Brazil’s Minister of Foreign Relations, Celso Amorim, delivered a clear and objective message to developed nations in a speech at the World Trade Organization meeting.
"Poor countries cannot wait another 20 years for real reforms in agriculture trade. The time to act is now," said the Minister.
Amorim also had a sharp response to the offer by the European Union to provide access to its markets for farm produce in exchange for tariff reductions on its manufactured goods exports.
"Rich countries cannot expect to get paid for doing something they should have done a long time ago. After so many years, I would say decades, even centuries, we still have to deal with medieval privileges. This is unacceptable," he declared.
As for the complaint by developed nations that developing nations are only concerned about agriculture, Amorim mentioned food security and rural development as other important issues, but pointed out that the Doha Round, known as the development round, recognized the need for equitable treatment of the agricultural question and other issues, such as services and industrial goods.
"The big economies should not expect more concessions from developing nations than those they willingly make. That is simply not going to happen," said Amorim.
The Minister closed his speech by appealing to the participants at the 6th Ministerial Meeting of the WTO to avoid "a Doha Round failure because of lack of action or vision. This is a moment of great expectations in developing nations. We must not miss this opportunity."
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