Rights and obligations in the WTO: A shared responsibility

03 Oct 2018

How can the WTO enable development in a world of diversity? This question was highlighted Tuesday 2 October in an interactive panel discussion at the WTO Public Forum. “Striking the right balance of rights and obligations in the multilateral trading system, among highly varied economies at different stages of development is a longstanding challenge”, Director General for Trade Teppo Tauriainen stated.

The Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs hosted the working session that included the distinguished panellists: Mrs. Alicia Greenidge, President at Summit Alliances International-Development Trade Solutions, Mr. Eloi Laourou, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Benin to the WTO and Mr. Didier Chambovey, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Switzerland to the WTO. Keynote speaker was Mr. Hamid Mamdouh, former Director at the WTO Secretariat and co-author of the forthcoming study “Balancing Rights and Obligations in the WTO: A Shared Responsibility”.

Converting comments at the meeting found that future agreements in the WTO should not require any member to relinquish its developing country status and forfeit special and differential treatment. In order for a balancing of rights and obligations among all members, there is a need to show flexibility and an innovative and pragmatic approach, where members also contribute according to capacity.

The authors will now finalize the work based on the input from the meeting and the report will be circulated end of October.

Last updated 03 Oct 2018, 2.42 PM