Buenos Aires Times

economy After access to civil society groups denied

WTO hits out at Argentina on meeting ban

In a letter, the WTO said Argentina's decision indicated that "a key principle of international diplomacy is being violated".

Friday 1 December, 2017
The WTO has hit out at Argentina for not allowing civil society organisations to attend the December meeting in Buenos Aires.
The WTO has hit out at Argentina for not allowing civil society organisations to attend the December meeting in Buenos Aires. Foto:Télam

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A network of 250 civil society organisations around the world said Thursday that 63 of its experts who were planning to attend a ministerial meeting of the World Trade Organization next month in Buenos Aires had their credentials revoked by the Argentine government.

Deborah James, a member of the Our World Is Not for Sale network, sent a letter asking WTO director Roberto Azevedo not to hold the meeting in Argentina unless the participation of the civil society groups is reinstated.

"If any host country starts limiting access and does so arbitrarily and without having to explain any motives, not only is this conference's integrity being attacked, but a key principle of international diplomacy is being violated," the letter said.

WTO DEFERS MATTER TO ARGENTINA

A WTO spokesperson told The Associated Press in an email that the organisation and the Argentine government have different perspectives on the matter and referred additional questions to the South American country.

A spokesperson from the Argentine embassy in Washington said it referred the AP inquiry to the Ministry of Foreign Relations.

James called the revocation of credentials "unprecedented" because more than 250 members of her network have attended international meetings of the WTO, United Nations and other organizations.

The Our World Is Not for Sale network proclaims as its goal to fight the "corporate globalization embodied in the global trading system."

WTO plans to hold the ministerial conference from December 10 to 13 in Buenos Aires.

-AP

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