Conference to inspire Jubilee 2000 style action
Christian Aid is bringing international trade justice campaigners together at the end of this month.
The International Trade Campaign Conference in Delhi, 24-28 November 2003, will bring more than 120 leading campaigners from 45 countries to one place to look to the future of the global Trade Justice campaign.
More than two-thirds of the delegates are from developing countries, many of which have much stronger and longer-established campaigning networks than the UK. One of the aims of the conference is to agree on a single action - similar to the petition used by Jubilee 2000 - that can be used effectively by these different campaigns across the world, uniting them in a vast global campaign for Trade Justice.
One idea, inspired by experiences in Latin America, is to run a plebiscite in each country, to ask citizens to vote for international trade rules that are biased in favour of the poorest. Christian Aid thinks that it is possible to see 100 million people involved in the action against global injustice.
One national campaign, against the Free Trade Area of the Americas in Brazil, managed to get 10 million signatures in one week.
The collapse of the recent trade talks in Cancun, Mexico demonstrated that the growing determination of developing countries no longer to accept international trade rules dictated by the rich countries in their own interests. The tables are starting to turn, but for international trade to work in the interests of the poorest, we need a global popular campaign bigger than anything that we have seen before.
Martin Gordon, International Campaign Manager for Christian Aid, said;
"This is a really exciting opportunity to show political leaders how strong opposition to the current world trade system is. This will be the first time the different trade campaigns from across the world have come together in this way and we are sure that the global campaign will be much stronger as a result."