labels: economy - general, world trade organisation
India's WTO stand lauded by global campaigners : CNBCnews
31 July 2006
The WTO talks may have hit a wall, but campaigners say India has emerged as a star. reports CNBC-TV18.

John Hilary, campaigns and policy director, War On Want, says, "I think Kamal Nath has played a very strong game at the WTO.

He has managed to resist the worst excesses of the EU and the USA. He's stood up for the rights of poor farmers, of poor workers in India, and I think has provided a very strong rallying cry for people in the developing world as a whole."

International Director at Action Aid, John Samuel says, "I think particularly India played a very significant and commendable role in this round of negotiations, especially from Hong Kong onwards. Kamal Nath particularly kept his stand firm. That is something to be appreciated, not only on behalf of India as an Indian, but also on behalf of the campaigners across the world."

Analysts say that the collapse of talks have ensured that a bad deal for developing countries would no longer go ahead.

Campaigners are now looking for a new beginning.

Hilary says, "This opens up a new possibility to explore alternatives, much more profitable alternatives, for example food sovereignty, the right of farmers to produce for their own market, or indeed the new models coming out of Latin America. These are all very positive things, and so maybe in the long-term future we can come back to the WTO and say let's have a genuine development round, which really puts the needs of the poor first."

Samuel says, "At the end of the day it is to me a semi-colon, not a full-stop. A semi-colon to reclaim the real purpose of trade, trade as a means to ensure justice, to ensure peace, and to end poverty."

Semi-colon or full-stop, the sentence ahead as scripted by the EU and the US, would have been severe for the Indian poor. In stopping its completion, India has won respect from campaigners around the world.

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India's WTO stand lauded by global campaigners : CNBC