• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Do Developing countries have much of a voice in WTO Decision-Making?

Extracts from this document...


Do Developing countries have much of a voice in WTO Decision-Making? This essay will focus on the influence that developing countries have on the WTO decision-making. In my essay, I intend to explore the principle features of the decision making processes, and illustrate ways in which rules and procedures can make a difference. At the heart of the WTO lies a major and unsustainable discrepancy, my essay will try to explore this notion in light of the developing countries. This essay will look at the power developing countries have or lack of it within this institution, as well as the shared aims and ideals that liaise the together. Through this essay I am to investigate the notion of collective bargaining and how effective it really is with regards to the WTO in areas of policy and decision making. The question at hand is an intriguing one, which is my reason for researching it, I believe it is relatively difficult to understand from the surface how developing and at least developed countries are a majority in the World Trade Organisation(WTO) and yet still has the least influence or voice within . However, the closer we look into the institution the more answer seems to manifest. Soon after the World War II a group of countries, namely the winners set out to create institutions which would eradicate any issues that may be cause of further wars. The principle idea was to employ use of the United Nations as the resolution on deterrent of war as well as eliminating the economic causes of war by establishing three international economic institutions. The three institutions were thereafter referred to as the Bretton Woods. These institutions were: The International Monetary Fund (IMF), The World Bank, and The International Trade Organisation (ITO). From the very beginning, the US Congress did not seem to resent the establishment of the World Bank or the IMF but on the other hand had much dispute towards the notion of having an International Trade Organisation on the grounds that it would concede too much sovereignty to an international body. ...read more.


(http://www.southcentre.org/publications/workingpapers/wp11.pdf) Examples of developing countries that have been invited are to the Green Room consultations include India, Brazil, Jamaica and even more recently Bangladesh. (Narlikar 2005, p47). Contrary to the equality that the WTO claims to grant to its members, most of the processes described above act as a double edged sword. Here onwards, I will evaluate serious problems of participation that developing countries face with these crucial pillars that WTO decision making stand on. Consensus based decision making not only deprives developing countries from making full use of the equal status that they share with their more developed counterparts as a result of the Agreement; in fact, at times it may be found to actively work to the damage of developing countries participation. Assuming that the country is present; the consensus-based decision-making procedure "ascribes considerable importance to having a permanent presence or, perhaps more accurately, an active knowledgeable presence" It is here that developing countries come into contact with a severe problem with the decision making process. (http://www.southcentre.org/publications/workingpapers/wp11.pdf) One of the various problems is the number of permanent delegations in Geneva. A recent study in 2000 found that 24 member countries have no permanent presence in Geneva. These countries do not have the ability to object to the consensus that different bodies the WTO arrive at in their everyday workings. Numerous developing countries find it challenging to attend the meetings of the WTO, particularly if they must also cover all the other international organisations in Geneva with their small delegations. The difference in representation between the developed and developing countries presents a vast disadvantage against developing countries and weakens their participation within the WTO. Moreover, consensus decision is conducted through open discussion and this poses another problem for developing countries. If a country wants to reject a proposal, it must do so openly and clearly in the presence of other members. Developing countries mentioned how they sometimes fear the consequences of expressing their objections publicly, and as a result choose the option of remaining silent. ...read more.


(http://www.southcentre.org/publications/workingpapers/wp11.pdf Nonetheless, perhaps more recently the situation is changing; Brazil has won a landmark victory at the World Trade Organisation that could spell the beginning of the end of rich countries' subsidy payments to their farmers. The WTO has ruled that $1.5bn (�830m) of annual subsidies given by the United States government to its 25,000 cotton farmers is mostly illegal. The provisional ruling is confidential, but trade sources said pubic confirmation would be available as soon as next month and could start a domino effect whereby much of the �300bn in subsidies lavished on the rich world's farmers might tumble. Analysts said, however, that, even if the US Congress agrees to scale back cotton subsidies, implementing the changes could take up to two years. But campaigners were not convinced. Matt Griffith, a trade policy analyst at the charity Cafod, said: "That Brazil brought this case is a sign of desperation that so little has been done to tackle rich-country subsidies. It sets a valuable precedent in an attempt to call the US and other lavish subsidisers to book." Oxfam spokeswoman Celine Charveriat agreed: "This would be a huge victory, not just for Brazil but particularly for 10 million poor African farmers whose livelihoods have been crippled by unfair competition." (http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2004/apr/28/brazil.usnews) Ultimately, developing countries recognise that they need to somehow increase their Geneva presence, increase coordination between Geneva and their capitals, and increase interest, resource, and research commitments at the national level to allow more informed participation in the WTO. This acknowledgement of limitations of processes at the domestic level presents a remarkable contrast to the dismissal of the GATT as a 'Rich Man's Club' by developing countries in the past and their refusal to even try to participate on equal terms in the institution. Underlying this self-critique has been the recognition that it is up to the developing countries themselves to assert their voice in the WTO and represents the first step to empowerment. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our University Degree International Politics section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related University Degree International Politics essays

  1. To what extent do organizations like the IMF, WTO, and World Bank challenge the ...

    The World Bank was created at the same time as the IMF to help give financial and technical assistance to countries that need it. According to govspot.com, "The unwritten goal of the IMF and World Bank was to integrate the elites of all countries into the capitalist world system of rewards and punishments.

  2. Is free trade beneficial or detrimental for developing states?

    the shipping and fishing industries in Northern England, which has left cities like Hull in economic deprivation when compared to the rest of the country as their economies were focused upon these industries alone. Nevertheless, this danger represents a negative effect that many believe would be outweighed by the positives.

  1. The impact of past and present enlargement on the institutions and decision-making structures of ...

    institutions and gradually becoming "the main source of political initiative and ultimate decision-maker". The relevance of this institution in the decision-making at the present moment is justified by the adoption of the common currency or the single market. On the other hand, the Treaty of Lisbon continues the tradition of changing the EU's institutional set-up without revolutionising it.

  2. Nato's Istanbul Cooperation Initiative. NATOs Istanbul Initiative inscribes itself in the ...

    that believes in unleashing the forces of "constructive chaos"16 (instability, chaos and violence) to permit redrawing the map of the region - for democratic transformation of the Middle East came under attack both from inside and outside the Arab World.

  1. Turkish etchnic problems

    Gyventoju dalis, kurie gyvena miestuose, siekia 70,5%. 15-64 metu am�iaus �moniu grupe sudaro 66,5% visu gyventoju, 0-14 metu am�iaus atitinka 26,4% gyventoju, o 65 metu ir daugiau am�iaus atitinka 7,1% visu gyventoju. Gyvenimo trukme siekia 70,67 metus vyrams ir 75,73 metus moterims, o bendras vidurkis 73,14 metai.

  2. Globalisation: fair trade

    The Fairtrade movement has become a widely debated phenomenon with critics divided. There is no doubt on the products ever growing popularity; one in two adults in the UK now recognize the brands kite marked symbol (Barrientos & Smith, 2007, p106), and the guardian recently reported that sales were up

  1. To what degree does the level of industrialisation experienced by individual countries influence the ...

    As a consequence of economic prosperity due to rapid industrialization, the political influence of Great Britain was also supplemented by the established economic affluence. Primarily, political power was manifested within the various colonies occupied by Great Britain, sustaining the economic and political integrity of the nation through offering natural resources

  2. The case study of social moblisisation in Latin America that I wish to cover ...

    A turning point for the FARC with a low point for its image with the international community was the killing of 3 USA ? based indigenous rights activists by FARC guerrilla fighters who had been working with the U'Wa people to build a school for the local community while trying

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work