New Delhi, May 10 : A WTO Ministerial meeting of developing countries is being hosted here by India on May 13-14, aimed at providing an opportunity to the developing countries and Least Developed Countries to build consensus on how to move forward on the WTO reforms, while preserving the fundamentals of the multilateral trading system.
Sixteen developing countries and six Least Developed Countries (LDCs) -- Argentina, Bangladesh, Barbados, Benin, Brazil, Central African Republic (CAR), Chad, China, Egypt, Guatemala, Guyana, Indonesia, Jamaica, Kazakhstan, Malawi, Malaysia, Nigeria, Oman, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, Uganda -- and DG, WTO are participating in the meeting.
Ministers from Bangladesh, CAR and South Africa have confirmed their participation. Vice Ministers, senior officials and ambassadors will be representing other countries.
The two-day meeting will be interactive in order to provide an opportunity to the Ministers to discuss various issues and the way forward. On the first day, there will be a meeting of senior officers of the participating countries followed by a dinner hosted by Union Minister of Commerce & Industry for the heads of delegations.
On the second day, the Ministerial Meeting will be held. The meeting is being held at a time when the multilateral rule-based-trading system is facing serious and grave challenges. In the recent past, there have been increasing unilateral measures and counter measures by members, deadlock in key areas of negotiations and the impasse in the Appellate Body, which threaten the very existence of Dispute Settlement Mechanism of the WTO and impacts the position of the WTO as an effective multilateral organisation.
The current situation has given rise to demands from various quarters to reform the WTO. This meeting at New Delhi is an effort to bring together the developing countries and Least Developed Countries on a platform for sharing common concerns on various issues affecting the WTO and work together to address these issues.
The two-day meeting also provides an opportunity to the developing countries and LDCs to build consensus on how to move forward on the WTO reforms, while preserving the fundamentals of the multilateral trading system enshrined in the WTO.
The deliberations will aim at getting a direction on how to constructively engage on various issues in the WTO, both institutional and negotiating, in the run up to the Twelfth Ministerial Conference of the WTO to be held in Kazakhstan in June 2020, according to a statement here on Friday. (UNI)