Coldplay back fair trade campaign
British band Coldplay has sung its support for fair trade to a sell-out crowd in Mexico City, three days before the start of a meeting of the World Trade Organisation in the country.
Agencies such as Christian Aid have said that the World Trade Organisation (WTO) ministerial meeting in Cancun is the last chance for the so-called development round to deliver for poor countries.
The band broadcast on a giant video screen the message, ìMake Trade Fairî, during a two-hour concert at the Palacio de los Deportes stadium before a crowd of about 25,000.
The campaign asks governments to reduce subsidies to farmers in rich countries and eliminate the dumping of agricultural products on vulnerable markets. In support of the cause, Coldplay plans to deliver Oxfamís ìBig Noiseî petition containing more than three million signatures to the WTO meeting in the Caribbean resort of Cancun this week.
ìMake sure you check out the Make Trade Fair web site,î said front man Chris Martin, donning a Mexico national soccer team jersey. ìGracias everybody, gracias for giving us the best time of our life.î
On Saturday, band members travelled to a corn growers co-operative in the central Mexican hamlet of Santa Isabel Tepetzala to talk about fair trade and the financial difficulties confronting farmers there.
Many small Mexican farmers can no longer compete as corn flows in the from the US at ever-lower prices under the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement.
Trade ministers from the WTOís 146 members will be in Cancun to discuss a trade treaty cutting tariffs and subsidies and further opening markets to foreign trade.
Coldplay, which won two Grammy awards and three MTV awards this year, is scheduled to give a second concert in Mexico City today before travelling to Cancun.