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Contact: Claudia Monlouis

Friday, December 4, 2009 – The World Trade Organization is being called to address disparities created by the global crises, which are impacting negatively on the smallest and most vulnerable members of the organization.

The call was amplified by Hon. Rufus Bousquet, Minister for Trade and External Affairs when Caribbean leaders took their turn at the podium last week in Geneva, Switzerland. In her statement to the auspicious body, Her Excellency Rosalyn Hazelle, Vice Minister for International Trade, Industry, Commerce and Consumer Affairs of Saint Kitts, implored the WTO to attend to this call with due immediacy.

“In essence Mr. chairman, the WTO's role should be enhanced to help small economies withstand the adverse effects of the crisis and promote their development. This can be achieved by infusing development in all aspects of the negotiations and by ensuring that there are sufficient programmes geared towards the strengthening of capacity at the human resource and institutional levels,” Hazelle said.

The Saint Kitts official also called for closer observation of the actions of larger trading partners that can be detrimental to small economies. She cited the new air passenger duty which will significantly increase the cost of travel to the tourism dependent Caribbean territories as a case in point.

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