17 June 2004
In a new report commissioned by the Commonwealth Secretariat, Nobel Laureate Joseph E. Stiglitz has launched a broad critique of the post-Doha Development Round of trade talks, which he argues does not truly represent the interests of developing countries. The report will be launched at the Commonwealth Secretariat on Monday, 21 June. This comes as the United Nations Conference for Trade and Development meets in Brazil to discuss how to enable trade to contribute more to the development of the world's poorest nations. Developed countries have already been widely criticised for their agricultural subsidies and other trade restrictions which discriminate against key agricultural and manufactured exports from developing countries. Stiglitz argues that the problems are much broader and that fundamental reform of the agenda and negotiating process will be required if the Doha Round is to deliver on its promise to developing countries.
In 'An Agenda for the Development Round of Trade Negotiations in the Aftermath of Cancun' Stiglitz says that developing countries should receive special and differential treatment because they have been disadvantaged by unfair trade negotiations in the past, and because of the differences in their current circumstances. Rather than seeking reciprocal commitments from developing countries, Stiglitz urges developed countries to make unilateral concessions in more areas of the agenda.
The report by the Initiative for Policy Dialogue, written by Stiglitz with Andrew Charlton of Oxford University, details which reforms would deliver the largest gains to developing countries and, consequently, should be given highest priority in the Development Round. For instance:
Note to editors:
The Initiative for Policy Dialogue is a network of international development economists and is based at Columbia University in New York City.
Joseph E. Stiglitz was awarded the Nobel Prize in economics in 2001 and is a University Professor at Columbia University. He was Chief Economist and Senior Vice-President of the World Bank from 1997-2000 and Chair of President Bill Clinton's Council of Economic Advisors from 1995-97.
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