Geneva, Switzerland, Environment Day, 5 June 2010
Cheers, laughter, and applause filled the recording studio at the World Trade Organisation Saturday as children of all ages were captivated by the beautiful words of Mr Pascal Lamy, the WTO's Director-General.
Whether young or just young at heart, thrilled audience members watched with glee as the Head of the WTO explained that the World Trade Organisation's heart belongs to "Sustainable Development, the WTO ready to perfom the tricks needed to help saving the 250 year old modern world from climate change and resource depletion by more of the same: economic growth and free trade.
Free trade is good for sustainability, opined Mr Pascal Lamy, referring to the abused planet that is getting increasingly depleted and its natural life destroyed by human hyperactivity, i.e. by the trade in ever more stuff.
Trade is good for the world! So say all of them, in their ivory towers of the discipline of economics, in the airconditioned insulation from the excruciatingly suffering world.
[Article to be finished ... 29 June 2010]
The crowd reportedly let out loud gasps and vigorously clapped when Topsy stood up on his hind legs, an unnatural and excruciatingly painful movement that stresses and permanently damages the 8,000-pound elephant's joints.
Topsy also delighted the audience after the trainer repeatedly thrust a hooked rod into his skin, causing the miserable animal to lift one leg and his trunk to simulate waving.
"Aww…" said the assembled circus-goers, who were taken by the cuteness of the barbaric spectacle.
Branden Helger, 9, said Topsy was his favorite performer at Ringling Bros. because the elephant knew how to do neat tricks like pretending to limp. The third-grader also excitedly pointed out the "cool necklace" clamped on the animal's foot.
Topsy and the other elephant performers, who are separated from each other at all times, preventing the socialization that's so crucial to their well-being, received a standing ovation from the crowd when they marched into the center ring, nervously rocking back and forth.
"Look, they're dancing," said 5-year-old Jonah Meeks, mistaking the elephants' constant swaying for something that wasn't a maladaptive behavior caused by serious psychological trauma. "I can dance like an elephant, too. Look at me!"
Unaware that the elephant was terrified of the glaring stage lights, deafening crowd noise, and constant beatings, Phil Wingren, who brought his family to the circus, remarked that Topsy must relish being a star.
"Boy, that Topsy's got it made," Wingren said to his children, referring to the mistreated, severely neglected creature, who is exposed to numerous diseases and receives no medical attention except when dirt is rubbed into his wounds to hide them from the public. "Always in the spotlight and everybody pampering you. That lucky elephant."
"Look, he even has his own ball," continued Wingren, referring to the most hated object in Topsy's life.
Attending the circus with her grandparents, Gretchen Anderson, 4, was delighted by Topsy and by the other pachyderms as well.
"There's his mama," Anderson said of an elephant unrelated to Topsy, who has not seen his parents since being torn away from them shortly after birth, and last nestled up to his mother when he tried to suckle at her corpse shortly after poachers killed her. "They have a big happy family."
Eyewitnesses who spotted the trainer patting the side of Topsy's body during the final trick were convinced the elephant and the man were best friends, though in fact the look of reverie on Topsy's face was the result of his daydreaming about stomping and crushing the cruel asshole's head like an overripe melon.
Reproduced for scientific, not-for-profit purposes only.
WTO: 2010 NEWS ITEMS
5 June 2010
"Trade opening has much to contribute to the protection of the environment"
On the occasion of World Environment Day on 5 June 2010 Director-General Pascal Lamy said "we simply cannot proceed with business as usual — if our planet is to be preserved for future generations, we must protect our resources, our planet’s biodiversity and our environment at large". He noted that "the leaders that founded our organization were adamant that sustainable development lies at the very core of our mission".
Statement by Pascal Lamy
[Other formats can be downloaded from the WTO site MP4 | WMV | MPEG2]
Today's celebration holds deep meaning for us all. As we slowly emerge from one of the deepest economic crises, it is evident that we simply cannot proceed with business as usual. If our planet is to be preserved for future generations, we must protect our resources, our planet's biodiversity and our environment at large.
Trade opening has much to contribute in the fight against climate change and to the protection of the environment, but the WTO is about much more than trade opening. The leaders that founded our organization were adamant that sustainable development lies at the very core of our mission. To ensure that this would be the case, governments have agreed that WTO members will have the necessary flexibilities they need to pursue their environmental objectives.
Trade opening improves the allocation of resources at the international level, including of natural resources. International trade can help countries with scarce water resources actually save their water by purchasing water-intensive agricultural products from abroad, for example. Trade also generates economic growth which can create demand for higher environmental standards, and the financial capacity to respond to this demand.
Nevertheless, it is doubtless true that such growth could lead to a greater use of energy and to higher levels of CO2 emissions. This said, about 90% of trade is moved by ship — a mode which leaves a smaller CO2 footprint than any other form of transportation.
There is also the fact that more open trade can facilitate improved production methods and can make environmentally friendly products and technologies more accessible to more consumers at lower costs. This will surely be needed to reduce the use of energy and pollution.
Protecting the environment also means protecting our oceans. Over fishing depletes fish stocks in our oceans and threatens many species with extinction. Many environmentalists directly link certain types of government subsidies to over fishing. Reducing fisheries subsidies could significantly reduce over fishing and foster species preservation, which is why WTO Members are presently negotiating stronger international disciplines in this field. A deal in the WTO would mean richer oceans for future generations and would constitute a triple-win for trade, environment and development.
The entire world is well aware of the environmental dangers posed to our planet. But the ability of governments to respond to these dangers is tied closely to the resources at their disposal. Countries which have had success in alleviating poverty and raising living standards, tend to be more adept at creating the conditions for a cleaner environment. Yet, there is no doubting that the problem we confront is not one we can tackle individually. Global problems require global solutions, for which sound global environmental governance is key.
AGREEMENT ESTABLISHING THE WORLD TRADE ORGANIZATIONThe Parties to this Agreement,
Recognizing that their relations in the field of trade and economic endeavour should be conducted with a view to raising standards of living, ensuring full employment and a large and steadily growing volume of real income and effective demand, and expanding the production of and trade in goods and services, while allowing for the optimal use of the world's resources in accordance with the objective of sustainable development, seeking both to protect and preserve the environment and to enhance the means for doing so in a manner consistent with their respective needs and concerns at different levels of economic development,
Recognizing further that there is need for positive efforts designed to ensure that developing countries, and especially the least developed among them, secure a share in the growth in international trade commensurate with the needs of their economic development,
Being desirous of contributing to these objectives by entering into reciprocal and mutually advantageous arrangements directed to the substantial reduction of tariffs and other barriers to trade and to the elimination of discriminatory treatment in international trade relations,
Resolved, therefore, to develop an integrated, more viable and durable multilateral trading system encompassing the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, the results of past trade liberalization efforts, and all of the results of the Uruguay Round of Multilateral Trade Negotiations,
Determined to preserve the basic principles and to further the objectives underlying this multilateral trading system,
Agree as follows:
Establishment of the Organization
The World Trade Organization (hereinafter referred to as "the WTO") is hereby established.