Info Service on WTO and Trade Issues (Dec15/13)
17 December 2015
Third World Network
Five South nations plus African Group demand reaffirmation
Published in SUNS #8157 dated 16 December 2015
Nairobi, 15 Dec (D. Ravi Kanth) -- Trade ministers of China, India,
South Africa, Ecuador, Venezuela, and members of the African Group
on Tuesday (15 December) appear to have prepared the ground to throw
the gauntlet to the United States and a handful of developed countries
by calling for reaffirmation to continue the Doha Development Agenda
(DDA) trade negotiations in the proposed Nairobi ministerial declaration.
Coming close on the heels of the US trade representative Michael Froman's
belligerent statement for closure of the DDA negotiations at the Nairobi
meeting, the trade ministers have decided to issue the strongest statement
yet, several trade envoys told the SUNS.
Although Indonesia walked out of the initial group of countries that
finalized the collective stand on the reaffirmation to continue the
DDA negotiations, the joining of the African Group of countries with
the five developing countries is a major victory, said an African
trade minister who asked not to be quoted.
The statement reads:
With the purpose of strengthening the multilateral trading system
and ensuring that development is at the centre of the ongoing negotiation,
we the Ministers from Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi,
China, Cote d'Ivoire, Cabo Verde, Cameroon, Central African Republic,
Chad, Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Ecuador,
Egypt, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, India, Kenya,
Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Morocco,
Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Seychelles,
Sierra Leone, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda,
Venezuela, Zambia and Zimbabwe believe it is imperative to make the
following joint statement:
1. We reaffirm the principles and objectives set out in the Marrakesh
Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization.
2. We recognise that the DDA is a significant multilateral attempt
to respond to trade and development interests of developing Members
and redress the imbalances codified in the rules resulting from the
previous rounds of multilateral trade negotiations. We reaffirm the
Declarations and Decisions we adopted at Doha, and all subsequent
Declarations and Decisions and reaffirm our full commitment to give
effect to them.
3. We further welcome the advances made in the Doha Development Agenda
(DDA). The Decisions and Declarations we propose to adopt at our present
session would signify that we have taken yet another step forward
in the negotiations and attest to our strong resolve to complete the
DDA as has been reaffirmed in the Sustainable Development Goal 17.10.
4. Further we recognize that a comprehensive conclusion of the DDA
with economically meaningful and balanced outcomes will provide impetus
to global trade liberalization and facilitation, correct the development
deficit in the rules resulting from the previous rounds of multilateral
trade negotiations and improve the trading prospects of developing
Members, and enhance the primary role of the WTO in global trade governance.
5. We need to redouble our efforts to enable us to proceed towards
the full, successful and multilateral conclusion of the negotiations
pursuant to paragraphs 45, 47 and 48 of the Doha Ministerial Declaration
in fulfilment of the commitments we took at Doha.
Several trade envoys said the joining of Kenya in the group is also
a significant development.
Earlier, the Ugandan Prime Minister and the Secretary-General of the
United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) Dr Mukhisa
Kituyi called for continuation of the DDA. +