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India opposes non reaffirmation of DDA

Nirmala Sitharaman

New Delhi : India has expressed fear that the WTO’s Doha Development Agenda (DDA) appears to be in “jeopardy” and stressed that history will WTO ministers poorly if inequities in global trade are allowed to perpetuate.

The Tenth Ministerial Conference of the WTO was held at Nairobi between December 15-19, 2015.

The Indian delegation was led by the Hon’ble Minister of State for Commerce and Industry (Independent Charge) Nirmala Sitharaman.

The Ministerial Declaration which circulated today reflects the division amongst the WTO Membership on the issue of the reaffirmation of the Doha mandate.

India, along with other developing countries, especially most members of the G-33, LDCs, the Africa Group and the ACP, wanted a reaffirmation of the mandate of the Doha Round.

While the majority were in favour of such reaffirmation, a few members opposed the reaffirmation of the Doha mandate. This marks a significant departure from the fundamental WTO principle of consensus-based decision making.

Notwithstanding the difficulty in the negotiations, the draft Declaration reflects India’s demand for a reaffirmation from all members to work towards a permanent solution on public stockholding.

Further, it also provides a ministerial affirmation that till such time a permanent solution is found, the peace clause shall continue to be in place.

The draft Declaration also reflects India’s demand for a ministerial decision to develop a special safeguard mechanism for agricultural products that will be available for developing countries.(ANI)