WTO Public Forum 2022 Working Session: Mainstreaming Development in the WTO
30 September 2022
WTO Room E
Time: 11:30-12:45 CEST
The Global South has a fundamental interest in the WTO. In framing the future of trade, reforming and strengthening the organisation requires mainstreaming development in the WTO. The primary question is how to ensure that the broader development dimension of the multilateral trading system is advanced and not simply relegated to polarising conversations about special and differential treatment. This session explores ways in which the multilateral trading system can meaningfully address the needs of developing countries including LDCs. These include assessing different approaches to build greater equity in the trading regime, considering ways to improve the capacity for developing countries to benefit from trade, establishing a deeper role and voice for developing countries including LDCs in developing balanced trade rules, and examining how they can exercise their right to fully participate in the consensus-based decision-making processes of the WTO.
Waive IP Rights & Save Lives
By Srividhya Ragavan
In October of 2020, when India and South Africa proposed a waiver from certain provisions of the TRIPS agreement, it was meant to increase local manufacturing capacity in these countries. The waiver was proposed as a tool to kick-start prevention, containment and treatment of COVID-19. While there is an imminent need to meet a growing supply-demand gap for all medical products, COVID-19 related products are urgently required in poorer nations to contain the pandemic. The waiver has an additional role to play in the larger trade schema. In enabling vaccination of populations across the globe, the waiver would be critical to normalize global trade. The paper below captures the benefits of the waiver and compares it with the existing flexibilities under the trade regime, being compulsory licensing.
Initial Global Effects of Trump Even Before Taking Office
By Martin Khor
Even before taking office, President-Elect Donald Trump and the policies he promised during his campaign are already having a worldwide impact in at least three areas — global finance, trade and climate change. If his election is described as an earthquake, the aftershocks are now being felt. Global funds are starting to move out of many developing countries, reducing the value of their currencies and causing great economic uncertainty. (more…)
New debt crises threaten global stability
By Martin Khor
Global debt has jumped alarmingly to US$152 trillion and as capital flows out from developing countries, some facing new debt crises. Debt worldwide has grown to unprecedentedly high levels and has to be brought down to prevent another financial crisis. This was highlighted by the International Monetary Fund at its annual meeting in Washington earlier this month.