archivies: wto info

A Mockery of a Multilateral Trading system: Who is Accountable?

By Shefali Sharma
October 29, 2001

An initial look at the unarticulated and non-transparent process leading up to the 4th WTO Ministerial Meeting. Many developing country delegations in Geneva blame the blatant biased role of the Secretariat (Director General Mike Moore promoting negotiations on a much broader agenda than all its members are willing to accept) and the bilateral power used by the Quad (EC and US in particular) both in Geneva and in capitals to change country positions and break developing country coalitions. The Secretariat says it is member driven, yet the Director General (DG) has consistently campaigned for a "New Round" of negotiations in spite of vast disagreement and no consensus on this issue by WTO members. Why did the first drafts of the ministerial texts released on 26 September, create such and uproar by many developing countries? What was the process that led up to that draft and the one that will be released today or tomorrow? Who is Accountable?

This article highlights certain processes and events leading up to the 4th Ministerial Conference of the WTO in an effort that Civil Society may begin to piece together and critique a vague and mysterious process of an organization that has sweeping implications on domestic policies of 142 Nation-States. The article shows how even blocks of Southern Countries and their repeated and clear statements have not reflected the final outcome of key decisions in this multilateral institution. The next drafts for Doha, released late in the evening of October 27, have yielded the same results. The "consultation process," as was suspected, has indeed failed to present a bracketed text that represents fairly the opinions of a large majority of WTO members.


A Deeper Look at the Green Rooms and the Informals: HOW DO THEY FIT INTO THE LARGER PICTURE

The unspoken rule in the WTO is that if you are not present at a meeting, if you do not raise opposition in a meeting or speak up, you are in consensus with the outcome of the meeting. A dangerous process that has emerged over the last year is this "Consultation Process" where by the Chair of the General Council or a Deputy Director General present at a closed meeting, now called, "Small Open-Ended Meetings," will submit a briefing of their "understanding" of the decisions reached at the meeting, or their "sense" of where members are with regards to positions.

This "understanding" and "sense" is then reflected in Drafts such as the Ministerial Text and the Implementation Text or the Agriculture Text or the TRIPS and Health Ministerial Text. As you will see below and as is well documented by the country statements themselves, this "sense" is poorly reflected by the people who provide the outcome of "consultations. At best, it is inaccurate and imbalanced, at worst, it is biased to the interests of developed and the most influential countries of the WTO.

I. In light of this, some useful statistics based on a survey of delegations:

Average size of missions:

Developed Countries: 7.38 people

Developing Countries: 3.51

Range of disparities within developing country missions:
India has 6 delegates while Mozambique has 1.

There are twenty-nine non-resident delegations in Geneva. These missions do not attend meetings; they do not raise an opinion. They are counted as consensus into the process.

WTO STAFF: 410 from developed countries, 94 from developing. 512 total WTO Staff

Regular Meetings of the WTO: 10 Daily Meetings. Many of them are overlapping, so that smaller delegations cannot be represented at even the regular meetings of the WTO.

Representation at Meetings

When some of these delegations actually manage to be physically present at some of these meetings, how are they represented? Developing countries have realized that they speak stronger as blocks. The African Group often speaks on behalf of 41 countries, but rather than looking at the African group statement as that of 41 countries, it is seen as a statement of one member. The LDCs have the same problem. Tanzania speaks on behalf of 30 LDC countries, but it is often represented as Tanzania. Even though most of the time, at least 6 LDCs speak up in support of the LDC position (Bangladesh, Djibouti, Guinea, Haiti, Lesotho, Senegal, Uganda and Zambia), the LDC position is counted as one. Similarly, while some African delegations give support to Zimbabwe, the spokesperson to the African Group, the position is weighed as one.

This creates a serious problem of misrepresentation and the weight behind statements. The LDCs and the African Group combined make up exactly half of the membership of the WTO.

Selection of Chairs

Why is the Chair of the Committee on Least Developing Countries not from a Least Developing Country? What is the criteria and method of selecting a Chair? Who created the Draft Ministerial Text paragraph on Least Developing Countries? LDC members reported that they did not see the language of the paragraph before it was inserted into the Draft text. The LDC view on that paragraph as reflected on Oct 2 LDC statement:

"The section on LDCs is too weak. It does not deal with the important issues of implementation, accession and the need to bind trade preferences for LDCs. The need to overcome supply side constraints is not emphasised enough." Followed by proposals of what should actually go in the text. Should they not have been consulted beforehand?
Who selected the current General Council Chair? Where is the process of choosing chairs articulated? Is it written? No one knows.

