India wants WTO to prioritise development of Global South

Abu Dhabi, Feb 28 (IANS): India on Wednesday put forward a strong case for keeping development and the interests of the Global South at the core of the World Trade Organization (WTO) agenda.

In the Working Session on Development, India highlighted that there have been many promises, but very little action, on account of which the vulnerabilities of the developing countries, including the LDCs have only amplified further.

India stated that the multilateral trading system stood at a crossroads today.

While the world is battling multiple crises such as debt and balance of payment, the WTO itself is confronting serious challenges both from within and outside.

As a consequence, the developing countries, including the LDCs, are not only expending their limited resources fighting these global challenges but also defending their interests in this multilateral forum.

India emphatically stated that development is the goal and, in fact, the very reason, why the developing countries, including LDCs -- least developed countries, have joined this institution in the first place. "Thus, it is imperative that WTO prioritises, deliberates, and delivers solutions to the several challenges faced by developing countries, including LDCs."

India recalled that the principles of Special and Differential Treatment which were facing attack from the developed members were no exceptions to the general WTO rules, and in fact they were the inherent objectives of the Multilateral Trading System.

India asserted that in their journey of industrialisation, the developed countries have used and benefited from all policy tools available and are still utilising them for their new industries, where many industrial policy measures are being taken.

The irony was that now, these very same members were kicking the ladder away.

India said that the developing countries urgently needed flexibilities in existing rules. "Infant and young industries in developing countries need support through conducive policies, incentives, subsidies and level playing field."

In the discussions on the draft Abu Dhabi ministerial declaration, India stressed that the issues relevant to the developing countries should find focus and prominence. India insisted that new issues should not be considered for ministerial mandates unless past decisions and unfulfilled mandates were acted upon.



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Title: India wants WTO to prioritise development of Global South

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