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13th Ministerial Conference Of The World Trade Organization

13th Ministerial Conference Of The World Trade Organization:

The 13th ministerial conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO), India asserted a robust position concerning the permanent solution for public stockholding for food security.

Key Points Highlighted by India:

  • India has called for a shift in the WTO’s focus, urging it to move beyond catering solely to the trade interests of agricultural exporters.
  • Instead, the organisation should prioritise addressing fundamental concerns such as food security and sustaining livelihoods.
  • India argues that public stockholding programs are essential for developing countries to ensure food security for their populations, especially for vulnerable sections of society.
  • The current WTO rules allow some leeway for developing countries regarding public stockholding programs.
  • However, these provisions are temporary and India seeks a permanent solution that acknowledges their development needs.
  • G-33 nations also upheld the right of the developing country to use the Special Safeguard Mechanism (SSM) as an important instrument against major import surges or sudden price declines.
  • India stressed the necessity of creating a level playing field in international agriculture trade, especially for low-income or resource-poor farmers across the globe.
  • This aligns with the broader goal of promoting fairness and equity in trade practices.
  • India pointed out the glaring disparities in domestic support provided by countries to their farmers.
  • Subsidies in some developed countries are reported to be up to 200 times higher than those in developing nations.
  • Also, India as a member of G-33 nations also urged WTO to find a permanent solution to public stockholding.