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Christian World Service - Talk Trade

Talk Trade

The collapse of the World Trade Organisation talks today in Cancun, Mexico, is a signal for a radical revision of the trade agenda.

"What is missing," said Jill Hawkey, National Director of Christian World Service (CWS), "is an understanding of how the majority of the world live. The 1.2 billion people living in poverty have a right to a better future. They are in urgent need of food, clean water, healthcare, and education - the basics of existence. This was not even a discussion in Cancun."

Countries in Europe, the United States, Australia and New Zealand built their economies by using subsidies, tariff protections, publicly funded infrastructure development and free services like health and education. Once again these same countries showed that they were unwilling to let developing countries have the same opportunities.

"Trade does matter and it can enhance world prosperity, but it needs to be based on fair principles," said Ms Hawkey.

Christian World Service has today released a new report, Talk Trade, outlining fair trade principles which it believes will improve people's access to a decent livelihood.

The seven core principles address:

· the right of all people to food and a decent livelihood,

· the right for developing countries to support domestic industry,

· fair market access for developing countries and fair prices for commodities,

· national control of basic services,

· regulation of Transnational Corporations and foreign investment,

· protection of traditional knowledge from exploitation and access to essential medicines,

· a fairly negotiated just international trade system.

Copies of the report are available from CWS, phone 03 366 9274.

For further comment and information contact Jill Hawkey 021 267 2278

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