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EU Must Develop Global Justice Agenda:de Brún

23 May, 2004

Speaking today during a canvass in Belfast Sinn Fein EU candidate Bairbre de Brún has called on the EU to "develop a comprehensive global justice agenda‚. The West Belfast MLA said that one of her key priorities if elected will be to promote such an agenda as a Œkey element in future EU external relations policy."

Ms de Brún said:

"Developing a comprehensive global justice agenda which can see the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals on global poverty reduction by 2015 must become one of the main objectives for EU external relations policy.

"It is not acceptable for the EU to act as an economic superpower, imposing a free trade agenda that hurts the developing world. Instead it must use its considerable economic power responsibly by pursuing policies that eradicate the exploitative trade relationships that prevent the developing world from establishing independent sustainable economies.

"Sinn Féin believes that the EU must: strengthen its commitment to Developing Country Debt Cancellation ˆ with an urgent priority on debt cancellation for countries with a high HIV/AIDS prevalence; establish a permanent EU monitoring group to review members‚ implementation of the Monterey and Barcelona Commitments on aid increases, aid harmonisation, the untying of aid, and an increased proportion of EU aid to poor countries; reverse the present imbalance in EU military v. development aid spending; and redirect a significant portion of the •160 billion presently spent annually by EU states on defence towards the estimated •100 billion cost of cutting global poverty in half by 2015.

"It is also crucial that the EU argue for the reform of the International Financial System to strengthen representation of developing countries in international economic decision making and adopt the EU as Currency Speculation (Tobin) Tax Zone.

"Taken together these measures would ensure that the EU plays a leading role in tackling global poverty and inequality." ENDS

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