Info Service on Trade and WTO Issues (July08/26)
Trade: Developing countries urge North to show leadership
This urging came in a joint statement issued on Sunday (20 July) by the G20, the G33, the NAMA-11, the ACP Group, the Least Developed Countries (LDCs), the African Group, the Small, Vulnerable Economies (SVEs) group, the CARICOM, and the Cotton-4 (Benin, Burkina Faso, Chad and Mali).
The Ministers and senior officials of the G20 and the coordinators of the G33, the NAMA-11, the ACP Group, the LDCs, the African Group, the SVEs, the CARICOM and the Cotton-4 held a meeting to review the situation in the Doha Round, on the eve of the WTO mini-Ministerial gathering that got underway on Monday (21 July).
The Groups stressed that developed countries must show leadership by indicating from the outset their readiness to fulfill the mandate for a Development Round. At the same time, the Groups expressed their commitment to play a role in the negotiations and make a contribution in line with the development dimension of the mandate.
Groups emphasized that the full integration of developing countries
into the multilateral trading system will only be achieved if the WTO
reflects their development needs and concerns. "This is why the
They also emphasized the central role of the agriculture negotiations in the Doha Development Agenda. Most of the world's farmers live in developing countries. They continue to be burdened by gigantic trade-distorting subsidies and prohibitive market access barriers in developed countries.
"Addressing these distortions effectively is the most important unfinished task in the WTO," said the Groups.
Groups recalled that the development dimension of the
Although Agriculture and NAMA are the central elements of negotiations this week, the Groups emphasized the importance of the overall balance in the DDA (Doha Development Agenda) and of meaningful development-oriented results in other areas.
The Groups noted that S&D is an integral horizontal component of the negotiations in all areas. They stressed the importance of less than full reciprocity in reduction commitments, flexibilities and other concerns in NAMA for industrial development in developing countries.
They also emphasized the vital role of SPs (special products), in addressing the food security, rural development and livelihood concerns of developing countries, and of the SSM (special safeguard mechanism).
The Groups acknowledged the importance of the full implementation of the Hong Kong Ministerial Decision on Duty Free and Quota Free market access, the simplification of rules of origin and other issues raised by the LDCs. They underlined the need to address the interests and concerns of NFIDCs (net food importing developing countries).
They underscored the need to find adequate responses to the trade-related issues raised by the SVEs, and underlined that the particular concerns of recently acceded developing Members must be effectively addressed.
The Groups recognized the necessity of addressing the issue of tropical and alternative products according to the mandate. They also recognized the mandate on long-standing preferences and the need to address the different aspects of the issue of preference erosion.
They highlighted that the issue of cotton must be addressed ambitiously, expeditiously and specifically in its trade-related and developments aspects, on the basis of the proposals submitted by the Cotton-4.
The Groups pledged to maintain the unity and cooperation among developing country groups. They committed themselves to work constructively so as to reach full modalities in Agriculture by the end of this week.
They underlined the need for a truly multilateral, transparent, and bottom-up process. They reaffirmed the common objective to ensure an outcome that delivers on the development dimension of the Doha Round. +