Topics handled by WTO committees and agreements
Issues covered by the WTO’s committees and agreements

DEVELOPMENT: SEMINAR
Seminar on Special and Differential Treatment for Developing Countries

Organized under the auspices of the WTO Committee on Trade and Development

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7 March 2000
Programme

The objective of the seminar is to explore different facets of special and differential treatment, outside of a negotiating context, and outside of the Committee on Trade and Development (CTD) in order both to allow a frank exchange of views on the issue and to provide an input into the Committee's consideration of the question.

Participation is open to WTO Members and Observers and to Inter-Governmental Organizations with observer status in the CTD.

Welcome: Mr. A. Ouedraogo, Deputy Director-General

09:30-10:45

First Session: Overview of S&D provisions and their objectives
The session would review the origins of special and differential treatment, as well as the various WTO provisions. How firm is the legal basis ? To what extent are these simply “best endeavours”?
Chair: Amb. A.C. Diallo (Senegal), Chairperson of the Committee on Trade and Development
Panelists: Mr. E. Kessie (WTO), Mr. B. Gosovic (South Centre), Amb. R. Smith (Jamaica)
Background material: Secretariat paper for 1999 HLS on Trade and Development. E. Kessie, Analysis of the Legal Provisions relating to Special and Differential Treatment under WTO Agreements (mimeo).

10:45-11:45

Second Session: GSP and other forms of preferences and their future
The session would look at the importance of GSP and other forms of preferences. What are its limitations ? Who are the beneficiaries ? How much value has the system been ? How does GSP compare with other forms of preferences ? Is there a tendency for preference systems to evolve towards reciprocal trade agreements ?
Chair: Amb. N. Benjelloun-Touimi (Morocco),
Panelists: Mr. B. Onguglo (UNCTAD), Mrs. S. Page (ODI), Ms S. Rudder (Barbados).
Background material: B. Onguglo, Developing Countries and Trade Preferences, in M. Rodriguez Mendoza, P. Low and B. Kotschwar, Trade Rules in the Making, Organization of American States and Brookings Institution Press, Washington DC.

11:45-13:00

Third Session: Technical Assistance as S&D
The session would look at technical assistance needs, including training, trade facilitation and infrastructure ? What is most effective ? How can TA be best delivered ? What are the roles of different agencies ? How can coordination be improved ?
Chair: Mr. O. Genee (Netherlands)
Panelists: Mr. S. Delgado (WTO), Amb. E. Custodio (Philippines), Mr. M.A. Mannan (Bangladesh).
Background material: WTO Programme for Technical Cooperation, Note by the WTO Secretariat (WT/COMTD/W/64 of 15 October 1999), Report on Technical Cooperation and Training, Note by the WTO Secretariat (WT/COMTD/W/62 of 6 May 1999).

13:00-14:30

Lunch break ./.

14:30-15:30

Fourth Session: Implementation of S&D under key WTO Agreements
The session would cover the difficulties of implementation by developing countries and experience of application by trading partners (for example, in agriculture, anti-dumping, customs valuation, dispute settlement). What are the problems and how can they be resolved ?
Chair: Amb. C.L. Guarda (Chile)
Panelists: Mr. C. Stevens (Institute of Development Studies), Amb. F. Cuello Camilo (Dominican Republic), Amb. S. Narayanan (India)
Background material: Concerns Regarding Special and Differential Treatment Provisions in WTO Agreement and Decisions, Note by the WTO Secretariat (WT/COMTD/W/66 of 15 February 2000.

15:30-16:30

Fifth Session: Impact of S&D and developing country economic reforms
The session would cover the relationship between S&D and reforms being undertaken by developing countries, autonomously or to comply with international obligations. To what extent do S&D provisions contribute to or detract from reform programmes?
Chair: Amb. K. Rana (Kenya)
Panelists: Mr R. Sharer (IMF), Mr B. Bora (UNCTAD), Amb. W. Corrales Leal (Venezuela).
Background material: Special and Differential Treatment and the Spaces for Policies in WTO: Two Elements of the Development Dimension in the Multilateral Trading System, Proposal under Paragraphs 9 and 10 of the Geneva Ministerial Declaration, Communication from Venezuela (WT/GC/W/279 of 29 July 1999). M. Gibbs, Special and Differential Treatment in the Context of Globalization, note presented to the G15 Symposium on S&D Treatment in the WTO Agreements, New Delhi, 10 December 1998.

16:30-17:30

Sixth Session: The Future of Special and Differential Treatment The session would cover various aspects of S&D, and its future. Is there a case for the development of economic indicators for the application of S&D?
Chair: Amb. G. Raby (Australia)
Panelists: Mr. C. Michalopoulos (World Bank), Amb. A. Akram (Pakistan), Amb. D. Baichoo (Mauritius), Amb. R. Abbott (European Commission)
Background material: C. Michalopoulos, Trade and Development in the GATT and WTO: The Role of Special and Differential Treatment for Developing Countries, mimeo.

17:30- 17:45

Closing Remarks: Amb. A.C. Diallo, Mr. A. Ouedraogo, Deputy Director-General