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B r i e f i n g P a p e r 53 - Third World Network

B r i e f i n g P a p e r 53 - Third World Network

B r i e f i n g P a p e r 53 - Third World

TWN T h i r d W o r l d N e t w o r k B r i e f i n g P a p e r 53 www.twnside.org.sg March 2009 Round no one wanted now proving difficult to end by Chakravarthi Raghavan Early in 2004, at a meeting at Chatham House, the then Secretary-General of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), Rubens Ricupero, compared the World Trade Organization (WTO)’s Doha Round of negotiations to the fate of the first Austrian republic founded after the First World War, and said the Doha Round should be called “the round that no one wanted”. Five years down the line, with the Doha negotiations at an impasse, a financial and economic crisis sweeping across the world and needing Keynesian solutions of an active government role and intervention (all contrary to the WTO philosophy and agreements that discipline governments), and trade issues having a very low priority for the Obama administration in Washington, the Round has become one that no one knows how to end. Explaining his remarks of February 2004 in a recent communication to this writer, Ricupero recalled that after the First World War, all the non-German-speaking parts of the Austrian Empire had been assigned to the new ethnic countries being created at the time. The Germanspeaking part of that Empire had been told that it could not join Germany, and reluctantly became an independent country and a republic (which ended in March 1938 with Hitler’s Anschluss). Austrian historians have called that first republic “the country that no one wanted”. Permanent negotiating forum When the Marrakesh treaty was signed in 1994, creating the WTO and providing for a Ministerial Conference once in two years as the supreme governing body of the WTO, the treaty (Article TWN Third World NETWORK is a network of groups and individuals involved in bringing about a greater articulation of the needs, aspirations and rights of the people in the Third World and in promoting a fair distribution of world resources and forms of development which are humane and are in harmony with nature. Address: 131, Jalan Macalister, 10400 Penang, MALAYSIA Tel: 60-4-2266728/2266159 Fax: 60-4-2264505 E-mail: twnet@po.jaring.my website: www.twnside.org.sg

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