26 September 2006

Secretary-General Urges Resumption of Doha Round in Message to Trade Forum

NEW YORK, 25 September (UN Headquarters) -- Following is the text of United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan's message to the World Trade Organization (WTO) Public Forum in Geneva, today, 25 September:

This Forum provides a chance to reflect on the rules of international trade, and how they affect people's lives.

It is a reminder that opening up global trade is essential, if we are to reach the Millennium Development Goals by 2015.

That means seizing the Doha Development Agenda as a historic opportunity to rebalance the rules of the trading system in favour of the poor.

Setbacks in the Doha talks have led some to consider settling for something less than a true development round -- or for no round at all.  That must not happen.

I join developing and least developed countries in calling for the round to resume as soon as possible.  Our countries, and our people, need and deserve no less in order to lift themselves out of poverty.

I urge WTO members to go the extra mile.  Friends, do the right thing.  Make a trade deal possible.

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