Saturday, December 9, 2023

Goyal is buoyant on success in WTO Ministerial Conference

Union Commerce & Industry Minister Piyush Goyal has claimed that the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Ministerial Conference has been a “100% success” for India. 

Goyal said that progress has been made on long-pending issues. 

“I think that with all our collective efforts, in this WTO MC12 establishment of multilateral institutions has once again been strengthened. Positive outcomes have come out. Progress has been made in long pending issues, issues that were pending for decades,” Union Minister Piyush Goyal said in Geneva.

After vital negotiations running for five nights, 164 ministers of the WTO reached a historic declaration on disciplining harmful fishing subsidies and the TRIPS waiver.“I think India has received 100% success. There is not one issue for which we need to return to India with any kind of worry,” the minister said.

India’s leading role

India too leading global leadership on all the issues and was at the centre of WTO negotiations. It put forth aggressive draft texts. The committee for negotiations on fisheries was headed by Goyal. They focussed on the protection of interests of Indian fishermen and farmers.

“No negative outcome on India in the field of agricultural field and no disagreement came on the government in the fisheries sector,” he further added.

The WTO agreements

The WTO Ministerial Declarations look into a variety of issues like an emergency response to food insecurity, COVID-19 pandemic and preparedness for further pandemics. The ministerial decisions on World Food Programme, Food Purchase Exemption from Export Prohibitions or Restrictions, Work Programme on Electric Commerce. Lastly, the WTO members finally inked a deal on the TRIPS waiver and Agreement on Fisheries Subsidies.

The agreement is in line with India’s demand to promote sustainable fishing and push for the renouncement of “irrational subsidies” and overfishing by many countries that were hurting Indian fishermen. According to International Institute for Sustainable Development, approximately 34% of marine fish stocks are already exploited beyond sustainable levels. India had also sought “special and differential rights” to protect the lives and livelihood of fishermen and adequate time to put in place the implementation of disciplines for over or under-fishing.

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