Analytical Note, November 2003

The Post-Cancun Legal Status of Singapore Issues in the WTO.

This note is intended to provide readers with an analysis of the current legal status of the Singapore issues mandate established during the 1996 Singapore Ministerial Conference and extended up to the 2003 Cancun Ministerial Conference by the 2001 Doha Ministerial Conference.

The analysis is based on the use of the rules on treaty interpretation recognized under international law to understand and apply the provisions of WTO ministerial declarations relevant to Singapore issues. The note first looks at the rules on treaty interpretation that are applicable.

Then it discusses the legal meaning and ramifications of the Singapore issues mandate under the 1996 Singapore and 2001 Doha Ministerial Declarations on the basis of such rules on treaty interpretation.

It then goes on to discuss what the legal effects of the 2003 Cancun Ministerial Declaration are on the Singapore issues mandate. The concluding section reiterates the major points that were raised in the preceding sections.

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