Info Service on WTO and Trade Issues (Mar18/17)
23 March 2018
Third World Network
Many oppose changes to DSU, pluri negotiations at WTO
Published in SUNS #8646 dated 21 March 2018
New Delhi, 20 Mar (D. Ravi Kanth) - The ministerial meeting hosted
here by India saw strong opposition from many members against any
changes to the current system of dispute settlement at the WTO, where
rulings by the Appellate Body are final and binding.
The meeting also heard strong opposition from key nations against
plurilateral negotiations on several new issues, such as e-commerce,
investment facilitation, disciplines on micro, small and medium enterprises
(MSMEs), and gender issues that sponsors had mooted at Buenos Aires
after the collapse of the eleventh ministerial conference (MC11) in
failure, without any agreement on the way forward on the negotiations
on the Doha Work Programme.
At a meeting Monday with WTO Director-General Roberto Azevedo, who
had called on him for the first time, Indian Prime Minister Narendra
Modi expressed sharp concern over the continued threats posed to the
effective functioning of the Dispute Settlement Body and the negotiating
pillar of the World Trade Organization and cautioned, "might
is right should not become the rule in global trade."
Separately, in an interview to SUNS on the sidelines of the ministerial,
the Indonesian trade minister, Enggartiasto Lukita, on Tuesday (20
March) said categorically that his country will not participate in
any plurilateral initiatives being launched by a group of countries
on electronic commerce, investment facilitation, and disciplines for
micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs).
In another interview, South African Trade Minister Rob Davies told
SUNS that the Delhi meeting witnessed intense "clash of paradigms"
on the way forward at the WTO and in the multilateral trading system,
and many countries fiercely opposed any departure from the current
system of judicial rulings issued by the Appellate Body to "negotiated
outcomes", as suggested by some members.