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Petition for Trade Justice

over 6,000 signatures!

A delegation of Manchester campaigners had the opportunity to present our petition to Peter Mandelson, EU Trade Commissioner, in Edinburgh on July 6th at the start of the G8 meeting!

Petition for Trade Justice and Debt Cancellation

 

To the UK Government and the EU Commission.

 

We call on the UK Government and the EU Commission to meet the Millennium Development Goals of halving poverty by 2015 through

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Securing fair and just trade rules in the Doha development round

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Canceling the debts of the worlds poorest nations

Peter Mandelson is responsible for the EU trade negotiations at the WTO.  Ultimately he carries responsibility for the whole of the EU trade agreements.  Although he has to secure the agreement of the trade ministers of all (25) member states, as Commissioner he can take initiatives and exercise considerable leverage on the issues he wishes to promote or block.  He has presented many papers and speeches apparently supporting pro-poor solutions for the trade negotiations.

The delegation had a half hour meeting with Peter Mandelson and pressed him to set and early date for the end to export subsidies.  His response was great confidence that an end to export subsidies could be secured across all rich countries, but less confidence of a target of 2010 given the delays in concluding the round (unlikely before 2006).  When pressed he conceded that if necessary the EU would end export subsidies unilaterally, but was still confident a better multilateral agreement would be achieved.

Peter spent much of the meeting trying to convey the difficulties in negotiating agreements which didn't have unintentional negative consequences (as has been noted in relation to ending the sugar regime).  The world trade rules are extremely complicated and there are existing special protection for trade from, for example ACP (African, Caribbean, Pacific) countries within the U.

Our closing exchange brought the discussions back into sharp focus on the awesome responsibility he carries for the lives of millions.  The World Bank estimates that a pro-poor Doha settlement would lift 150 million out of poverty, saving about 7,500 lives every day (almost 3 million a year!).  To his credit, he accepted that responsibility.

 

 

Click on a picture for full size

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Handing over the petition

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Our delegation

Stephen Pennells, Chris Worrall, Dave Pearce, Anne Hillier, Tom Raines

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Facing an awesome responsibility for the life or death of millions

Last edited 19/06/2006