ISSUES AGAIN OFF WTO RADAR SCREENS?
Inherent inequities in the set of international trade rules administered by the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the manner in which they have been put into effect have long impacted adversely on developing countries. Yet these 'implementation issues' have consistently been sidelined as the major developed countries set about pursuing their own negotiating agendas instead in the WTO.
This paper documents how the implementation issues have - or, more frequently, have not - been dealt with in the multilateral trading system since the WTO's inception in 1995. Despite this history of neglect, the subject remains an integral element of the WTO work programme, the author asserts, basing his contention on relevant documents adopted by the WTO's highest decision-making organ, the Ministerial Conference. Consequently, he urges the developing countries to guard against attempts at once again disregarding the implementation issues and to insist that negotiations commence immediately to resolve these longstanding concerns.
CHAKRAVARTHI RAGHAVAN has been the Chief Editor of the South-North Development Monitor (SUNS), a daily bulletin specializing in trade and development issues, since its establishment in 1980. He is also Editor of the fortnightly Third World Economics. He is the author of Recolonization: GATT, the Uruguay Round and the Third World; The New Issues and Developing Countries; The World Trade Organization and its Dispute Settlement System: Tilting the Balance Against the South; Developing Countries and Services Trade: Chasing a Black Cat in a Dark Room, Blindfolded, and numerous papers and articles on trade, development and other issues.
TWN TRADE & DEVELOPMENT SERIES is a series of papers published by Third World Network on trade and development issues that are of public concern, particularly in the South. The series is aimed at generating discussion and contributing to the advancement of appropriate development policies oriented towards fulfilling human needs, social equity and environmental sustainability.
2 History of Neglect
Singapore Ministerial Conference
Geneva Ministerial Conference
Seattle Ministerial Conference
3 'Bad-Faith' Tactics
Negotiations under the Single Undertaking
Undermining the Doha Mandate
4 Position of Developing Countries