You are here: Home » PTI Stories » National » News
Business Standard

Developing nations call for filling vacancies at WTO appellate body for dispute settlement

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Seventeen developing countries Tuesday made a strong case for filling vacancies in WTO's appellate body, saying current impasse could "completely paralyse" the dispute settlement mechanism of the global trade body by December.

At the end of the two-day ministerial meeting here, in which 22 WTO member nations participated, also stressed on working collectively to strengthen the World Trade Organisation (WTO) to promote development and inclusivity.

The declaration, issued after the meeting, was signed by 17 countries, while the remaining five refrained from backing the 13-point document.

The member nations who signed the document said the dispute settlement system of the WTO is a central element in providing security and predictability to the multilateral trading system and stressed that the ongoing impasse threatens to "completely paralyse it by December 2019".

"We, therefore, urge all WTO Members to engage constructively to address this challenge without any delay in filling the vacancies in the Appellate Body, while continuing discussions on other issues relating to the functioning of the dispute settlement mechanism," the declaration said.

The United States, a WTO member, has blocked the appointment of appellate body. The minimum quorum (3) for functioning of this body will end on December 10, after which it will become dysfunctional.

India has flagged the issue on the day one of the ministerial meeting.

The declaration has also stressed that special and differential treatment (S&DT) provisions are rights of developing Members that must be preserved and strengthened in both current and future WTO agreements, with priority attention to outstanding Least Developed Countries (LDC) issues.

The S&DT norms provide flexibility to developing member countries in the WTO. Under this, they enjoy benefits like higher domestic support for the agriculture sector and longer time periods for implementing agreements and binding commitments.

The document further said the process of WTO reform must keep development at its core, promote inclusive growth, and fully take into account the interests and concerns of developing Members, including the specific challenges of graduating LDCs.

The way forward must be decided through a process that is open, transparent and inclusive. We agree to work collectively with the aim to develop proposals to ensure that our common interests are reflected in the WTO reform process, it added.

With reference to the global agreement on agriculture, it said there was a need to provide adequate policy space to the developing countries to support their farmers through correcting the asymmetries and imbalances on priority.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Dear Reader,

Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

First Published: Tue, May 14 2019. 17:21 IST