Sudden Setback to WTO as Latin American Nations Reject Package - The New Indian Express

Sudden Setback to WTO as Latin American Nations Reject Package

Published: 07th December 2013 09:20 AM

Last Updated: 07th December 2013 09:20 AM


Rajesh Rai | PTI

BALI: In a sudden turn of events, four Latin American countries including Cuba and Bolivia have rejected the WTO's Bali package, a setback to the draft agreement which was to be ratified by the WTO members.

According to the draft agreement on agriculture, India's main concern on the food security was addressed.

"When we began, there was a roll call of support for the package. The African group, the Arab group, ASEAN, the African Caribbean and pacific group, the least developed countries."

"All of these have endorsed the package on the table and...then at the end of the meeting Cuba on behalf of itself Bolivia, Venezuela and Nicaragua has rejected the package," WTO spokesperson Keith Rockwell told reporters here.

In the WTO scheme of things, no agreement can be reached unless all the 159 members approves it.

Analysts are wondering whether these are an extraneous force behind the Latin American countries which want to play spoilsport.

Rockwell said that WTO Director General Roberto Azevedo, Chairman of the meeting and Indonesian Trade Minister Gita Wirjawan are now going to be engaged in consultations with these four countries and perhaps other to find a way.

"I do not know what the next step will be...we need to continue our consultations and find a way to overcome this problem and get the consensus we need to put these agreements into place," he added.

"They were unhappy with the process, they were unhappy with the removal of the reference to the embargo and these were the two things expressed."

"It was a political statement which expressed certain ideological elements but the specifics that I could determine pertaining to the transit paragraph, pertaining to the embargo and to the procedural matters to which they were unhappy," he added.

"155 countries and customs territories that are in favour of the package and four that are not," he said.

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