Kairos lobbies WTO

By on February 1, 2006

Kairos, a Canadian ecumenical justice coalition, joined the Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance (EAA) and other groups in lobbying national governments and delegates to the 6th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in Hong Kong last December. Kairos, whose members include the Anglican Church of Canada, urged governments to work toward achieving just trade practices. Countries must be allowed to chart their own development path, “including the ability to safeguard local markets that provide an affordable, reliable and healthy source of food,” said Kairos in a press statement. Prior to the WTO meeting, the EAA and Christian Conference of Asia (CCA) organized an inter-faith pre-conference in Hong Kong, which focused on church contributions to the debates on trade. The conference released a statement urging the dismantling of the trade negotiations. The statement cited the WTO’S Agreement on Agriculture, which they said had made food production “the monopoly of large corporations which, through the current negotiations, aim at further reducing protection to farmers through tariffs or subsidies, while the rich nations use protectionism for their agribusiness.” Small farmers have watched their livelihoods destroyed because of this agreement, it added.

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