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Countdown to Cancun

The September WTO meeting will decide whether globalisation can work for poor countries. But the WTO may follow the UN into irrelevance.

By Kevin Watkins   August 2003

The Mexican tourist resort of Canc?n is preparing for the mother of all off-seasons. In September, trade ministers and their entourages from 146 countries will descend on the town, accompanied by a small army of global justice activists. The attraction is a meeting of the Word Trade Organisation (WTO). It promises to be a defining moment in the evolution of globalisation. At stake are two questions. Will the rules-based trading system survive at all? And, if so, will the rules be used to strengthen the links between trade and poverty reduction?

Failure in Canc?n will do to the global trade…

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