Actor Colin Firth to present Oxfam Make Trade Fair Petition to WTO Director General

Published: 1 November 2005

The Hollywood actor, Colin Firth, who has appeared in such films as Bridget Jones's Diary and Fever Pitch, will meet the WTO Director General, Supachai Panitchpakdi, on the afternoon of Monday 11 April, to discuss with him Oxfam's Make Trade Fair Campaign and reform of the rules governing agricultural trade.

The Hollywood actor, Colin Firth, who has appeared in such films as Bridget Jones's Diary and Fever Pitch, will meet the WTO Director General, Supachai Panitchpakdi, on the afternoon of Monday 11 April, to discuss with him Oxfam's Make Trade Fair Campaign and reform of the rules governing agricultural trade.

Mr. Firth will have a private meeting with Dr. Supachai at 3pm on Monday 11 April at the WTO in Geneva, and then both men will do a photo call and speak to the press in the corridor outside the DG's office from 3.30pm.

Colin Firth will present to Dr. Supachai and Ambassador Amina Mohamed - as chairman of the WTO General Council - the Big Noise, Oxfam's global petition to make trade fair. The Big Noise represents the voices of people around the world who are calling on world leaders to change the rules of international trade so that they work for developing countries. It currently has 7 million signatures and momentum is expected to build in the run up to the Word Trade Organization (WTO) Ministerial in Hong Kong in December 2005.

Jo Fox, Oxfam's Big Noise coordinator said: "There is a growing awareness around the world that the rules of world trade are rigged in favor of the richest countries. Trade could be a powerful force for poverty reduction but unless the rules are changed this will not happen. The longer decision makers refuse to make trade fair, the louder the Big Noise will become."

Colin Firth's visit to Geneva comes at the start of a week in which ten million people from 70 countries are protesting against unfair trade rules (April 11-17). The Global Week of Action sees Oxfam joining forces with campaigners, trade unions and international artists across the world in a show of solidarity with poor farmers. Events include an all-night vigil of the Trade Justice Movement in London's Westminster Abbey, a night of music concerts in Madrid, and an arts festival in Indonesia.

At the beginning of the week a series of photos of celebrities, including Colin Firth, being dumped on with different commodities, will be released to the international media. The photographs highlight the problem of agricultural export dumping.

Oxfam will also publish a report on Monday highlighting the inequality of world trade, using rice as an example. The paper, which Mr. Firth will discuss with the WTO Director General, calls for developing countries to be given the power to decide their own trade policies in order to develop vital sectors.

Contact Information

For more information, or to receive a copy of the report, please contact Amy Barry on 41 (0)764517294.