“Face it, Doha is dead”: time to look at alternatives to WTO

Press release - 24 July, 2006
As Director General of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Pascal Lamy failed to break the deadlock in global trade talks today, Greenpeace called on governments to face the facts, Doha is dead. Greenpeace called for this opportunity to be used to build a new global trade system based on equity and sustainability.

The current deadlock was caused by developed countries, mainly the US,who refused to cut their massive support measures for farmers. At thesame time, the US and EU were seeking to significantly increased accessfor their industrial goods and services to developing nations markets'.Despite claiming that they were willing to be flexible at last week'sG8 meeting, the world's richest nations failed to bend.

"As on climate change, Bush had nothing but sweet words to offer ontrade; he is squarely to blame for this current impasse. The US'sunwillingness to wean their large scale-agro businesses off theirunfair support is an outrage" said Daniel Mittler, Trade Policy Advisorof Greenpeace International. "Governments must now abandon the Dohatalks that have been going nowhere over the last five years".

"The WTO failure today proves yet again, that the time of bulldozingthe interests of the developing world has passed," added Mittler. "Theglobal community must now act to put an end to trade policies thatpromote the destruction of ecosystems and undermine the interests ofthe poor."

Greenpeace condemned the intransigency of the United States and theEuropean Union and congratulated key developing countries for notaccepting a deal full of "empty promises and 'peanuts'" in return forunacceptable concessions in the negotiations areas of industrial goodsand services.

Greenpeace now urges the global community to conduct a complete socialand environmental assessment of the global trade system. As first step,the negotiations to clarify the relationship between trade rules andMultilateral Environmental Agreements, such as the Kyoto Protocol, needto be shifted to an independent forum. The International Court ofJustice and the United Nation's International Law Commission are,according to Greenpeace, more appropriate institutions to take thesenegotiations forward. "Multilateral alternatives to the WTO exist. Nowis the time for governments to explore them" concluded Mittler.

VVPR info: For further information and/or interviews, please contact: Daniel Mittler, Trade Policy Advisor, Greenpeace International, +49 171 876 5345