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Christian World Service - Collision in Cancun

Collision in Cancun

"The failure of the World Trade Organisation talks in Cancun, Mexico is no surprise," says Jill Hawkey Director of Christian World Service (CWS).

Throughout the negotiations developing countries made clear their opposition to the aggressive nature of the talks and when the large delegations from the European Union and the United States put huge pressure on these countries they did not buckle. Developing countries have real and legitimate concerns about the current trading system that works to benefit the interests of huge Transnational Corporations and the rich countries.

The G21 led the offensive by opposing the introduction of the Singapore issues of investment, trade facilitation, government procurement and trade facilitation to the discussions. They also stood firm once it became clear that the EU and the USA were not prepared to concede anything in the area of agriculture which was widely seen as critical to the success of the talks.

"These tensions have been brewing for a long time," said Ms Hawkey. "There is a huge gulf between those living in poverty and those who not only consume a disproportionate share of the world's resources but also dominate global decision making processes. These two worlds collided in Cancun."

"Perhaps now the trade negotiators might take some time to listen to the serious concerns of farmers, workers and people who have had enough of exploitation and who no longer want to see the environment destroyed."

"The WTO talks foundered because they were not fair. Free trade will not bring about prosperity for all. The rich countries have not got where they are today by allowing unfettered international access to their economies. They have protected their markets and their nascent industries," says Jill Hawkey.

The WTO talks collapsed this morning when a group of delegates walked out of the final session of the Ministerial meeting.

For further comment and information contact Jill Hawkey 021 267 2278

Christian World Service is the Development, Justice and Aid Agency of the Conference of Churches in Aotearoa New Zealand

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