WTO trade talks collapse 'welcome', says anti-poverty group

21 June 2007 - 4:35pm

War on Want welcomes the collapse of the WTO trade talks in Potsdam today (Thursday 21 June 2007).

John Hilary, Campaigns and Policy Director of the anti-poverty charity War on Want, said: "US and EU intransigence has finally killed the Doha round. Yet it has long been clear that these talks would never deliver a pro-development outcome. It is better to acknowledge failure now than to press ahead towards what was going to be a negative outcome for the world's poorest countries."

Hilary continued: "This final collapse of the WTO negotiations offers the chance of a new beginning. The world's major trading nations should step back and use the next few months to reflect on their failure. Alternative approaches are available, and the WTO will only survive if it embraces a new mandate which puts justice and equity for the poor above the dogma and self-interest of the rich."

War on Want noted that EU and US intransigence on agricultural trade had been matched only by their aggression when it came to their offensive interests. EU Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson had joined with his US counterpart Susan Schwab in demanding far-reaching cuts to the industrial tariffs of developing countries, even when it was clear that this would lead to widespread bankruptcies and redundancies.

Similarly, developing countries had come under intense pressure to give up key protections for their most vulnerable agricultural communities. Hilary added: "The hypocrisy of the EU and US in demanding market access in other countries yet still striving to protect their own producers has been staggering. A collapse is the best possible outcome in the circumstances, but the world's poorest countries deserved better."

For more information and interviews, please contact Paul Collins on +44 20 7983 550 728, or

20,000 rally for MidEast peace

11 June 2007 - 11:47am

Over 20,000 campaigners in London today demonstrated for a just Middle East peace by marking the 40th anniversary of the Six-Day War and the start of Israel's occupation.

Thousands set for Palestine rally demanding end to Israeli occupation

6 June 2007 - 11:22am

Thousands of campaigners in Britain will demonstrate on Saturday (9 June) for an end to Israel?s occupation of the Occupied Palestinian Territories, amid global events to mark the 40th anniversary of the Six Day War. It will be the first opportunity for the British public to hear a Palestinian minister in person.

In the line of fire

3 June 2007 - 1:00am

Scotland on Sunday

The water is ours!

31 May 2007 - 3:31pm

Singing against water privatisation in South Africa

Landless workers mobilise across Brazil

30 May 2007 - 5:12pm

Every April War on Want partner organisation the Landless Workers' Movement in Brazil (MST) hold a series of coordinated actions to protest the slow pace of agrarian reform. The protests - known as Red April - culminate on 17 April, the 11th anniversary of the killing of 19 small farmers by police.

'Health risks' study backs water challenge

23 May 2007 - 4:20pm

New claims that the privatisation of water delivery poses a growing threat to the lives of many poor people come today from a partner organisation of the British development charity War on Want.

Mandelson's open markets threaten farmers, workers and environment

21 May 2007 - 6:20pm

Coalition of European civil society groups urge EU Parliamentarians to reject the 'Global Europe' strategy.

Short peace bid amid Olmert storm

21 May 2007 - 6:18pm

Former British cabinet minister Clare Short is set for efforts to help secure a just peace in the Middle East amid growing pressure on Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert to resign over the Lebanon war.



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