II. The Ministerial Process: Small "open-ended" Meetings

The Unwritten Rules:

  1. There are no minutes. The Secretariat has this year started to conduct briefings for some, not all, of the small "open-ended meetings" for delegations not present.
  2. Again, these briefings are a reflection from the Secretariat, the Chair or the DG as to the discussion that took place. Most developing country delegations question the validity of these assessments since there is no verification process or fact-checking on these briefings because there are no minutes and no process to do so. But even these mistrusted briefings are a step up from the lack of briefings of any green rooms prior to Seattle.
  3. These green rooms are "open-ended," but are based on invitation. Invitations are given to those who are vocal about the particular issue being discussed or to those whom the Chair and the Secretariat "thinks" will have an interest. There are no universal announcements for all small "open-ended" meetings.
  4. The meetings are simultaneous, numerous, on weekends, in the evening. They are announced to some members only at times, at other times they are announced at the meeting itself. Sometimes, they are announced on the WTO meeting board. Mostly, delegations hear from word of mouth, by accidentally walking into one, or they are unaware that a meeting took place.

This creates severe problems in transparency:

  1. As noted from above, many countries are physically unable to be everywhere at the same time, so they are automatically excluded.
  2. It is the discretion of the Secretariat and the Chair to decide who gets invitations?
  3. In some cases, even when countries have submitted proposals on a particular issue, they have not been invited.

Example 1:

Jamaica's proposal on Annex 7 of the Subsidies Agreement was discussed in one of these "small open-ended" meetings in July without inviting Jamaica to the meeting. The delegation gave a strong statement on the "opaqueness" of the WTO process at a July General Council Meeting following this incident. See SUNS, July Articles.

Example 2:

Though it is "understood" that countries wishing to be invited to certain small meetings just have to indicate to the Secretariat that they wish to attend, in the case of two transition economy countries this fall, the "understanding" was false. They approached the Secretariat with their desire to attend a certain meeting. The Secretariat told them that they would receive invitations. They never received invitations. They did not attend the meetings.

Example 3:

The two mini-ministerials, where clearly a fraction of the membership discussed the work program of the WTO and failed to include the majority of the membership: No delegates could say with any clarity as to who initiated the meetings for Mexico or Singapore.

The broader and larger question is: If these meetings are never announced and are based on invitation, how can individual countries decide if they would like to attend. How many of them have the physical capacity to attend? How is "consensus" reflected as a basis of these consultations?

These "open-ended" meetings are often promoted as a "consensus building" exercise and as an important function of the WTO process. But some of these closed meetings actually forward the WTO agenda without consulting the membership. Two blatant green room processes have been

  1. The Agriculture Text for the Ministerial. It first came out in a closed meeting of a handful of members on October 5. The entire membership first saw the draft text on October 8.
  2. The Investment and Competition Green Room of October 7 and 8. One delegation walked into this green room by accident and realized that it had been going on for one day already and that there were papers circulated within this meeting that the rest of the membership had not seen. In fact, the representation in that room consisted of only the major powers. Even some large developing countries were missing in that room.

This is by no means a complete list of examples of violation of due process, or rather the execution of NO PROCESS.

(For other examples, please see articles by Chakravarti Raghavan, "Crisis in WTO Talks!" by Aileen Kwa, Focus on the Global South, Third World Network, IATP-Geneva.)


There are a wide variety of opinions about the number and types of meetings being perpetuated at the WTO. These are called, green rooms, informals, super informals, bilaterals, closed meetings etc. etc. etc. There is no clarity of the process at all amongst delegations. There are no written procedures or accounts of all the types of meetings the WTO perpetuates under its auspices. Therefore, these pieces have been gathered by personal interviews with delegations, other institutions working in Geneva on institutional reform and other articles written by individuals and organizations working with delegations in Geneva.

(See also SUNS, Focus on the Global South, Third World Network Information Service, IATP-Geneva, Trade Information Project). For the WTO to stand up to these critiques, it must provide written evidence of having due process and account for it through the verification of 142 members.

This undemocratic process continues to the last minute.

The next ministerial draft was due to be out October 26. Because of dissension over the Singapore issues, the draft had been delayed by one day.

