November 1, 2002

Agricultural trade could play a key role in the fight against poverty. But in practice the rules which govern world agricultural trade benefit the rich rather than the poor. Rich countries spend vast sums of money protecting the interests of their producers, while at the same time forcing poor countries to open their markets to subsidised imports. Achieving an equitable outcome from the WTO agricultural negotiations will be a litmus test of the so-called Doha Development Round. Developing countries should not sign a new agricultural agreement if their vital development needs are not adequately addressed.

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September 9, 2002

Oxfam is deeply concerned about the appalling toll being paid by the civilian population on both sides of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. The recent escalation of the conflict has created a serious humanitarian crisis for the Palestinian population living in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. New research by Oxfam and its partners on the impact of the Israeli government’s policy of closure finds thousands of rural households in the West Bank on the brink of destitution. Away from the media spotlight, the families of farmers, unemployed labourers and small businessmen in these often neglected Palestinian villages have run out of savings and sold off land and livestock.

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January 1, 2002

There is no doubt that abhorrent acts of September 11, and the international response, has significantly changed the western world’s most commonly held views on peace, security and justice.  There is now a much greater understanding and sensitivity to the deep structural imbalances and historic animosities that fuel violence and extremism. But as stated by Kofi Annan, September 11 did not change the world.  In most ways, and for the vast majority of people, the world today looks very similar to how it looked on September 10 2001. What has changed since September 11 is the political context for international action, and the prospects for addressing some of the underlying and chronic imbalances that continue to undermine global security.  Oxfam and International Actions's Ten Point Plan proposes taking concrete steps that show real progress on issues including the rebuilding of Afghanistan, ending profiteering from war and discrimination against women. To do otherwise would risk exacerbating the tensions that continue to undermine global security and prosperity.  

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August 15, 2001
Trade has a role to play in narrowing the gap between the winners and losers from global economic integration. But trade, and trade liberalisation as a means of promoting trade, is not a panacea for poverty any more than protectionism. Trade policies, rules, and institutions should be devised and judged on the basis of their contribution to poverty reduction, respect for human rights, and environmental sustainability. This paper focuses on some aspects of international trade rules and policy-making processes that Oxfam believes require urgent reform in order to redirect the world trade regime towards the achievement of these goals. The paper also sets out Oxfam's position on a new round of World Trade Organisation (WTO) negotiations.
July 1, 2001
Members of Oxfam International have worked with victims of conflict for 58 years. We are present in over 120 countries, 27 of which are experiencing major conflict.  In many parts of the world, we have seen armed conflict and insecurity resulting in enormous human suffering, through deaths and injuries, human rights violations, obstruction of humanitarian aid, the destruction of livelihoods, and mass displacement of people. One lesson drawn from our experience, whether in Asia, Africa, Eastern Europe or Latin America, is that conflicts are fuelled by the international transfer of arms, most notably small arms and ammunition. Ease of access to the weapons of war has become a fundamental humanitarian concern.
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February 6, 2001
At a time when new technology has such potential to contribute to human welfare, and has also become the most important determinant of competitiveness in global markets, it is very disturbing that the monopoly rights of the producers of technology are being strengthened. Oxfam, with its extensive development experience, has stepped into this complex technical field by providing its own penetrating account of how strengthened patent rules will affect the health of ordinary people, particularly those living in poor countries. Oxfam's briefing paper shows how new global patent rules, introduced by the World Trade Organisation, will raise the costs of vital medicines, with potentially disastrous implications for poor countries. In brief, these rules require all countries to provide patent protection for a minimum of 20 years for inventions in all fields of technology, including medicines.
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