Francophone states to have common stance at WTO meeting

Antananarivo- Madagascar (PANA) -- The International Organisation of Francophonie (OIF) will defend a common position at the 14-17 December World Trade Organisation (WTO) ministerial conference in Hong Kong, it was officially revealed here Wednesday.
Francophonie member states will adopt the joint position during a consultative meeting on 15 December in Hong Kong to be chaired by the deputy administrator of the Intergovernmental Agency of the Francophonie (AIF) Roger Dahaybe.
Addressing the opening of the Francophonie Ministerial Conference (CMF) in Antananarivo on Tuesday, its chairman, Burkina Faso's foreign minister, Youssouf Ouedrago, appealed to OIF member countries to back the position of cotton growing countries during the Hong Kong negotiations.
"This is crucial meeting for all of us, and especially for our cotton- producing countries.
It is vital for millions of men and women who have staked their future in cotton," Ouedraogo warned.
The minister said the meeting will be crucial for countries that have waged a long battle against poverty, adding that victory in this fight means ensuring daily bread and the well-being of people in Benin, Burkina Faso, Mali and Chad.
About 140 countries are expected to attend the WTO ministerial conference where African countries will pnce again press for the removal of agricultural subsidies by developed countries in a bid to usher in fairer trade.

23 november 2005 12:13:00

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