Press Statement 

The Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) has issued the following statement:

On Cancun Talks Outcome 

The Polit Bureau of the CPI(M) hails the unity displayed by the developing countries at the Cancun WTO meet.  This unity has prevented the imperialist countries from imposing a greater inequality in world trade. If allowed, the agenda of the imperialist countries would have imposed further burdens on the people of the developing world.    In the final analysis, the walk out by the African countries led by Kenya prevented any declaration from being adopted at Cancun. 

The Indian government stuck to its commitments made prior to the meeting that unless the US and EU reduce their whopping farm subsidies, any reduction in import tariffs could not be accepted. Unlike in Doha where after initial protestations, India finally succumbed to US pressures, this time around, the Indian delegation stuck to its  commitments.  This may appear inconsistent with the record of submission to US pressures that this government has shown in the past.  The withdrawal of quantitative restrictions on imports by this government, even before the WTO deadline, has already caused immense harm to Indian agriculture and the farmers. Probably, the compulsions of forthcoming elections bore heavily on the government’s mind motivating it to stick to its commitments.  Whatever may have been the compulsions, the fact that  India joined Brazil, China and nearly eighty developing countries, to foil all efforts to divide the developing world is heartening.   

This is for the first time in the WTO discussions that the  developing countries could prevent the developed countries from imposing a more unequal agenda.  Earlier, in Seattle in 1999, the inability to adopt a declaration came mainly because of a US-EU stand off.   This is for the first time that the North-South divide has become decisive in the WTO. 

The Cancun outcome may have prevented a more  unequal agenda in WTO from coming into existence.    But the present unequal order  continues.  It is to be hoped that the solidarity amongst the developing countries will be built up to work  for a more equitable world economic development.