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EDITIONS
 Friday, 24 January, 2003, 23:33 GMT
Getting used to life at Davos
Stocking: Davos is "overwhelming"
Barbara Stocking, a director at Oxfam, writes for BBC News Online a diary of her time at the World Economic Forum.
For someone whose working day is all about poverty and who occasionally has the privilege of staying amongst the poorest people of the world, the World Economic Forum at Davos takes some getting used to.

Certainly poor people don't seem to have much trust in global corporations and institutions

Barbara Stocking
It's not the people. After all we are all human beings and I know there are those amongst the most powerful here who would like the world to be a better place.

No, it's the concentration of wealth, power and consumption that is overwhelming.

This year the focus is on Global Trust. I am here representing Oxfam, but also as one of the six report writers for the Forum.

I'm focusing on inequality and development.

Certainly poor people don't seem to have much trust in global corporations and institutions.

Subsidy battle

Off with a bang then as I speak at the session on trade.

The amount the US and EU spend on subsidies is outrageous and yet they have the nerve to argue that poor countries should open up their markets.

Barbara Stocking, Oxfam
The amount the US and EU spend on subsidies is outrageous and yet they have the nerve to argue that poor countries should open up their markets

Barbara Stocking
The US representative didn't turn up to the session, so the French minister bore the brunt of the concerns about subsidies and dumping.

I was able to describe what sugar subsidies do to farmers in Mozambique.

Sugar is dumped into Africa at such low prices that the Mozambique farmers just can't compete.

On to lunch, to chair a session on oil and conflict.

Why is it that the countries in Africa who have oil, or other natural resources are most prone to wars?

Pretty obvious really, but there are things that could help stop this, for example all companies delivering all the money they pay to local governments.

That would help local civil organisations and us to monitor where all the money goes.

Finally off to a dinner on Africa. It'll be good to be with a number of our African colleagues again.



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