Apr 17, 1986


GENEVE, APRIL 15 (IFDA/CHAKRAVARTHI RAGHAVAN) – Third world delegations in the general agreement have demanded strict adherence to the provisions of Part IV in any future round of multilateral trade negotiations.

In a paper presented to the Preparatory Committee on a new round, third world delegations are reported to have sought a prior commitment, before the launch of any new round, that the principle of differential and more favourable treatment to the third world would be strictly adhered to in the negotiations, and that modalities would be devised during the negotiations to quantify the application of this principle.

The principle of differential and more favourable treatment is "an integral and inalienable part" of GATT and the MTN codes, and should be strictly adhered to in any future round of MTNS, a joint paper presented on behalf of the informal third world group by Uruguay demanded.

"Industrial countries", the paper said, "do no expect reciprocity, and shall not seek or require the third world countries to make any concessions, inconsistent with the latter’s development, financial and trade needs".

In this context, the industrial countries should give particular consideration to the problems of foreign debt, poverty and the critical economic situation of the third world countries.

Particular attention should also be paid to the situation of the least developed countries, and the need to implement the 1982 Ministerial declaration about facilitating the trade of these countries.

The paper said that in order to fully implement the GATT provisions about differential and more favourable treatment in concrete situations, special modalities should be devised "to quantify, to the extent possible, the application of these provisions".

This principle of quantifying, the paper added, should be multilaterally accepted prior to the launching of the proposed new round of trade negotiations. While the specific modalities and operative formulate for such treatment could be arrived at in the course of the negotiations.

The modalities could include criteria as regards trade coverage, type of concessions, extent of reduction of trade barriers, and timing of the implementation of the concessions exchanged.

There should also be a strengthening of the GATT’s monitoring system in order to ensure effective application of the principle of differential and more favourable treatment.