Draft Ministerial text for the Cancun session is leaked
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CTA. 2003. Draft Ministerial text for the Cancun session is leaked. Agritrade, August 2003. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to cite or share this item: https://hdl.handle.net/10568/52493
External link to download this item: http://agritrade.cta.int/Back-issues/Agriculture-monthly-news-update/2003/August-2003
The draft Cancun Ministerial text was leaked on July 18th 2003. It leaves wide...
The draft Cancun Ministerial text was leaked on July 18th 2003. It leaves wide open virtually every area that WTO members are negotiating, leaving members with only a few weeks in which to narrow down the wide gap on highly contentious issues. The Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP) maintains that the 'draft sidelines implementation issues - issues that developing countries have been fighting for since prior to Seattle - by suggesting that the General Council merely 'redouble its efforts' to resolve these issues. The IATP maintains that the 'skeletal' nature of the draft text means that 'the Cancun Ministerial meeting is heading towards a repeat of Seattle where most developing countries were shut out of the real decision-making process'. The IATP identifies four major problem areas in the draft text: its is a proposal from the Chair of the General Council and not a negotiated draft; it places a heavy political responsibility on the WTO Secretariat; it places excessive responsibility on the Chairs of negotiating groups to the detriment of members' participation; it leaves the further development of the document to informal and undocumented consultations. The draft also 'leaves in brackets texts that are highly contentious in virtually every area of WTO negotiations'. This, according to the IATP will leave Ministers with a heavy work load in Cancun. A situation which places 'understaffed developing countries in a very vulnerable position'. Comment: The draft text suggests that developing-country governments such as those in the ACP will face a major challenge in resisting the intense pressure that they will face in Cancun to agree to 'compromise' texts which do not in fact address major issues of concern to developing countries (e.g. the trade-distorting effects of OECD agricultural-support programmes and the need for effective WTO disciplines to bring about substantial reductions in all forms of agricultural support).
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