TWN Info Service on WTO Issues reported on October 26, 2001, that the EC and Japan with support of the US continue to push through the Singapore Issues of investment, competition, government procurement and trade facilitation. The report also mentioned that these issues are most likely to be included by the Chair of the General Council as the plurilateral "opt in, opt out" and two-stage approach in spite of widespread opposition of these issues amongst developing countries. Equally important, the report quotes the WTO decision taken in the 1996 Singapore Ministerial that one would imagine gives the Chair a clear mandate to exclude negotiations on these issues given that there is no "explicit consensus" on these issues. Singapore Ministerial Decision states, "future negotiations, if any, regarding multilateral disciplines in these areas will take place only after an explicit consensus decision is taken among the WTO Members regarding such negotiations."

The fact that this was even being considered at the eve of the Draft when on Thursday, October 25, 2001, several countries spoke up at a "Heads of Delegation Meeting" that there is no consensus to include any variation of negotiations on these issues illustrates once again that the process within the WTO is fatally flawed (Communication with an Ambassador). On Thursday, the Chair had said that he had "taken note" of these divergent positions. If taking note means inclusion of the position put forward by the Quad in the Ministerial Text, Civil Society and Parliaments back home must begin to vigorously scrutinize the process within the WTO and hold the institution accountable for its results.

As it has turned out, the Ministerial Draft has indeed included the Singapore issues for negotiations and clearly lays out conditions for launching a new round at Doha. At this time, LDCs, many African nations and some key developing countries are once again trying to decipher how they critique a clean text that, in many cases, does not reflect at all their interests. This text may be steamrolled into Doha as it stands



A look at the events of the last months in the run up to the ministerial and a recap of the statements made by the countries themselves may reflect more accurately the picture than what is portrayed in the media and from what may come out in the next draft or even the outcome of the Ministerial itself. It is a glimpse of some of the key events of the last many months and does not attempt to provide a comprehensive account of all the events that have taken place in the run up to Doha. A look at this timeline clearly exhibits the manner in which the developed country agenda is "steamrolled" ahead and developing country and least developing country decisions and statements are discounted. (For actual statements reflected in this timeline, please refer to the ENDNOTES.)


Key Questions to consider that are beyond the scope of this article:

  1. Is this institution truly democratic and representative of the constituencies of these member-states?
  2. Where is real parliamentary input of decision-makers at the WTO?
  3. How are African Countries, Small States and Least Developing Countries treated in these negotiations?
  4. How has denial prevailed in this institution in terms of "development and growth" with respect to the impact on developing countries of liberalization policies of the IMF and World Bank over the last 20 years?
  5. How has this institution dealt with representation of members who do not have consulates in Geneva?
  6. How does the "silence means consensus system" bode for the weaker countries who fear bilateral pressure and for those who do not have the number of delegates to be present at key meetings?
  7. Do all members know of all meetings taking place under the WTO work program?
  8. Does this system promote a Machiavellian style of decision-making or a truly democratic process?
  9. Why has the mainstream media coverage of the "mini-ministerial" differed significantly from the perceptions of delegations from less powerful countries that were present at those meetings?
  10. How has mainstream media failed in terms providing a balanced picture of the process at the WTO?


(1) DG Mike Moore, Informal General Council, July 30, 2001:

"I have made no secret of my conviction that a new round is necessary. There is no better way in which we can effectively address the problems of economic slowdown or prevent the further marginalization of many developing countries through the weakening of the multilateral system. There is no other way in which we can make sure that the legal system embodied in the WTO responds to economic reality. There is no other way in which we can sustain the momentum of the negotiations on agriculture and services. Nowhere in the world, as far as I know, is the need for negotiation on agriculture disputed; but nowhere else in the world, if not here, is that negotiation going to happen.
".However, a large number of players are not yet convinced. I firmly believe that the best answer - in fact the only answer - to those who remain skeptical about the merit of new negotiations is a forward looking work programme which caters for the interests of all Members, but in particular the developing and least-developed countries..
"But we are still far from agreement. Not all Members are convinced of the need for new negotiations and among those who are there is insufficient clarity about the scope and level of ambition envisaged."

