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Doha summit - February 5th, 2007
Part of the goals of the Doha talks is to amend existing trade practices to assist the poor countries.
Western countries are eager to press ahead with "trade-related" issues such as investment and intellectual property rights, where they feel they have a competitive advantage, the West remains stubbornly resistant to "free trade" in the more traditional areas of agricultural goods and textiles, where liberalisation would certainly help developing countries but to the disadvantage of vested interests in the European Union (E.U.) and the United States.
Open trade is not just an economic opportunity, it is a moral imperative. Trade creates jobs for the unemployed. When we negotiate for open markets, we are providing new hope for the world's poor.
It is salutary that this Summit has recognised trade as one vital component to achieving sustainable development.
There have been radical changes in the world over the past years. Interdependence among nations has increased due to globalization. The problems facing the international community became interlocked, which requires a comprehensive universal vision that would enable our countries to face the challenges more effectively, and help them to realize the balance between the requirements of security and prerequisites of development, which are closely linked since collective security is tied to collective solidarity.
The Doha Development Agenda is not the answer to every problem, nor should it attempt to be. But it provides a chance to make a difference.
Leadership in our increasingly global and interdependent world is about the art of cooperation and consensus. It is about defining common goals and interests, and of coherently managing the complex interdependence of global issues. This can only be successfully achieved through the full and effective participation of all countries. The world needs a reaffirmation of our choice of multilateralism over unilateralism; stability over uncertainty; consensus over conflict. This Summit, which comes at an important time, is an essential reaffirmation of these values.
Agriculture: is and has always been a fundamental sector and for many developing countries, agriculture is an issue of life or death. Agriculture is critical to the successful conclusion of the negotiations. Ambitious liberalization in this sector can offer big potential gains for all countries, particularly developing countries.
I welcome the reaffirmation by this Summit of the commitment taken at Doha to the objective of duty, quota-free market access for products originating from least developed countries.
Market access is vital but more is also needed in other areas. Investments are needed in human resources, in institutions and in building the physical infrastructure for trade to take place.
The solution to environmental and other challenges lies in sound domestic policies and in reaching enforceable global agreements and standards.
In order to establish a lasting alliance we must first of all resolve the issues which are the cause of major imbalances in the world, both in the political and in the economic and social arenas. If not, we are only providing patchwork and short-term solutions which will ultimately fail.
For this purpose we must first analyse and accept political responsibilities throughout history, since nothing is spontaneously born and everything has its own defined origin. Mistakes have been made which should be recognised both in the field of public opinion and by official institutions. None of the proposals for an alliance will prove efficient unless we do not close those historical wounds which are the cause of this misunderstanding.
We cannot ask peoples to join abstract projects based on the ideas of academic and cultural development while they suffer poverty and hunger. Hunger, a terrible term which should have disappeared long ago from the words used in our planet.
India sees the bilateral engagements with the Asian countries as building blocs of a broader Asian Economic Community that could be an 'arc of advantage' for peace and shared prosperity, to quote the Prime Minister.
The consequences of the failure of the Doha round would be too grave for our economies and for the global multilateral trading system
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