Setback at WTO as demand to continue talks on Doha set aside

Panel sets aside demand to reaffirm commitment to continue Doha talks in declaration to be adopted at Nairobi meet

Industrialized countries insisted that if developing countries like India want a reaffirmation of the Doha Development Agenda negotiations, they must accept ‘graduation’ and forego special and differential and less-than-full-reciprocity flexibilities, according to people familiar with the development

India, along with an overwhelming majority of developing and poorest countries, received the biggest shock yet after a panel of facilitators at the World Trade Organization (WTO) set aside their demand for reaffirming the commitment to continue negotiations on all outstanding issues of the Doha Development Agenda (DDA) in the declaration to be adopted at the coming Nairobi ministerial meeting.

On Friday, the panel of facilitators said its report “contains neither draft language on nor place holders for the most contentious issues identified by members, namely the reaffirmation of the DDA and instructions on the way forward, and no new issues”.

Following the facilitators’ report, major industrialized countries—the US, EU, Japan, Australia and Canada, among others—insisted at a closed-door meeting on Saturday that if developing countries like China, India, Brazil, South Africa and Indonesia want reaffirmation of DDA negotiations, then they must accept “graduation” and forego special and differential and less-than-full-reciprocity flexibilities, according to people familiar with the development.

Effectively, the major industrialized countries turned the facilitators’ report into a trade-off between the continuation of DDA negotiations on the one side, and radical changes in the WTO’s architecture to bring graduation so to ensure that India, China, South Africa, Brazil and Indonesia undertake the same level of commitments as the developed countries for completing the Doha negotiations, according to people familiar with the development.

The countries which took part in the meeting included the US, China, India, Brazil, Japan, Australia, Canada, Norway, New Zealand, Switzerland, South Africa, Mexico, Colombia and Kenya, apart from the EU.

Ahead of the facilitators’ report, over 100 developing and least-developed countries demanded the “reaffirmation” of DDA negotiations. India, China, Indonesia, South Africa, Ecuador and Venezuela, along with the Africa Group, the Arab Group, the small and vulnerable economies, the Africa, Caribbean, and Pacific (ACP) group, the recently-acceded members, and the least-developed countries, have all demanded that the Nairobi Ministerial Declaration (NMD) must direct members to complete the DDA negotiations based on the existing mandates.

“We take note of the progress that has been made towards carrying out the Doha Work Programme, including the decisions we have taken during this (Nairobi) Ministerial Conference. These decisions are important stepping stones towards the completion of the Doha Round. We reaffirm the declarations and decisions we adopted at Doha, and all the subsequent declarations and decisions, notably the decision adopted by the general council on 1 August 2004; the Hong Kong Declaration of 2005 and the Bali Ministerial Declaration of 2013,” India, China, Ecuador, Indonesia, South Africa and Venezuela said in their proposal.

In his address to African leaders on 19 October in New Delhi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said “the Doha Development Agenda of 2001 is not closed without achieving these fundamental principles (at the Nairobi ministerial meeting).”

But, disregarding the demands raised by the large majority of developing and poorest countries, the three facilitators—Gabriel Duque (Colombia), Stephen Karau (Kenya), and Herald Neple (Norway)— merely included the language as suggested by a handful of powerful countries such as the US EU, Japan, and other members, according to trade envoys familiar with the report.

The five-page draft report, reviewed by Mint, has portrayed the DDA negotiations in a negative manner to bolster the case made by the US and the EU.

For example, the facilitators said the members made “some” progress in the DDA negotiations despite concluding the $1 trillion trade facilitation agreement, which is part of the DDA, said an African trade envoy, who asked not to be quoted.

In the crucial Part III of the report, which deals with the post-Nairobi work programme, the facilitators turned a blind eye to the demand from the overwhelming majority of countries that “explicitly” called for reaffirmation of continuation of DDA negotiations based on the existing Doha mandates.

Echoing the oral statements issued by the US, the EU and Japan, the facilitators merely said: “We regret that it has not been possible to reach agreement on all areas of the (DDA) negotiations, including agriculture, NAMA (manufacturing), services, rules, including fisheries subsidies, and TRIPS (trade related intellectual property). In particular, we note the importance of agriculture to many WTO members, including LDCs (least developed countries). We will, therefore, address all aspects of agriculture reform as a matter of priority.”

“By drafting a declaration which basically points towards closing the Doha negotiations, as demanded by the handful of countries, the facilitators turned their back to all the issues raised by a majority of countries in their written submissions,” a second trade envoy said.

Before the facilitators’ report is discussed by members in a bottom-up negotiating framework on Wednesday, industrialized countries are trying to adopt a top-down approach to finalize the Nairobi ministerial declaration, the second envoy said.

Source: http://www.livemint.com/Politics/3oIIF9kYWHukBnfIjogbIM/Setback-at-WTO-as-demand-to-continue-talks-on-Doha-set-aside.html

Last modified onThursday, 03 December 2015 20:59

345 comments

  • aveply

    aveply

    Comment Link Monday, 02 April 2018 16:18

    cheap viagra for sale
    generic viagra
    viagra not working
    buy cheap viagra online

  • ShaneWeeks

    ShaneWeeks

    Comment Link Monday, 02 April 2018 14:49

    can buy viagra from boots
    viagra generic
    viagra pfizer 100mg beipackzettel
    viagra generic
    best way to get an erection without viagra
    viagra pill
    do you need get viagra
    viagra pills
    buy viagra tablets online in india

  • Jamesvek

    Jamesvek

    Comment Link Monday, 02 April 2018 14:48

    el viagra se puede comprar libremente en farmacias
    generic viagra online without script
    should i order viagra online
    buy generic viagra online
    can buy viagra online
    viagra pill
    viagra online aus holland
    viagra pills 100 mg
    new price for viagra

  • lymnloah

    lymnloah

    Comment Link Monday, 02 April 2018 03:04

    compare generic cialis prices
    buy cialis
    buy original cialis 20mg
    generic cialis online

  • saurgE

    saurgE

    Comment Link Sunday, 01 April 2018 04:26

    avanafil vs viagra
    generic viagra online
    viagra price
    cheap viagra online

  • Soociaft

    Soociaft

    Comment Link Sunday, 01 April 2018 03:29

    i need cash now
    loans for bad credit
    payday loans surrey b c
    payday express

  • Irowtota

    Irowtota

    Comment Link Sunday, 01 April 2018 01:22

    over counter viagra
    viagra cheap
    viagra results video
    generic viagra

  • Briantam

    Briantam

    Comment Link Saturday, 31 March 2018 12:56

    can you cut cialis pills in half
    ed pills that work
    viagra buy online canada
    erectile dysfunction pills
    buy viagra manchester
    erection pills
    cialis online for sale
    ed pills that work
    generic viagra without rx

  • eremast

    eremast

    Comment Link Saturday, 31 March 2018 10:13

    generic cialis tadalafil us
    buy cialis online
    generic cialis soft online
    buy cialis online

  • ethigeox

    ethigeox

    Comment Link Saturday, 31 March 2018 08:04

    viagra zagreb
    viagra online
    viagra samples free
    buy viagra

Leave a comment

Make sure you enter the (*) required information where indicated. HTML code is not allowed.

back to top