Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

Bullying And Threats Set The Scene For Doha

Arena P O Box 2450, Christchurch Tel: (03) 366 2803 Email: arena.nz@clear.net.nz

MEDIA RELEASE 9 November 2001: For immediate release

BULLYING AND THREATS SET THE SCENE FOR DOHA

The WTO ministerial kicks off today in Doha against the backdrop of threats and coercion by the major powers against poorer countries.

'The Doha meeting is turning into a re-run of previous ministerial meetings in Singapore and Seattle', said Professor Jane Kelsey for ARENA. 'The concerns of poorer countries are being swept aside and their representatives are being treated with contempt, despite the WTO's requirement for consensus decision making.'

Veteran WTO journalist Chakravarthi Raghavan predicts a repeat of the process in Seattle that paralysed the Seattle meeting. (www.sunsonline.org)

WTO members will be asked to sign a Declaration forwarded by Director General Mike Moore and Chair of the WTO General Council Stuart Harbinson of Hong Kong China which has not been signed off by the Council.

The draft includes most of the important issues for the US and EU and leaves out the key concerns of poorer countries.

There is no commitment to revisit the Uruguay Round agreements that have left many countries poorer in real terms or make the major powers deliver on their promises, especially in textiles and agriculture. Nor will it revise the TRIPS agreement that is blocking affordable access to life saving medicines.

Despite strong opposition, the Declaration includes the 'new issues' being pushed by the US and EU of investment, competition, government procurement, environment and labour standards.

The draft Declaration has been pulled together at secret talks in Mexico and Singapore involving about 21of the 142 member states. The refusal to revise the document at the General Council last week has set the stage for major conflict in Doha. Even if the Declaration is signed, these conflicts are bound to intensify.

A number of African countries have been told they will get cheap life-saving drugs if they agree to the document. Others, notably Bolivia and the Dominican Republic, have been threatened with aid reductions.

'If globalisation is so good for poorer countries, why is it necessary to use bullying tactics to force them to agree? The New Zealand government is complicit in this abusive process. It's time they put principle before self-interest and support a set of trade rules that genuinely benefit poorer countries', said Professor Kelsey.

Contact: Jane Kelsey, Action, Research, Education Network of Aotearoa, (ARENA), ph 09 579 1030

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Hong Kong Protest Movement

Nearly ten weeks after the huge Hong Kong protests began, managing to still get 1.7 million people onto the streets in the rain is a testament to how strong the pro-democracy movement has become...

The pro-democracy protests enjoy huge support among Hong Kong’s youth, partly because the democratic systems currently at risk have only a limited time span. More>>

ALSO:

 
 

Welfare: More Measures To Help Those Facing Homelessness

Ministers have announced $54 million in Government funding for initiatives which will support at-risk individuals and whānau to stay in their existing tenancies. The funding will also provide additional wrap around services. More>>

ALSO:


Corrections: New Strategy On Māori Reoffending And imprisonment

Authentic co-design with Māori, incorporating a Te Ao Māori worldview, and greater connectedness with whānau are key elements of Hōkai Rangi, Corrections’ new departmental strategy designed to address the long-term challenge of Māori reoffending and imprisonment. More>>

ALSO:

Pacific Island Forum: Australia v Everyone Else On Climate Action

Traditionally, communiques capture the consensus reached at the meeting. In this case, the division on display between Australia and the Pacific meant the only commitment is to commission yet another report into what action needs to be taken. More>>

ALSO:

Unscoped Or Missed Damage: Resolution For Canterbury Owners Of On-Sold Homes

People with over-cap on-sold* properties in Canterbury can now apply for a Government payment so they can get on and repair their homes. More>>

ALSO:

Hamilton-Auckland: First Urban Growth Partnership Signed

New Zealand’s first urban growth partnership between the Government, local councils and mana whenua was signed at a meeting of mayors, chairs and ministers in Hampton Downs today. More>>

ALSO:

Vote On Action Next Week: Secondary Principals Walk From Negotiations

“Unfortunately we consider there is no further value in continuing negotiations at this point. The government has not been able to table an offer that will be acceptable to our members.” More>>

Patrol Car Stolen, Glocks Taken: Manhunt In Gore

The driver rammed the patrol car before fleeing on foot with Police chasing, also on foot. The man has then circled back around, stolen the patrol vehicle, which had the keys left in it, and rammed another Police car... Two Police-issued Glock pistols were stolen. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels