'In Modern Times There Has Never Been Free Trade' the General Assembly Debates Globalization

By Hagen, Jonas | UN Chronicle, December 1, 2002 | Go to article overview

'In Modern Times There Has Never Been Free Trade' the General Assembly Debates Globalization


Hagen, Jonas, UN Chronicle


Developing countries frequently brought up the issue of globalization in the general debate of the fifty-seventh General Assembly session, particularly with respect to free trade and market liberalization. Latin American countries were the most vocal about these, and many expressed their frustrations regarding the structure of markets and the global economy. Economic and political globalization offers benefits but requires good governance and a systematic, shared effort by the international community to establish the rules of the new global system, said Maria Soledad Alvear, Foreign Minister of Chile. "We are convinced that active participation in international trade is a positive means of achieving growth, increasing employment, innovating in technology and being effective in the allocation of resources", she said. Globalization could be an opportunity for countries such as hers that are far away from major consumer centres and international flows. Chile had opened its markets, and its citizens are pleased w ith the results.

President Gustavo Noboa Belarano of Ecuador said that industrialized countries demand austerity, fiscal discipline and respect for free trade of developing States and, in return, they "shut their doors in our faces" when developing countries try to gain access to first-world markets for their goods. He said: "Developed countries still do not understand that our peoples, in their poverty, are deeply perceptive and until today they fail to understand the benefits of a globalization process that threatens to never knock at their doors." Celso Lafer, Foreign Minister of Brazil, said "speculative attacks" on national currencies can have negative impact on countries' abilities to maintain balances of payment and continue government policies. …

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