Civil society group: Argentina denies entry to WTO meeting

WASHINGTON (AP) — A network of 250 civil society organizations around the world said Thursday that 63 of its experts who were planning to attend a ministerial meeting of the World Trade Organization next month in Buenos Aires had their credentials revoked by the Argentine government.

Deborah James, a member of the Our World Is Not for Sale network, sent a letter asking WTO director Roberto Azevedo not to hold the meeting in Argentina unless the participation of the civil society groups is reinstated.

"If any host country starts limiting access and does so arbitrarily and without having to explain any motives, not only is this conference's integrity being attacked, but a key principle of international diplomacy is being violated," the letter said.

Requests for comment by the WTO and the Argentine Embassy in Washington were not immediately answered.

James called the revocation of credentials "unprecedented" because more than 250 members of her network have attended international meetings of the WTO, United Nations and other organizations.

The Our World Is Not for Sale network proclaims as its goal to fight the "corporate globalization embodied in the global trading system."

WTO plans to hold the ministerial conference Dec. 10-13 in Buenos Aires.

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Luis Alonso Lugo on Twitter: www.twitter.com/luisalonsolugo