Proximity between the various groups of developing countries is being extolled as one of the few advances evidenced so far at the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) 6th Ministerial Meeting, which began on Tuesday, December 13 and ends on Sunday, December 18.
"Just as Cancun [where the 5th Ministerial Meeting was held] served to hatch the G20 and this changed the structure of the negotiations, here, too, we are creating, for the first time, foundations for nearly all the developing countries," observed the Brazilian minister of Foreign Relations, Celso Amorim.
In his view, it is important for such an alliance to be based on a pragmatic definition of mutual goals rather than a North-South division.
The developing world opposes agricultural export subsidies, which distort international trade. However, different degrees of development and disagreements stemming from interests in other sectors leave the door open to tempting offers of preferential treatment from the developed countries.
"Clearly we want practical results, but unity also averts manipulation and makes it more difficult to divide interests and cloak protectionist objectives in a false moral mantle," Amorim declared.
A new meeting between the members of the G20 and the G90 (the group of the world’s 90 poorest countries) is planned for Friday, December 16, to bolster positions.
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