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West Midlands MEP joins Oxfam global petition to make trade fair

September 2, 2003 12:00 AM
Liz Lynne visiting Oxfam's exhibition in the European Parliament in Strasbourg

Liz is supporting Oxfam's campaign for fairer trade.

Today, West Midlands Liz Lynne MEP joined the 3.7 million people already signed up to Oxfam's global petition to make trade fair.

The international agency, Oxfam, is calling for a change to world trade rules that are currently rigged against the poor. Archbishop Tutu and Kofi Annan are two of the many influential figures to have put their voices to the petition, known as the 'Big Noise'.

"Trade has the potential to lift millions of poor people around the world out of poverty but currently it is doing the opposite. While the rich get richer, the poor are getting poorer. More than half the population of Africa live on less than a dollar a day," said Liz.

As trade Ministers gear up for their WTO meeting in Cancun, Mexico next week, Liz Lynne is calling on them to use their power to change trade rules:

"I appeal to world leaders who are meeting at the WTO Ministerial in Cancun to make trade fair. They must stop protecting their markets and allow poor countries to benefit, rather than be punished by unfair trade."

Oxfam's petition was launched in April 2002 as part of a broad-ranging campaign to make trade fair. Among the first million people to sign up to the petition are his Holiness the Dalai Lama, musicians Chris Martin from Coldplay and Bono from U2, the UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan, and hundreds of thousands of people from more than 200 countries who are committed to fighting for a fairer world.

Jo Leadbeater, Oxfam's Head of EU Advocacy, said: "Those who make the rules of trade sometimes pretend that their issues are too complex for the rest of us to understand. From Barcelona to Brasilia, and from London to Lusaka people are proving them wrong. The 3.7 million voices in the Big Noise show the determination that exists across the world to make trade fair. These people are not going to go away."

The petition will be presented to world leaders at the World Trade Organisation ministerial in Cancun, Mexico, in September this year and will continue to grow until trade rules are finally changed.

Liz is calling on others to follow her lead: "I hope you will join me in opposing the injustice of protectionism and support the cry of ordinary people."