|April 24, 2007 10:14 a.m. EST
Jacob Cherian - AHN Staff Writer
New York, NY (AHN) - U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said in Qatar Monday that the current round of global trade talks must come through in order for the multilateral trading system to be kept intact. He also prompted member states to re-double their initiatives to reach an accord so that underdeveloped nations would not slip further behind economically.
Speaking at the Seventh Forum on Democracy, Development and Free Trade in Qatar's capital, Doha, Ban said globalization has made the benefits of trade "more evident than ever."
He urged for a successful conclusion to the Doha round of talks saying, "The global trading regime needs to create opportunities for the poorest countries, instead of leaving them at a disadvantage."
The Doha Round, which initially began in 2001, was stalled last year due to disputes over agriculture subsidies. However, several nations have stepped up their efforts to regroup and make way for another round of international trade talks.
Ban explained that if the talks fail "serious damage will be done to those who can least afford it, to the multilateral trading system, and to multilateralism itself. Should this round of trade talks succeed, Doha will become synonymous not only with free trade, but also indelibly linked to development."
"Democracy, development and free trade share a conception of men and women as free and autonomous individuals, capable of fulfilling their inner potential," Moon was quoted as saying on U.N. web page.
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