Agenda to Bring New Corporate Issues into the WTO is Defeated, But So Are Developing Countries’ Demands for More Policy Space for Development

Nairobi, Kenya – At the first ministerial meeting of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in Africa, it was clear that the majority of members opposed further WTO expansion, and fortunately the effort by some developed countries to impose new pro-corporate issues on the agenda was defeated. However, the 162 WTO members also failed to affirm the importance and focus of having a true “development round,”

a promise made in 2001 in Doha and the core mandate of the Doha Round.

However, rich countries have never agreed to any of the development-centered proposals in the 14 years of the Round, which remains unconcluded. The blame for this lies with those who rejected the development proposals, rather than with the aspiration that privileges development needs over just expanding trade.

Deborah James, December 20, 2015 posted December 22, 2015