VATICAN CITY, JUL 14, 2006 (VIS) - Made public today was a communique from the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace concerning the results of the Mini-Ministerial Meeting of the World Trade Organization (WTO), held in Doha, Qatar, on June 29 - 30. The communique bears the signatures of Cardinal Renato Martino and Bishop Giampaolo Crepaldi, respectively president and secretary of that pontifical council.
The English-language text laments the fact that the meeting closed with what "can only regrettably be characterized as a deadlock," something that "stands in stark contrast to the intensity of the commitment demonstrated by the negotiators and the WTO staff, who had set out with a noble vision to conclude the Doha Round with a consensus."
The pontifical council recognizes the complexity of such a commitment - "due to the objective difficulty to mediate between so many States with different interests and expectations" - but also expresses appreciation "for the hope it promises."
The principal theme of the Doha meeting - "equity in trade relations" - has been, "and continues to be, a major concern of the Holy See," the text reads. "Pope Paul VI underscored the necessity of such equity forty years ago, affirming that: 'Free trade can be called just only when it conforms to the demands of social justice'."
The document highlights the need to return to the spirit of Doha. Five years ago, the Doha Round opened a new horizon of hope in this field, successfully negotiating a declaration on development and the alleviation of poverty, with a specific commitment to improve the effective participation of the least developed countries in the multilateral trade system."
"The weeks that negotiators now have to achieve an agreement which integrates a positive and effective conclusion to the Round, is a unique opportunity," the communique observes. "It is to be hoped that the next G8 Meeting, which will take place in a few days in St. Petersburg, Russia, will result in the political decisions needed to transform the technical steps into operational ones," it adds.
"The particular urgency of this task cannot be taken lightly, particularly when one considers the fact that the effects of trade relations have serious consequences for human beings and on their dignity," the text concludes. "This said, commercial negotiations should always take into account the impact of such negotiations upon the human family."
CON-IP/TRADE/DOHA VIS 20060714 (410)