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Leave the 'Green Room' to the high rollers, Jim

Leave the 'Green Room' to the high rollers, Jim

The Greens are challenging the Government to back the world's developing countries by rejecting the final statement of the WTO Ministerial meeting in Cancun.

Green Co-leader Rod Donald has sent a fax to Trade Minister Jim Sutton urging him to consider the damage signing up to the text would do to New Zealand's international reputation.

"The Labour Government is at an international crossroads. Jim Sutton can either side with the rich countries by supporting a statement that not only perpetuates unfair trade rules but also extends them into new areas such as investment.

"Or he can stand with the world's poor countries - lead by the G22 group - and back their calls for an end to 'rich world' production subsidies, and for the removal of investment and other 'new issues' from the World Trade Organisation agenda.

"No WTO statement at all would be infinitely preferable to one which entrenches and extends exploitation," Mr Donald said.

"We are not confident that Mr Sutton will make the right choice, especially now he has been invited to join the 'inner circle' of ministers in the so-called 'green room', where the final deal is struck in secret while more than 100 countries are shut out.

"The Cancun meeting has reinforced that the WTO does not deliver fairness and justice in trade, let alone live up to its own claims of transparency and democracy.

"The Labour Government should rediscover its internationalist roots instead of being seduced into playing with the 'high rollers' in the green room.

"Jim, don't gamble with the lives of the world's poor just to win a few token concessions for New Zealand," Mr Donald said.

ENDS

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