(2) Source: TWN Info Service on WTO Issues, July 31, 2001:

Pakistan Ambassador Munir Akram:
"There were 50 proposals for urgent action on implementation. Decisions may be likely on only three issues at present. This justifies the evaluation there has been no welcome advances, no positive developments, almost no headway towards positive decisions. Unless there are tangible results on implementation, we find it difficult to continue considering proposals to enlarge the negotiating agenda before, at or after Doha. Under present circumstances there is very little prospect for agreement on the four Singapore issues."
The India Ambassador, S. Narayanan rejects Singapore issues and says that differences cannot be narrowed by Doha.
Malaysian Ambassador Superamaniam: "It is abundantly clear the differences in positions are intractable. Clever drafting cannot resolve fundamental difficulties and this has to be recognised...We run the risk of a "Seattle Two" if we continue with the all-or-nothing course....It is clear we are in a state of impasse. We characterise the situation as discouraging, discomforting, demoralising and even depressing. The reality is that the positions on a wide range of issues are sharply divided even at this critical phase."
Ambassador Halida of Indonesia: "Indonesia is deeply concerned over the initiative by some Members to launch a "comprehensive" round which includes new issues. Indonesia has learned a very good lesson from past experience, that a proposal that looks fair on the surface may have very different and serious consequences. To understand what is really at stake we certainly need to understand fully all factors and implications...Insisting to include issues which do not reflect the interests of all Members would be a perfect recipe for failure....The unrealistic expansion of the agenda will place at peril the success of the Ministerial Conference."
Jamaica's Ambassador Ransford Smith: "Time is running out and we may be in danger of repeating recent history unless we focus first on necessary preconditions and secondly on what is possible at this time. For us the resolution of implementation issues is a necessary pre-condition and unfortunately there is very little progress there. We do not believe that beyond the built-in agenda many issues fall into the realm of what is possible. We should admit the reality as quickly as possible."
Tanzanian Ambassador Ali Mchumo, on behalf of LDC countries (30 in WTO) reflected the position taken at the LDC Ministers meeting in Zanzibar (48 total LDC countries): "Ministers considered the so-called Singapore issues that include investment, competition policy, environment, transparency in government procurement and trade facilitation. Given the fact that the issues involved are complex and divergent views due to exist and that the new issues are yet to be fully understood, especially regarding their implications on LDCs' development, the Ministers were of the view that the study process should continue in the working groups and that time is not ripe for LDCS to undertake negotiations for multilateral regimes on these areas."
The Africa Group of countries, represented by Zimbabwe, also indicate their reluctance to entertain new issues at Doha.

(3) The Ministers elaborate their concerns of inclusion of new issues (draft Abuja Declaration):

"African countries are not "demandeurs" of multilateral agreement on the issues concerned; African countries generally lack capacity for implementation of obligations in the area; Most African countries remain to be convinced of the potential of the proposed new multilateral Agreements to deliver tangible benefits to them; African countries are concerned over the added burden of obligations in the face of present implementation challenges facing them; with a similar concern over the dangers of overloading the agenda of the WTO; African countries note that so far there appears to be no consensus among members of the WTO to launch negotiations in these areas; African countries recall the various working groups have been established to commence studies on the respective subjects and are yet to complete their work. This study process should continue."
On Non-Agricultural Market Access (NAMA)
"The effective participation by African countries in negotiations in this area requires in-depth technical analysis to identify precisely the challenges and the opportunities involved in industrial tariff negotiations. UNCTAD, UNIDO and other relevant agencies are requested to continue their assistance and support to African countries in this area.
"Agreement to engage in industrial tariff negotiations is made conditional on completion of a study process which should include the effect of previous and any future tariff reductions on African countries' industries and on a clear demonstration of commitment by developed counties to provide and expand meaningful market access for exports of African Members, in particular, small island and least developed countries. Key elements for such work should include: (a) addressing tariff peaks I sectors of export interest; (b) eliminating tariff escalation; and (c) elaborating meaningful provisions on S&D, including exemption from further tariff obligations for LDCs and African countries."

(4) Country Statements on Implementation, Oct. 1, 2001:

India: "Viewed from the perspective of number of concerns which are said to have been addressed or would be addressed at the Ministerial Conference, the results should have been impressive. The reality is:

  1. Core concerns in certain of the implementation proposals; have not been effectively addressed; and/or
  2. Text of the decision in several cases being once more in the nature of best endeavour clauses; and/or
  3. Several decisions being in the form of referral to subsidiary bodies whose consideration will stretch into well after Doha.
  4. Crucial concerns not figuring, in either Annex I or II being, sought to be addressed in the course of a future work programme, whose parameters have not been defined.

