope is that this next round of negotiations will result in a substantive agreement that will not leave developing countries, like Harold, feeling left out in the cold.

The Road to Bali blog series is intended to provide research-based information. Respectful, relevant comments and discussions are welcomed via the comment section below.

You can also follow daily updates on the 9th Ministerial Conference on ICTSD's Bridges.

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