Assisting developing countries to make world trade agreements

The conditions necessary for the effective implementation of the Wolrd Trade Organization (WTO) agreements, particularly in the developing countries, need to be ensured. Developing countries consider that existing transition periods have not always been sufficient. Any new agreement reached should consider adequate provisions for assistance to the developing countries to enable them to establish the necessary infrastructure and other conditions necessary for the effective implementation of the agreements and to ensure that these countries benefit from the opportunities offered by these agreements.

Cooperation is also required among international organizations, including UNCTAD, the World Bank, UNDP, WTO, IMF and ITC, and regional development banks in helping to provide the necessary assistance to countries with respect to their rights and obligations under the multilateral trading system so as to allow them to reap the full benefits.

The WTO provides for democratic decision-making procedures, but in practice the decision-making is more oligarchical than democratic. Developing countries showed both in Seattle and earlier, in the selection of the Director General, that the formal right to vote can generate informal power. Developing countries have powerful reasons to institutionalize some means of consensus-building in order to take advantage of opportunities embedded in the peculiar features of the WTO. This might require institutional innovations or might involve taking better advantage of the potential of existing global organizations such as UNCTAD. Rather than reconciling themselves to a supposedly unmodifiable system of globalization, developing countries must strive to reshape that system.
1. New mechanisms for meaningful developing country participation must be created to ensure that developing countries are not marginalized from WTO deliberations. In many cases developing country missions lack staff to attend all meetings and to work on all areas of the WTO's work program. Consequently, the WTO rules and timetable largely represent the interests of the developed countries and their industries. New mechanisms are required to assist developing countries.
Commerce Trade
Law Agreements
Type Classification:
E: Emanations of other strategies
Related UN Sustainable Development Goals:
GOAL 16: Peace and Justice Strong Institutions