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Home > Business > PTI > Report

Rich nations fueling poverty: Annan

September 11, 2003 05:37 IST
Last Updated: September 11, 2003 13:56 IST

UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan on Wednesday accused the world's richest countries of fueling poverty through unfair trade policies.

"The damage is profound and the victims can be counted in the billions," he said in a speech read out by an aide after being forced to pull out to attend a Security Council meeting in Geneva.

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"We are told that trade can provide a ladder to a better life and deliver us from poverty and despair, and we are led to hope that the current round of trade negotiations will deliver on this promise," he told ministers gathered for the World Trade Organisation meet in Cancun, Mexico.

"Sadly, the reality of the international trading system today doesn't match the rhetoric. Instead of open markets, there are too many barriers that stunt, stifle and stop it (free trade). Instead of fair competition, there are subsidies by rich countries that tilt the playing field against the poor," he said.

Annan called on rich nations to be fair and honest in the talks.

Ahead of the Cancun meeting, WTO solved a major problem, when it agreed at Geneva a system allowing poor countries to import cheap copies of generic drugs to treat diseases like AIDS and malaria.

Annan said it was now important to ensure that the system works in practice. "You have an awesome responsibility and a great opportunity," he added.

© Copyright 2006 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.

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Read what others have to say:

Number of User Comments: 5

Sub: Rich fueling poverty: Annan

Yes, strongly agree.

Posted by Ramakrishna

Sub: Nothing New

This is nothing new to Indians. Capitalist can make more money only by the keeping bulk of the world poor. We have seen the effect ...

Posted by ganesh

Sub: we americans need to exorcise the Shrubbs from the Casa Blanca

we americans need to exorcise the shrubbs from the casa blanca...... That alone would be a good start--- but first we must learn to think ...

Posted by jwatson

Sub: wto

Yes, the rich countries must stop the subsidies.

Posted by madhu

Sub: Anna's comments

What a stupid comment! Do you think the poor nations in Africa are due to Sweden, USA, UK, etc.? They are so because of their ...

Posted by U. Tate



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