Sunday, November 27, 2005

Commonwealth seeks security boost

Commonwealth leaders are to discuss ways to increase tolerance in order to fight extremism at the close of their three-day summit in Malta.
The talks are expected to include proposals to share information and boost co-operation against terrorism.
The heads of state and government hope to issue a strong final statement.
This comes after "no holds barred" talks on global trade issues ended with a statement asking rich nations to make sacrifices at upcoming trade talks.
The 53 Commonwealth members are due to discuss ways to work together to prevent and investigate terrorist attacks.
Illegal migration, an issue both for rich and poor nations within the Commonwealth, is also on the agenda.
The BBC's Mike Wooldridge, in Malta, says encouraging better understanding between people of different faiths and fostering inclusion rather than alienation is the bread and butter of an organisation like the Commonwealth.
Prosperity
Saturday's statement on trade issues means that the summit has already passed one of its main goals, our correspondent adds.
There is a high expectation in here that the EU will do more than what the EU is currently saying they will do Secretary General Don McKinnon
Rich nations were urged to "give more than they receive" during global trade talks in Hong Kong, especially over agriculture and market access.
The statement came at the end of what Commonwealth head Don McKinnon called a "no-holds barred" debate in which the EU was criticised for keeping farm subsidies.
Leaders said long-term prosperity and security for all nations was linked to progress in negotiations on market access.
Developing countries were also asked to be flexible during the Hong Kong talks.
There were calls for extra support to countries hard hit by trade liberalisation, such as smaller Commonwealth countries affected by the EU's sugar reforms.
On Friday, a number of Commonwealth Caribbean nations protested about a 36% cut by the EU to the guaranteed price of sugar.
'Critical moment'
Saturday's statement was quite an achievement for the Commonwealth given the strains over the issue during this summit, and a particular triumph for smaller, poorer members, says the BBC's Nick Childs in Malta.
"The desire is to ensure that something can happen," said Mr McKinnon. "And there is a high expectation in here that the EU will do more than what the EU is currently saying they will do"
The 53 Commonwealth nations represent about 30% of world trade and form a significant part of the World Trade Organisation, the forum for the Hong Kong talks.
British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who is also the current EU president, said the world faces a "critical moment of decision" over trade.
Story from BBC NEWS:http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/europe/4475150.stmPublished: 2005/11/27 08:21:37 GMT© BBC MMV

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