[ECOFIN] Resolution to preventing Monopoly in Food, Trade and Retail

After four sessions of very long, tiring debates with a great number of amendments, the delegates of ECOFIN has finally shown progress with a final resolution on the topic of preventing Monopoly in Food, Trade and Retail. The Resolution results in 13 votes for, 2 votes against and 2 abstentions in general.  Below is the final resolution sponsored by Colombia, United Arab Emirates, Japan, Brazil, Cambodia, the United Kingdom and Mexico, with the tremendous amendments by other fellow delegates such as Venezuela, The United States of America, etc.:

General Assembly Second Committee

Sponsors: Colombia, UAE, Japan, Brazil, Cambodia, UK, Mexico

Signatories: Venezuela, Canada, South Africa

Topic: Preventing monopoly on food production, trade and retail

 

The General Assembly,

 

Highly concerned about Article X of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade,

 

Acknowledging the presence of monopoly on food production, trade and retails,

 

Fully aware of the advantages and the disadvantages of monopoly,

 

Noting with satisfaction the past effort of the antitrust legislation to attack several monopolies with varying levels of success,

 

Taking in to consideration competition,

 

  1. Calls for Member States to extend assistance to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and emerging businesses in the food industry (such as small farmers and local businesses) in order for them to compete in the market, which includes but is not limited to:

    a. Government loan guarantee for SMEs which meet the following qualifications:

i. possessing adequate collateral,

ii. possessing evidence of having made a minimum amount of profit,

iii. voluntarily agreeing to government’s supervision of inquiry into business practices,

    1. Reduced rates of profits tax as incentive for those businesses,

    2. A program to integrate them into the labour market or other professions as appropriate so as to prevent unemployment for those businesses that find themselves forced out of business by big corporations;

  1. Encourages Member States to increase awareness of food monopolies and oligopolies so as to strengthen consumer rights in the following ways, including but not limited to consumer associations;

  2. Further urges Member States to protect the human rights of workers employed in food oligopolies and/or monopolies by applying ‘no exploitation’ practices in methods including but not limited to:

    1. Providing minimum labour protections, including a 24-hour rest period,

    2. A fair minimum wage,

    3. A limitation on weekly hours of work,

    4. Ensuring the necessary health benefits for workers,

    5. Training and increasing the number of labor standards inspection officers effectively to stop illegal labor practices;

  3. Further calls for MEDCs to provide the necessary aid to LEDCs to carry out the aforementioned actions, with the following conditions:

    1. All aid shall only be done by MEDCs voluntarily,

    2. Transparency shall be ensured between MEDCs and LEDCs by means of a regular report on the efficiency and effectiveness of the aid given;

  4. Calls for a stronger relationship between labor unions and local government by the establishment of a ranking system and regular reports to the department of labor on the aspects of:

  1. Working hours,

  2. Wage,

  3. Safety procedures

  4. Healthcare,

  5. Union friendliness.