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WTO Agriculture agreement riddled with deep Imbalance: Union Agriculture Minister

The Statesman logo The Statesman 18-09-2021 SNS
WTO Agriculture agreement riddled with deep Imbalance: Union Agriculture Minister © Provided by The Statesman WTO Agriculture agreement riddled with deep Imbalance: Union Agriculture Minister

Agreement on agriculture at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) was riddled with a deep imbalance that favours the developed countries, India told the G-33 Virtual Ministerial Meeting called to discuss priority issues for the upcoming Twelfth Ministerial Conference (MC-12).

In the G-33 Virtual Informal Ministerial Meeting held on Thursday, Union Commerce Minister Piyush Goel said the rules of the Agreement on Agriculture at the WTO have been tilted against many developing countries.

As the first step in agriculture reform, the historical asymmetries and imbalance must be corrected to ensure a rule-based, fair and equitable order, the Minister said in his brief intervention during the G-33 virtual meeting organized by Indonesia to discuss Agriculture Priority issues of G 33 in the MC-12 starting from November 30.

Piyush Goyal also emphasized that as part of the trust-building exercise for MC 12, G-33 must strive for positive outcomes on a permanent solution to Public Stockholding (PSH) for food security purposes which is of utmost importance, finalization of a Special Safeguard Mechanism (SSM) quickly and a balanced outcome on Domestic Support, said a senior officer of the Commerce Ministry.

The Ministerial Meeting was chaired by Minister of Trade (Indonesia) Muhammad Lutfi. Director-General of WTO Ngozi Okonjo Iweala delivered the Keynote Remarks, which was attended by 21 member countries out of the total 47 G-33 Members, the Ministry said.

The meeting concluded with the adoption of the G-33 Joint Ministerial Statement reaffirming commitment for expeditious resolution of the WTO’s mandated issues in agriculture.

The meeting also called for satisfactorily addressing the development issues of developing countries and LDCs with Special and Differential Treatment as an integral part of international trade negotiations, the Ministry said.

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