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12/08/13 -  Progreso Weekly (Miami) - What ALBA nations told the WTO 

(Joint communiqué to the Ninth WTO ministerial conference from Antigua &
Barbuda, Bolivia, Cuba, Dominica, Nicaragua, Saint Vincent & the
Grenadines, Saint Lucia, and Venezuela, members of the Bolivarian Alliance
for the Peoples of Our America.)

One of our main core beliefs is that trade must be one of the instruments
that ensures the well-being of our peoples. Consequently, we demand the
signing of fair and balanced Agreements. ALBA_member_states

We believe that the Ministerial Conference is a great opportunity to start
to address the asymmetries in world trade and ensure a fairer participation
of the developing countries in the international trade.

The need for compliance with judgments issued by the WTO Dispute Settlement
Body by members, especially when the Injured Party is a small vulnerable
Economy and the Offending Party is a developed country, must be addressed in an
effort to maintain the integrity of the World Trade Organization and its
respective organs.

We wish to reaffirm our view that the Doha Round negotiations provide the
necessary conditions for trade to be an instrument for social change, not
only to create wealth, but also to distribute it equitably. Trade should be
an instrument that goes beyond the human being as a potential consumer,
cares for Mother Earth and points to the need to bring an end to the
unsustainable patterns of consumption and production that characterize
today's world economy.

We are convinced that the Doha Work Program must be kept as the WTO core
agenda, and the lack of result in the Doha agenda does not mean that it
reflects an obsolete agenda, like some claim, but rather the negative of
the main developed countries to take on new commitments which would revert,
somehow, the negative effects of the Uruguay round on developing countries.

We are firmly committed in defending multilateralism and we reject the
excuse of developed countries to promote plurilateral approaches to achieve
their interests, diminishing the policy space of the countries of the
south, through the establishment of new disciplines with higher standards
and in detriment of the WTO and the unity of developing countries.

We are resolved in rejecting non-transparent and non-inclusive negotiating
mechanisms, in order to impose unbalanced outcomes, in detriment of
developing countries.

We emphasize that the agricultural matters, especially the matter related
to the trade-distorting subsidies should be resolved according to the
guidelines clearly set out in the Doha Ministerial Declaration, on the
basis of which particular needs and concerns of the developing and least
developed countries must be addressed with priority.

Being committed to our peoples, the Member States of the Bolivarian
Alliance for the Peoples of Our America stand in defense of our industrial
sectors and jobs, which must not be compromised by new abusive grants in
the framework of the Ninth WTO Ministerial Conference.

We believe this is a great time to rethink the multilateral trading system
on the basis of concepts such as solidarity, complementarity and fair
trade.

We urge all the peoples of the world to mobilize in order to reach a true
dimension of development and bring an end to the existing world economic
order which affect the multilateral trading system and place it to the
service of shabby interests.

WHAT CUBA SAID TO THE WTO

(Excerpts from statement to the WTO conference in Bali by Cuba's Vice
Minister for Foreign Trade and Foreign Investment, Ileana Bárbara Núñez
Mordoche. This is a transcript of the simultaneous interpretation.)

For the past 50 years, Cuba has suffered a trade and financial embargo
imposed by the government of the United States, which is the largest
violation of the principles and standards of the multinational trading
system in history.

It is inconceivable that the champion of trade liberalization also is
failing to implement the rulings and resolutions of the [WTO's] Dispute
Settlement body. As a result, Cuba wishes to reaffirm its commitment and
defense of multilateralism, and calls upon developing countries to reject
the plurilateral approach, in view of the alleged failure to make progress
in the WTO.

There is a need to avoid jeopardizing the states of the countries of the
south through excessively high standards.


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