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  • 17 Developing nations pitch for filling vacancies at WTO appellate body for dispute settlement

    Published on May 14, 2019

    Seventeen developing countries today pitched for filling vacancies in the World Trade Organisation’s appellate saying that the current impasse could completely paralyze the dispute settlement mechanism of the global trade body by December this year.

    At the end of the two-day WTO  Ministerial Meeting of developing countries in New Delhi, they urged all the members of the organization to engage constructively to address this challenge without delay in filling the vacancies.

    The developing nations also stressed on working collectively to strengthen the WTO to promote development and inclusivity for the benefits of all members. According to an official release, the declaration, issued after the meeting, was signed by these 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. 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.

    Earlier in the day, addressing the Ministerial Meeting,  Commerce Minister Suresh Prabhu said that there are 7.3 billion people living in developing countries and they cannot and should not be deprived of the benefits of growth.

    He said WTO is an institution which addresses the concerns of development and growth of countries through trade and not aid. Mr Prabhu expressed confidence that the efforts of the New Delhi Ministerial Meeting will definitely lead to a WTO which is better than what it is today.

    The Commerce Minister hoped that the New Delhi Ministerial Meeting will re-endorse the centrality of development in WTO negotiations and provide suggestions for WTO reforms with development at its core.

    In his address at the dinner last night, DG, WTO, Roberto Azevedo, said that the reform process will mitigate the current crisis at WTO and talk about destroying the existing system is not the correct way and may not have the desired outcome. DG, WTO suggested for working in the existing system.