The "free trade" pushed by the WTO encourages more electronic waste to be exported to developing countries, damaging the environment and human health.
The World Trade Organisation (WTO) promotes free trade for the gain of private interests, over and above our health and the environment. It is fatally flawed and is moving the world in the wrong direction - away from peace, security and sustainability. By stalling on issues that are crucial to poorer countries, the WTO faces a crisis of legitimacy. We interviewed some of our representatives and let them tell us why they are coming to Hong Kong:
Mr. Jean-Luc Roux, Head of Political and Business Unit, Greenpeace International:
I am coming to Hong Kong because I would like to block agreements that threaten the environment worldwide and make the people of the world poorer.
Mr. Daniel Mittler, Adviser for International Trade / WTO and Head of the Greenpeace Delegation at MC6, Greenpeace International:
I am coming to Hong Kong to highlight that free trade is causing damage to people and the environment and needs to be regulated. The Hong Kong government is portraying the Ministerial meeting as the "Pride of Hong Kong". But free trade leads to shameful business being done in Hong Kong. Electronic waste, for example, is being unloaded in Hong Kong and is causing harm to communities and nature in places such as Guiyu. Rather than pushing forward with further liberalization, governments should initiate a social and environmental review of the global trade system in Hong Kong. That would make the world proud!
Mr. Edward Chan, Toxics Campaigner, Greenpeace China:
I want to stop Hong Kong from using the name of "free trade" to allow and even encourage the trade of toxic electronic waste.
Mr. MK Tam, Campaign Manager, Greenpeace China:
I'm from Hong Kong. But I think it's too naive that the propaganda of our HK government portrays free-trade-at-all-costs as beneficial to all people. Too many cases in China demonstrate we must be aware of the environmental impacts brought by unregulated economic development.
Mr. Bernhard Obermayr, Programme Manager Resistance fACTory, Greenpeace Central and Eastern Europe:
I am coming to Hong Kong because I want to observe and influence the European Unions politics in the WTO in the field of the environment.
Want to learn more?
Read the weblog of the Greenpeace team in Hong Kong
Find out Greenpeace's position on the Meeting
Read Greenpeace's report "Trading away the last ancient forests"