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Monday, 04 April 2011

“Fairer and more equitable trade starts with the conclusion of the Doha Round”

“We cannot shut ourselves into our shells” but rather need to combat the “fear dominating debate in our societies,” said European Parliament Vice-President Stavros Lambrinidis (S&D, EL), at the 7th Parliamentary Conference on the WTO in Geneva. “The role of Parliaments in the global trade round lies not only in the ratification of the final agreement, but also in transmitting the public’s concerns to negotiators before a final deal is struck”, he added. […] In the conference's final outcome document, parliamentarians emphasise the “need for a strong and effective parliamentary dimension to the WTO and welcome the fact that, for the first time ever, an annual session of the Parliamentary Conference on the WTO took place on the premises of this intergovernmental organization”. The text also stresses the importance of concluding the Doha round of trade talks, as “it is imperative to change gear, fuelling and sustaining the momentum in order to bring the negotiations to a close by the end of the year”. Parliamentarians also mentioned the crucial links between trade liberalization and sustainable development, arguing for greater efforts at policy coherence among various global governance bodies such as the WTO, the IMF and the World Bank, the UN, and the ILO. After some tough negotiations among delegations, the outcome document calls on developed countries to provide “immediate, predictable, duty-free and quota-free market access on a lasting basis for all products originating from least developed countries”, but also insists that “developing economies that are advanced enough to do so, or declare themselves in a position to do so, should also contribute to this process”.

Source: European Parliament