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Failure at Cancun a major blow for the world's poor

CAFOD, the Caritas member agency in England and Wales, has expressed deep regret at the failure of the trade talks held in the past few days in the Mexican city of Cancun.

"It is clear that the EU and US bear a heavy responsibility for the failure of Cancun," said Head of Public Policy George Gelber.

He said trade and investment issued relevant to the interests of the rich countries dominated procedings. Development and agriculture - what he called the 'real issues of world trade' were pushed aside.

Gelber points out that before Cancun, the EU refused to listen to over 100 countries said that they did not want to discuss the four new issues.

But he said some comfort can be taken from the way the developing countries organised and asserted themselves in a way they have not done before.

But the poor countries remain the losers.

"With the rich countries turning more and more to bilateral deals, developing countries will be in even weaker positions to get fair trade rules," he said. "Therefore, the WTO must not be allowed to fade into irrelevance. Developed and developing countries face a huge task in rescuing the World Trade Organisation from impending obscurity."

Independent Catholic News

CAFOD | Cancun failure will hurt developing countries most | Viewpoint: Blame game over WTO failure | Rough Guide to the World Trade Organisation
The Battle Over Trade (BBC Cancun site)
The Battle of Cancun (Slate)
Collapse of WTO Trade Talks (Washington Post)
Blow to world economy as trade talks collapse (The Guardian)
Developed nations responsible for failure of Cancun meeting: India (UNI)
Cancun: developing countries flex their muscles (Independent Catholic News)
Cancun talks collapse over rich's rigidity (The Daily Star, Bangladesh)
France: Everyone loses with Cancun failure (Xinhua)
Church charities urge WTO to bring in trade reforms (The Tablet)
Catholic agency lobbies British politicians on world trade rulesUS Conference of Catholic Bishops: Statement on the WTO Meetings in Cancun | Trade Negotiations Must Address Poverty Reduction

16 Sep 2003