It appears that the intention of the Chairman with regard to the tirets not covered by Annex 1 and Annex 2 is, as seen from the draft declaration, that the remaining, implementation issues should be fully addressed in accordance with appropriate guidelines to be developed under the work programme Ministers would be establishing. I am afraid that this is contrary to the letter and spirit of the May 3, 2000 decision of the General Council which envisaged that all implementation issues would be resolved not later than the fourth ministerial conference.

".before I conclude, I would like to make a brief reference to the covering note attached to the draft decisions. The covering note to the draft decision on implementation related issues and concerns states inter alia that 'the Chairman and the Director General believe that this draft represents a credible effort to move the implementation debate to a new level of understanding'. The significance of this sentence is not clear as far as my delegation is concerned. May 3, 2000 decision envisages resolution of all implementation related issues and concerns latest by the fourth ministerial conference. It is a bit surprising that we should at this point of time "moving the implementation debate to a new level of understanding". The proposals of the developing Countries have been on the table for more than three years and any number of formal and informal meetings as well as consultations have been organised regarding these proposals. Therefore, there cannot be any question of lack of understanding about these proposals. While the Indian delegation can agree that the Chairman and DG have made extraordinary efforts (much more than what the phrase "credible effort" would indicate) to achieve results in this area, one cannot escape the conclusion that the results achieved so far are far >from credible. (Emphasis Added). It is necessary to do further intensive work in the next few days to improve the proposed draft decisions and achieve credible results and thereby build the confidence of the developing countries in the system.

"We find the present draft on implementation to be very disappointing. It is imbalanced as it has not taken on board most of the issues that concern us nor the proposals we have made. Although there are many points in Annex I and Annex 2, a close reading shows that on only few points are there anything of real substance in the form of changes or commitments. In most of the points covered, there is only mention of 'best endeavours' and 'taking note' (if issues. The draft has neglected many of the implementation issues raised by LDCS, either by ignoring them totally or treating them very lightly and in a manner devoid of substance. Moreover, although it was agreed that the implementation issues would be resolved before Doha, yet we find that most of the important issues are either placed in Annex 2 (to be decided in Doha) or are even absent from the draft. We therefore must register our deep disappointment and call on the Chairman to work hard and do better justice to the issues and our concerns."

