SC Working Lunch, February 2019

Title:               Working Lunch Meeting on US’ proposal on ‘AN UNDIFFERENTIATED WTO’

Date:               Monday, 11th February, 2019, 13:00 – 15:00 

Venue:            South Centre, Geneva

Organizers:   The South Centre


A discussion session  will be held at the South Centre on Monday 11th February from 1 – 3pm on the US’ proposal on ‘AN UNDIFFERENTIATED WTO: SELF-DECLARED DEVELOPMENT STATUS RISKS INSTITUTIONAL IRRELEVANCE’ (WT/GC/W/757 attached), published on January 16 2019.  This submission will of course be discussed at the forthcoming WTO’s TNC/ General Council in end February.

Needless to say, this is an extremely important topic for all developing countries.


1.30-2.30pm:     Opening Remarks by Carlos Correa, Executive Director of South Centre

Inputs by Richard Kozul-Wright (UNCTAD) and Yue Fen LI (South Centre)

Confirmed: Benin (Amb.), China (Amb.), Cuba (Amb), Ecuador (Amb.), India (Amb.), Jamaica (Expert), Rwanda (Expert),

2.30 – 3pm:          Q&A and discussion

We hope to address the following issues at this meeting

  • A closer look at the narrative/ numbers in US’ paper
  • Have developing countries’ level of development advanced to such an extent that there is no longer need for S&D provisions? (Some argue that poverty rates have decreased others dispute this)
  • Have S&D provisions been so flexible and lenient in the WTO that the Members without S&D are now disadvantaged?
  • Should the concept of S&D be changed? Should there be differentiation amongst developing countries? Should S&D be provided ‘only on the basis of a case-by-base analysis’ (EU’s Concept Paper on WTO Modernisation, published Sept 2018 on their website), ‘to be applied based on evidence of need and subject to negotiations’ (Canada’s submission, JOB/GC/201, Sept 2018)?
  • What should developing countries’ position be on S&D, also keeping in mind the Doha Mandate (para 44) ‘that all special and differential treatment provisions shall be reviewed with a view to strengthening them and making them more precise, effective and operational’? How can we respond to the US paper?

US Submission

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