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Bed-time reading for trade delegates and poverty campaigners

Rachel Kyte's picture

Hot on the heels of the UN Millennium +5 Summit WTO Director General Pascal Lamy spoke to the World Bank Group Development Committee on September 25. His focus was the WTO poverty reduction agenda and the important pending issues for the Doha Round at the next ministerial conference in Hong Kong. The most pressing agenda item is that we need set a date for the elimination of export subsides and agree on figures for slashing trade distorting farm support.

This need was underlined earlier in the year with the publication of the most comprehensive survey of the ecological state of the planet, the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, which recommended:

We remove subsidies to agriculture, fisheries and energy sources that harm the environment encourage landowners to manage property in ways that enhance the supply of ecosystem services, such as carbon storage, and the generation of fresh water and protect more areas from development, especially in the oceans.

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