See also, SUNS Oct 3, 2001

(5) Country Statements on Draft Ministerial Text, Oct 2-3, 2001

"Overall we find the draft is very imbalanced against the interests of LDCs and other developing countries. It gives the appearance of a 'clean text' with only a few points of contention. In reality this 'clean text' hides the many points of contention in several issues among WTO members. In most areas, the draft does not adequately present the views of LDCs. It would have been preferable if these views had been presented, even as options, so that there is fairer representation of our views. We hope this will be rectified in the next draft, which should be more balanced. We therefore propose that major changes be made to the draft declaration."
The LDC statement in response to the preamble text: ".the preamble is imbalanced in not recognising the points made by LDCs and other developing countries on the downside in the operations and implementation of the system, such as the imbalances in the rules, the inequitable distribution of benefits and losses, the lack of tangible benefits to poorer countries, the massive losses to poor countries and poor people from the continuous decline in commodity prices and terms of trade, or the threats to livelihood and jobs when small firms and small farmers are unable to cope with the flood of cheap imports. In short, the marginalisation of LDCs and some other developing countries should be mentioned so that there is recognition of these problems by Ministers with the view to resolving them."
India: "Incidentally, I would also like to mention that paragraphs 1 and 2 appear to paint a very rosy picture of the multilateral trading system. While we all appreciate the need for a rule based multilateral system, it may not be very desirable to ignore the reality that the fruits of the system are not available to all countries in an equitable manner. All of us are aware that there is no credible assessment, as of today, of the benefit derived by developing countries from the Uruguay Round Agreements."
On Singapore/New Issues:
India: "While I respect and understand the wishes of some of my colleagues for launching of negotiations in these four areas, I am sure they will acknowledge that even in the meetings convened by the proponents themselves, it became absolutely clear that there was no consensus in favour of changing the study mode into negotiation mode in respect of any one of these subjects. Therefore, I am a bit surprised that in respect of Government procurement and trade facilitation, your draft provides commencement of negotiations as the only option in these two areas."
LDCs: "At Zanzibar, LDC Ministers indicated that they are not willing to accept the four "Singapore issues" (investment, competition, transparency in government procurement and trade facilitation) as subjects for negotiations for new rules. The LDC Ministers indicated that the four "Singapore issues" were not yet ripe for negotiations as the issues were complex and the LDCs were not able to fully understand the implications for them.
A blatant breach of process on launching a "new round" in the Draft Text:
LDCs: "Paragraphs 36-42 clearly indicate the launching of a new Round, i.e. the conclusion of negotiations by a dateline, the formation of a Trade Negotiations Committee, a single undertaking. LDC Ministers have already stated that LDCs are unable to undertake a broad agenda due to lack of capacity and inability to absorb more commitments. Thus this section of the draft has to be amended to reflect that LDCs would not want a new Round nor elements of such a Round."
African Group: "Our view is that we defer consideration of this section (paras 36-42) until such time as we have agreed on the elements of the Work Programme. However, we strongly believe that it is important to develop language on paragraph 40 that formalizes a Ministerial decision on transparent and inclusive decision-making in the WTO."
India: "Mr. Chairman, you will not be surprised if I say that I have serious concerns with many elements as well as the structure of the Draft. The fundamental concern for my delegation is that the fact that though the draft does not use the word "round" anywhere, the implication of the draft declaration appears to launch an open-ended new round of negotiations with all the traditional elements of a round as seen during the Uruguay Round, built into it...
"When I first glanced through your draft, I got the impression that there was no "round" in it, in as much as I saw only the first two-thirds of the draft. But subsequently, when I looked at paragraphs 36 to 39 and 42, all ideas, concepts and trappings which go to make a "round" have been included in these paragraphs. We feel that these paragraphs closely mirror the Punta Declaration. Somehow the fact that since (January 1, 1995), we have a permanent negotiating forum and that we are no longer in the GATT era seems to have been overlooked. We do not see as to why there should be a trade negotiation committee. We have the General Council in the WTO as provided for under Article IV.2 of the WTO Agreement. This is the supreme organ of the WTO next only to Ministerial Conference. Moreover, in the intervals between the meeting of the Ministerial Conference, its functions shall be conducted by the General Council. Therefore, it is beyond my comprehension as to why there is need to introduce a new structure "trade negotiation committee" and then go on to say rather defensively that the new structure will be under the authority of the General Council."

(For quotes from a number of countries, see actual country statements and quotes from the statements reflected in SUNS, Oct. 4 and 5, "From Mexico to Geneva to Singapore" Article by IATP-Geneva, Oct. 8, 2001, TWN Info Service on WTO Issues, Oct 12, 2001)

(6) G77 and China Declaration on Doha, October 22, 2001

Para 5, "We express deep disappointment on the lack of any meaningful progress on implementation issues. Despite a clear consensual decision in May and December 2000 by the WTO General Council to address and adopt decisions no later than the 4th Ministerial Meeting. We note that the developing countries have identified 104 implementation issues which emanate from the inadequate or faulty implementation of agreements, in letter and spirit; those arising from incorrect interpretation of the provisions of those agreements: and those which arise from inherent asymmetries and imbalances within the WTO agreements. We reiterate the need for full and faithful implementation and the redressal of existing imbalances arising from the Uruguay Round Agreement, which is an important step towards confidence building and restoring the credibility of the multilateral trading system and therefore must be meaningfully resolved, with urgency before the 4th Ministerial Meeting and without any extraneous linkages.
Para 7, "We believe that since the Special and Differential (S&D) provisions in the existing UR agreements, are mostly in form and not in substance. WTO Agreements should take into account the special development needs of developing countries. Including LDCs, in a more meaningful and effective manner and call upon developed countries to urgently undertake positive measures to respond to the development, financial and trade needs of developing countries without reciprocal obligations. It also needs to ensure their effective applicability in terms of the intended objectives, by making those provisions more precise and effective. These provisions need to be legally binding and must be operationalised and made enforceable so that these do not remain merely "best endeavour clauses." The members should agree to conclude a Framework Agreement on the S&D Provisions."
Para 16, "Measures to address implementation and mandated negotiations in including the review of various WTO agreements already constitute a broad agenda for work. We recognize that issues such as trade and investment, competition, transparency in government procurement, trade facilitation, are important. However, any decision to conduct negotiations on these issues in WTO should be on a consensual basis and would need to be carefully assessed in respect of any implication on developing countries and their capacity to engage in negotiations. Furthermore, proposals of the developing countries to redress the development deficit in WTO must constitute first priority for any additional negotiations."

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