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Annan Calls For Restructuring Trade

Annan Again Calls For Restructuring Trade In Favour Of Poor Nations

New York, Sep 25 2006 3:00PM

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today again called on the world’s wealthy countries to “go the extra mile” to re-balance the rules of the trading system in favour of the poor and push ahead as soon as possible with the so-called Doha Round of talks which seeks to achieve such a restructuring.

“Setbacks in the Doha talks have led some to consider settling for something less than a true development round – or for no round at all. That must not happen,” Mr. Annan said in a message to the UN message to the World Trade Organization (WTO) Public Forum in Geneva.

“This Forum provides a chance to reflect on the rules of international trade, and how they affect people's lives. It is a reminder that opening up global trade is essential, if we are to reach the Millennium Development Goals by 2015,” he added, referring to the targets of slashing a host of ills, such as extreme hunger and povertΌ, high infant and maternal mortality and lack of access to education and health care, all in the next nine years.

The Doha Round has been in limbo for many months, partly over subsidies that wealthy countries grant their agricultural industry and tariff and other measures that impede access to such markets by poorer nations, and Mr. Annan has issued numerous appeals for progress, most recently at the Non-Aligned Movement summit in Havana earlier this month.

“I join developing and least developed countries in calling for the round to resume as soon as possible,” he said in today’s message. “Our countries, and our people, need and deserve no less in order to lift tem selves out of poverty. I urge WTO members to go the extra mile (and) make a trade deal possible.”


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