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Anti-WTO Group Says "We Told You So"

Anti-WTO Group Says "We Told You So" As Mad Mike Sweats In Qatar

News that World Trade Organisation Director-General and former Christchurch MP is "nervous" as the WTO Ministerial Meeting begins in Doha, Qatar comes as no surprise to GATT Watchdog.

GATT Watchdog was one of the organisations behind Friday's march and rally against the WTO and corporate globalisation in Christchurch.

"We predicted that Mike Moore would further damage the credibility of the WTO - and history has proved us right," says GATT Watchdog spokesperson, Aziz Choudry.

"When Mike Moore first put his hat into the ring for the Director-Generalship, we predicted that his free market evangelism would bring the conflicts within the WTO to a head and would dent what credibility the organization had. We said that the previous New Zealand government had inadvertently launched a powerful weapon against the WTO by backing Mr Moore. We were right."

"After all the hype and bluster, under Moore, the much-vaunted Millennium Round of global trade talks never got off the ground at Seattle in 1999 as the meetings were engulfed by tens of thousands of protesters opposed to corporate globalisation and split apart by internal conflicts."

"Now, in spite of all the bullying and badgering of Third World WTO members who constitute the majority of the membership, and despite cynical attempts to link the push towards free trade with the so-called war against terrorism, there is a very real chance that Doha will be as big a failure in the eyes of the world's free market zealots as Seattle was. Internal divisions within the 142-country body are probably even more marked than at Seattle."

"Many Third World countries have been calling for no expansion of the WTO agreements while they shoulder the burden of implementing existing commitments to open their economies. While Moore pronounces himself to be a friend of the poor and an ambassador for small countries at the WTO, he has consistently sidelined and rejected the positions of many Third World countries who have seen increased poverty and desperation precisely as a result of the policies advanced in the name of free trade. Like his former colleague in the Labour Party, Trade Negotiations Minister, Jim Sutton, Mr Moore is calling for a new round of trade talks covering new issues."

"In August 2000 when he came to Christchurch we awarded Mike with the Unguided Missile Award, for services rendered to undermining the credibility and functions of the WTO. He has done an effective job. We congratulate him and wonder who he is really working for. Perhaps he is part of an elaborate plot to delegitimise the WTO! "

"Moore is desperate to salvage some tangible achievement from his 3 years at the WTO before he hands over to former Thai Deputy PM, Supachai Panitchpakdi in less than a year's time. Or else he will be judged an abject failure.
But one thing is for sure, whatever can be salvaged from the Qatar meeting will be massaged by spin doctors and sold to us as a great success."

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