WTO tells China to take on more governance work

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – The World Trade Organization’s leader, Pascal Lamy, told a Chinese group in Beijing Sunday 24 March that China “A harmonious society in China will be difficult to achieve without a more harmonious world. China has to become an agent of convergence in global issues.” Lamy was addressing the China Development Forum. “China’s […]

Taking stock: Geneva’s international organizations’ renovations

WHO headquarters in Geneva

Improved work space and better energy use give breath of fresh air to tired buildings GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – Fipoi is not an acronym that is as familiar as many in Geneva, where they abound as the names we know for international organizations, but without Fipoi most of them would not be here. Monday the federal […]

Animal protests: deaths of seals and Swiss brown bear

PETA protests Canada, Norway appeal to allow more seal hunting

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – Protesters took to the streets of Geneva this week, in front of the World Trade Organization, to protest efforts by Canada and Norway to allow more open  hunting of seals. A partial ban allows only a limited number of seals to be culled annually; Peta, an activist group, says that the allowed […]

WTO interviews candidates for Lamy’s job


GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – The World Trade Organization this week will be interviewing nine candidates nominated by their governments to head the organization when Pascal Lamy steps down as director general. Lamy, who is French, was elected to the job in 2005 and in 2009 he was given a second four-year term. The nine are: Alan […]

Nobel laureate Amartya Sen criticizes Europe on economic management

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – Amartya Sen, Nobel prize laureate and prolific contributor to economic thought, criticized Europe for coupling economic reforms and austerity measures in its attempt to resolve its debt issues. “Binding economic reform and austerity together is a political disaster” said Sen, pointing in particular to the current example of Greece. He indicated that he […]

European fears over GM foods fueled by new French study


Second year crops linked to rat tumours GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – Europe’s reluctance to embrace genetically modified foods was reinforced Wednesday 19 September with publication of a French study by Gilles-Eric Seralini of the University of Caen that appears to provide evidence that some GM corn from Monsanto may be unsafe for rats that took part […]

Swiss business: Swatch buys suppliers, Roche hurt by franc, franc up against $


WTO in Geneva predicts slower exports in 2012 GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – The high Swiss franc went higher against the dollar Wednesday 11 April, as it “appreciated against 11 of 16 major peers”, Bloomberg reported late 11 April, noting that “strengthened against the dollar after the country sold bonds amid demand for its assets as a […]

WTO upholds Boeing decision, outcome remains unclear

EU, Japan and US China officially open trade dispute with China over rare minerals GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – The seven-year old battle between the USA and the European Union over possible subsidies for Boeing appears no closer to resolution following Monday’s decision by the WTO (World Trade Organization) to uphold its previous decision that Boeing did […]

Landmines, Internet freedom, Syria keep Geneva busy this week (correction)

(Land mine information corrected) GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – Geneva’s international profile was particularly high during the past week. The Human Rights Council condemned Syria but also highlighted growing concerns over Sri Lanka, the World Trade Organization picked up the Acta Internet freedom debate, Cern announced it will be using cloud computing to help handle massive LHC […]

World Bank boss rounds on US, calling Doha Round a “disappointment”

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – Robert Zoellick, head of the World Bank, blamed US President Barack Obama for what he called the failure of the US to take a leadership role in seeing that the Doha Round of trade negotiations succeeds. Zoellick, in a prepared speech Monday 18 July, said “I won’t sugarcoat it.  Negotiators from key […]