Beirut anti-globalization forum finishes
A two-day summit of anti-globalization activists concluded Sunday, November 4 one week ahead of the World Trade Organization (WTO) meeting in Qatar. Some 500 people attended the conference, whose aim was to discuss the effects of globalization on the Arab world.
The conference will publish a statement of purpose, known as the "Beirut Declaration", in the coming days, the organizers said. The declaration will set a framework for establishing an Arab federation of anti-globalization activists.
Jose Bove, notorious anti-globalization activist, accused on Sunday the WTO of choosing Qatar for the site of it meeting because "protest movements are not possible in a monarchy, where political parties and street demonstrations are banned."
The Arab NGO Network for Development will also host a meeting of some 200 groups from 45 countries November 5-8 to discuss WTO programs. Among those attending will be environmental groups such as Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth and Public Citizen, the consumer group headed by US activist and 2000 presidential candidate Ralph Nader, who himself will be absent.
Ministers from the 142-member WTO are to meet in the Qatari capital Doha November 9-13 to debate an agenda for a new round of multilateral trade liberalization talks. — (AFP, Beirut)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)