Geneva trade summit ‘must be WTO's last'

14 December 2011 - 11:45am
Press release

Lift threat to millions of jobs, says War on Want

Global trade ministers today face pressure to announce a formal end to their Doha negotiations amid warnings of millions of jobs at risk.

The call, made on the eve of the World Trade Organisation ministerial conference, comes from the charity War on Want, which has published research into the likely impact of further trade liberalisation through WTO negotiations.

According to War on Want's research, WTO proposals threaten more than seven million jobs in nine developing countries – Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Uruguay, Costa Rica, Indonesia, Philippines and Tunisia.

The charity warns that these jobs are in peril if the Geneva conference fails to accept the final closure of negotiations launched over ten years ago.

War on Want executive director John Hilary said: “The WTO has failed to deliver on every aspect of its supposed development agenda. The organisation's very credibility is now in question. The Doha round should be formally abandoned without further delay, and a new process put in train to undo the damage the WTO has already done.”

Talks over the Doha development agenda have lurched from crisis to crisis as ministerial summits collapsed when rich countries made abortive bids to force open developing countries' markets.

Last month, in the French city of Cannes, leaders of the G20 largest economies signalled the end of the Doha round and called for “fresh, credible approaches” to international trade negotiations.

Campaigners from nations including Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Indonesia and Philippines will set up an “Occupy WTO” tent opposite the conference venue, and promote alternative policies to tackle unemployment and poverty.

Hilary added: “If there is to be any recovery from the global economic crisis, this ministerial must be the WTO's last.”


NOTE TO EDITORS

CONTACT: Paul Collins, War on Want media office (+44) (0)20 7324 5054 or (+44) (0)7983 550728

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