Overcome WTO failure with hope of a better world
by Nirmala Carvalho

Informal six-party talks in Geneva between India, Australia, Brazil, Japan, the United States and the European Union led to nothing. Fr Prakash told AsiaNews: "As the pope says, it is the Church in industrialized nations that should speak out loud and clear for those who are exploited.

Delhi (AsiaNews) – The collapse of talks in Geneva of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) "is a clear indicator of how the industrialized nations of the world do not want to put the development of agriculture and trade of developing nations on the agenda".  Meanwhile, developing nations continue to be subject to "rampant exploitation of resources".

This was what the world renowned human rights activist and Jesuit priest, Cedric Prakash, had to say to AsiaNews about the failure of WTO informal talks last week.

The meetings took place between delegates from India, Australia, Brazil, Japan, the United States and the European Union: it was the last two members of the negotiations who, according to the Indian Trade Minister, "led to the collapse of the good prospects of the meeting". In fact, despite the promises given in the last G8, Brussels and Washington opposed the free choice by developing nations about which economic sectors to open up to foreign competition.

The Jesuit said: "For centuries, the so-called third world, that now has become the developing world, has been the receiving end of the global economy. After rampant exploitation of their resources, these nations are now subject to unfair trade practices that definitely help the rich to become richer and see the greater misery of the poorer countries."

The priest, who was recently awarded the French Legion of Honour, continued: "We have already seen in India how these practices have led to suicides by hundreds of poor farmers across the nation. In this context, therefore, the Church in industrialized countries must speak out loud and clear to governments and re-echo the words of Pope Benedict who, in his Encyclical Deus Caritas Est, says that 'because of a growth of the globalized economy, the social doctrine of the Church needs to be addressed in the context of dialogue with all those seriously concerned for humanity and for the world in which we live ".

Fr Prakash added: "The WTO has consistently maintained the role of exploiting developing nations, but the stand taken by almost 110 developing countries on behalf of subsistence, livelihood and security of their people is finally a step in the right direction. In the context of the World Social Forum where we believe that another world is possible, several NGOs and activists will be satisfied that these talks have collapsed and will hope that if possible, the next round will be to the advantage of countries like India."