In a glaring omission, the World Trade Organization’s (WTO’s) draft declaration for the ministerial meeting in Nairobi in December did not mention finding a permanent solution to India’s concerns on food security, but has promised to “address all aspects of agriculture reform as a matter of priority”.
The failure of the WTO membership to reach an agreement on most issues that were part of the Doha work programme was taken note of. The draft also raised concerns about the rush of regional trade agreements (RTAs). “We welcome the advances made in the Doha Development Agenda. We regret that it has not been possible to reach agreement on all areas of the negotiations, including agriculture, non-agriculture market access (NAMA), services, rules, including fisheries subsidies, and TRIPS. In particular, we note the importance of agriculture to many WTO members, including LDCs (least developed countries). We will therefore address all aspects of agriculture reform as a matter of priority,” the five-page document said. It was released to WTO members on November 27.
Focusing on the RTAs, such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership and RCEP, the draft said the agreements remained complementary and not a substitute for the multilateral trading system.
The government has not given any official reaction to the draft declaration, which has kept the issue of new agenda items open, including some contentious areas such as the link between trade and climate, currency and the global value chain. India is not comfortable with the some of the issues related to these areas where it has raised objections. India believes that some of them don’t belong to WTO.
WTO chief Roberto Azevedo said that the draft has sought to touch upon the less contentious issues. “Of course, we also need to tackle the most contentious issues such as the reaffirmation of the Doha Development Agenda and instructions on the way forward, and openness to talking about new issues. I will set up a different process to deal with those tough, contentious issues, and we will be starting this process after the General Council is finished next week,” he said in a statement.
India has been focusing on food security, which has been a major issue of contention between the developed and developing countries.
- India Writes Network (www.indiawrites.org) is an emerging think tank and a media-publishing company focused on international affairs & the India Story. A venture of TGII Media Private Limited, a leading media, publishing and consultancy company, IWN has carved a niche for balanced and exhaustive reporting and analysis of international affairs. Eminent personalities, politicians, diplomats, authors, strategy gurus and news-makers have contributed to India Writes Network, as also “India and the World,” a magazine focused on global affairs. The Global Insights India (TGII) is the research arm of India Writes Network. To subscribe to India and the World, write to firstname.lastname@example.org
- News2021.05.14India fighting Covid on a war footing: PM Modi
- Diplomacy2021.05.14In Solidarity: Italy sends more Covid-19 relief to India
- China Connect2021.05.10China provides oxygen, ventilators to bolster India’s anti-Covid fight
- Diplomacy2021.05.08Trade and beyond: a new impetus to the EU-India Partnership