Barry Coates, Director of the World Development Movement (www.wdm.org.uk), will be speaking at a free public meeting in the Oxford Town Hall at 7pm, on Thursday 4th September.
In a series of public events in September organized by Oxford for Trade Justice, Barry Coates will be speaking about the impact of GATS (General Agreement on Trades and Services) on developing countries and in the UK. Also at the meeting will be Tom Lines, adviser to Oxfam on the Common Agricultural Policy, and John Lister from the National Union of Journalists.
The World Trade Organization (WTO) is meeting in Cancun, Mexico, between 10th and 14th September. Members of the WTO (such as the UK, Europe and the US) will be involved in trade negotiations on different issues which are linked together so that countries can make trade-offs between different agreements, such as GATS. The agenda includes four new issues: investment, competition policy, transparency in government procurement, and trade facilitation (i.e. custom procedures), as well as the huge number of on-going negotiations on issues like agriculture, market access and drug patent rules.
Trade Justice campaigners are calling for the WTO to:
Insist that the World Trade Organisation's remit is not expanded to include new issues of investment, competition policy, transparency in government procurement and trade facilitation
Stop forcing poor countries to open their markets; and instead to champion poor countries' right to manage their own economies
Regulate big business and their investments to ensure people and the environment come before profits
Stop rich countries promoting the interests of big business through trade interventions that harm the poor and the environment
Ensure trade policy is made in a fair, transparent and democratic way
Events organized by Oxford for Trade Justice during September aim to highlight the effects of ‘free trade’ and provide a forum for debate about the effect WTO negotiations will have both on developing countries and within the UK.
A march, rally and street festival, featuring the “GATS Monster” (a 30ft Chinese Dragon) will be held in Oxford on 13th September, whilst the WTO is meeting. This will begin at 11am, leaving from Manzil Way, East Oxford, and marching to Broad Street in the centre of town. There will also be street theatre and stalls.
Oxford for Trade Justice have planned several other talks on 10th, 18th and 25th September relating to migration and displacement, the environment and workers rights.
For further information, please contact Julieanne Porter, firstname.lastname@example.org or tel: 01865 772 737
Note to the Editors - The Oxford for Trade Justice coalition includes supporters from: Oxfam, Friends of the Earth, Christian Concern for One World, Oxford Quakers, the Campaign to Close Campsfield, Brazil Solidarity, Peru Support, the Fairtrade Coalition, Christian Aid, the Oxford World Development Movement Group, the West Papua Rights Campaign, Globalise Resistance, Oxfordshire Green Party, Amicus-MSF (Oxford General & Publishing Branch) and the Trades Council.