In the Public Eye

Make Trade Fair Global Week of Action
Geneva, Switzerland, April 11, 2005

Colin Firth met with World Trade Organization (WTO) Director-General Supachai Panitchpakdi at WTO headquarters in Geneva to discuss Oxfam's  report "Kicking Down the Door," which exposes how rich countries are forcing poor ones to open their markets and dumping surplus crops, undermining the livelihood of farmers in poorer nations. In addition, Firth presented Oxfam's Big Noise petition of over 7 million names to make trade fair. This campaign represents the voices of people around the world who are calling on world leacers to change the rules of international trade.

Asked why he had got involved, Firth told reporters: "Because I'm part of the problem really."

 "I'm a middle class consumer in a rich country who is getting gradually uneasy about the way the trade rules are rigged in the world."

Supachai said he welcomed Oxfam's campaign.

"I have always said that we appreciate this tremendous effort by Oxfam, of people like Colin Firth, to have undertaken this kind of exercise to arouse the consciousness of the people that we have to do much, much more to be able to address the interests of developing countries in participating in this round," he said, referring to talks that have been on and off since 2001. "I would like the campaign to be successful."

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[From Jonathan Fowler (AP) and others]

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