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Home > Business > Business Headline > Report

Changes proposed in Cancun draft

BS Economy Bureau in New Delhi | August 19, 2003 11:01 IST

Former Indian ambassador to the World Trade Organisation S Narayanan on Monday said the draft Cancun declaration had pushed the implementation concerns raised by developing countries to the background and did not provided any deadline for resolution of these problems.

Narayanan, who is a visiting faculty at the Administrative Staff College of India, said countries like India should press for amendments to the draft declaration. "There will be no solution if the implementation issues are not an integral part of the work programme," he said at a symposium on Cancun organised jointly by the commerce ministry, UNCTAD and UNDP.

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Narayanan said the developed countries were never keen to address the implementation concerns raised by developing countries. "All the issues were to be resolved by the Doha ministerial meeting in 2001. But even before the talks began at Doha, it became clear to the developing countries that some issues would not be resolved," Narayanan said.

He said till the Doha ministerial, when the declaration factored in the concerns of developing countries, the developed world had objected to the issues saying they would alter the balance of the Uruguay Round agreements. "Now they are unwilling to even negotiate on these issues," he added.

Narayanan pointed out that the draft ministerial declaration, circulated among WTO members in Geneva last month, had pushed out the implementation issues from the purview of the trade negotiating committee to the general council.

Speaking at the seminar, R Gopalan, joint secretary in the commerce ministry, said India had identified some issues for early resolution.

"But there are a lot of games being played about the way the issues should be handled," he said pointing to attempts by the developed countries to scuttle any progress on the 93 items raised before the Doha ministerial.

Narayanan said the implementation issues had raised the sensitivities of the developing countries on the difficulties being faced by them. He said the developed countries were not showing enough political will for resolution of these concerns.

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