Rutgers Model United Nations 2 - IDIA
Rutgers Model United Nations 7 founding of ECOWAS has resulted in tangible improvements to the region's trade and infrastructure network. One of the landmark achievements of ECOWAS is the unified system of passport control, which allows all members of ECOWAS to travel freely throughout the fifteen nations. As professor Bola Akinterinwa, an expert on the West African region, suggests: Intra-ECOWAS trade is about ten percent of total trade volume within the region, and if intraregional movement is encouraged, with ease of travel, the flow of goods will increase, which will impact positively on the volume of trade. 21 The challenges faced by the West African states exemplify the even greater need for regional unity and multilateral collaboration among bordering nations. This shows that the path to trade liberalization is not solely dependent on economic policy, but also on the immigration policies worldwide. 1991: Establishment of Southern Common Market (MERCOSUR) Few regions have experienced economic development as vigorous and dynamic as that of South America. South America is home to the nation of Bolivia which graduated from the list of LDCs in 2004, yet the region is an excellent example of multilateral collaboration and trade agreements which resulted in unparalleled economic growth. Since its initiation in 1991, the Southern Common Market (MERCOSUR), encompassing 270 million people, has created a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of over three trillion USD, effectively making it the world's fifth-largest economy according to the IMF. 22 The success of MERCOSUR has been attributed to its relatively low tariffs on goods and the sparing use of NTBTs against non-members. While the economies of MERCOSUR member states vary from the heavily industrialized Brazil to the more agrarian Argentina, 21 Silverman, Sheryl. "Liberia's Uneasy Peace." PBS. PBS. Web. 28 Feb. 2012. . 22 “IMF Allocation for Mercosur Countries Exceeds 7 Billion USD." MercoPress. Web. 29 Feb. 2012. .
egion. 23 MERCOSUR demonstrates that there can be compromise between liberal markets Rutgers Model United Nations 8 all members benefit from low tariffs as well as unrestricted access to markets in the within a specific region and the establishment of FTAs with non-member states. For example, on 18 December 2007 MERCOSUR signed its first FTA with a non-Latin American nation, Israel. 24 This agreement negotiates a progressive reduction in tariffs and import quotas over the course of fifteen years, resulting in stronger trade relations between South America and the Middle East. 1 January 1995: Establishment of the World Trade Organization (WTO) With the intent to supervise and liberalize international trade, the World Trade Organization (WTO) was commenced on 1 January 1995 under the Marrakech Agreement, replacing the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), which commenced in 1947. The organization deals with regulation of trade between participating countries; it provides a framework for negotiating trade agreements, and a dispute resolution process aimed at enforcing participants' adherence to WTO agreements which are approved by the member states' respective governments. 12 The organization is currently engaged in the eighth round of trade negotiations called the Doha Development Agenda, which was launched in 2001 to encourage participation of LDCs on a higher level. However, the negotiation has been dogged by "disagreement between exporters of agricultural bulk commodities and countries with significant domestic agricultural protection." 25 At present, the future of the Doha Round is uncertain due to conflicting interests. 23 Ibid. 24 “Mercosur Signs First out of Region Trade Accord with Israel." MercoPress. Web. 29 Feb. 2012. . 25 P. van den Bossche, The Law and Policy of the World Trade Organization, 80