Greens/EFA Group adopts WTO Policy Statement

10 Point Programme to Reform Global Trade Rules

Strasbourg, 5 July 2001

On the eve of a WTO Symposium on issues confronting the world trading system, the Greens/EFA Group in the European Parliament is calling for a stop to any new round of trade negotiations and for a major reform of the present world trade regime. The goal of sustainable development should become the primary purpose of world trade. The Group has published a critical analysis, together with proposals for a Ten Point Reform Programme. The full text of the Policy Statement, the Ten Point Reform Programme and a background briefing paper are available on the Greens/EFA website at:-

The Reform Programme calls for a halt to new trade issues being put on the agenda for negotiation in Qatar in November, a full review of each existing WTO agreement, a re-orientation towards the objective of sustainable development and the promotion of a truly democratic system of public policy-making where social and ecological justice and public policy take precedence over unfettered free trade.

Group President Paul Lannoye MEP (Belgium) said "Our 10 Point Reform Programme starts with a call for a stop to any new round of multilateral trade negotiations until the world has evaluated the impact of the last, Uruguay, Round and decided how it will deal with the existing unfinished business of implementing those trade rules. We wish to see a complete re-orientation of the goals of the WTO, because the objectives of corporate globalisation run counter to our aim of working towards a world that is socially just and environmentally sustainable."

"It is clear that the developing countries resent being bullied into accepting a new round of trade negotiations when the promises of the last round have not been fulfilled" said Caroline Lucas MEP (UK), Greens/EFA Co-ordinator on WTO issues. "In its present form, the WTO is unaccountable, undemocratic and unjust--indeed UNCTAD analysis shows that globalisation has actually contributed to a widening of the income gaps between North and South. We wish to see the WTO replaced by a more balanced set of institutions which will ensure that trade rules are responsive to the true problems facing us - poverty, disease and environmental degradation."

She added "The Rio +10 World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg next year should be the primary forum for making changes to the way we govern these issues at an international level and it simply makes no sense to launch into a new round of trade liberalisation now. In the longer term, the emphasis needs to be moved away from ever-greater international trade and competitiveness, and towards the rebuilding of local and regional economies across the world."

Steve Emmott
Greens/European Free Alliance Group
European Parliament
1047 Brussels
Tel/fax Brussels +32 2 284 2026

Tel. Strasbourg +333 88 17 3741

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