WTO talks collapse indicative of industrialised nations failure, Indian Jesuit says

A renowned Indian Jesuit and social activist, Fr Cedric Prakash, has slammed the collapse of the six-party talks in Geneva, which included Australia, as an indicator of the refusal of industrialised countries to put agriculture and trade of developing countries on the World Trade Organisation's agenda.

Fr Prakash told AsiaNews that the collapse of talks in Geneva of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) "is a clear indicator of how the industrialised nations of the world do not want to put the development of agriculture and trade of developing nations on the agenda".

Meanwhile, he says, developing nations continue to be subject to "rampant exploitation of resources".

The meetings took place between delegates from India, Australia, Brazil, Japan, the US and the EU. It was the US and EU members of the negotiations who, according to the Indian Trade Minister, "led to the collapse of the good prospects of the meeting".

Despite the promises given in the last G8, Brussels and Washington opposed the free choice by developing nations about which economic sectors to open up to foreign competition.

The Jesuit said: "For centuries, the so-called third world, that now has become the developing world, has been the receiving end of the global economy. After rampant exploitation of their resources, these nations are now subject to unfair trade practices that definitely help the rich to become richer and see the greater misery of the poorer countries."

The priest, who was recently awarded the French Legion of Honour, continued: "We have already seen in India how these practices have led to suicides by hundreds of poor farmers across the nation.

"In this context, therefore, the Church in industrialised countries must speak out loud and clear to governments and re-echo the words of Pope Benedict who, in his Encyclical Deus Caritas Est, says that 'because of a growth of the globalised economy, the social doctrine of the Church needs to be addressed in the context of dialogue with all those seriously concerned for humanity and for the world in which we live'."

Fr Prakash added: "The WTO has consistently maintained the role of exploiting developing nations, but the stand taken by almost 110 developing countries on behalf of subsistence, livelihood and security of their people is finally a step in the right direction."

Overcome WTO failure with hope of a better world (AsiaNews 25/7/06)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
World Trade Organisation

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26 Jul 2006