WTO Talks on Verge of Collapse as India Seeks to Find Permanent Solution to Food Stockpile
New Delhi, Dec 13: A top level ministerial conference (MC11) of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), currently underway in Buenos Aires, Argentina, is on the verge of collapse after the United States went back on it commitment over public food stockholding issue. India, without naming the US, expressed “deep disappointment” over Washington’s decision which has now threatened the successful conclusion of the four-day conference.
“A major country stated categorically that they cannot agree to any permanent solution on the public stockholding at MC11. This has posed a severe threat to a successful conclusion of the conference as there was a ministerial for mandate for a permanent solution by the MC11,” a statement issued by India said.
“India is surprised and deeply disappointed that despite an overwhelming majority of members reiterating it, a major member country has reneged on a commitment made two years ago to deliver a solution of critical importance for addressing hunger in some of the poorest countries of the world,” it added.
India Wants Permanent Solution
India, which is being represented by Union Commerce and Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu at the conference, has been demanding a permanent solution to food security issue as it is crucial for livelihood of 800 million people across the globe.
— Suresh Prabhu (@sureshpprabhu) December 12, 2017
New Delhi stressed that it is committed to preserve and promote the WTO and multilateral trading system. The 53-member African Group as well as a large number of developing countries have rallied around and firmly supported India in opposing rules on e-commerce and bringing in new issues such as investment facilitation and MSMEs into the WTO’s agenda, the statement added.
“We have tried our best to engage with members in all formats. We have been proponents in several areas of work in the World Trade Organisation (WTO), including public stockholding for food security purposes, agricultural Special Safeguard Mechanism, agricultural domestic support and e-commerce. We are committed to preserving and promoting the WTO and the multilateral trading system with a view to take the agreed agenda of the WTO forward,” it said.