.- The Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace released a statement, today, expressing sadness at the failure of the recent World Trade Organization talks in Doha, Qatar, but encouraging members of the Group of Eight to conduct their upcoming negations mindful of the impact their decisions have on the human family.
The communiqué, signed by Cardinal Renato Martino and Bishop Giampaolo Crepaldi, lamented the fact that the June 29 - 30, meeting in Doha closed with what "can only regrettably be characterized as a deadlock." The deadlock, they said, "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."
While the council said it recognizes the complexity of mediations between multiple governments, it also appreciates the hope promised by increased “equity in trade relations.”
"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 statement said.
“Five years ago, the Doha Round opened a new horizon of hope in this field,” the communiqué continued, “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 communiqué 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."