Members welcomed the decision in Bali to establish a Monitoring Mechanism and looked forward to proposals on how to improve the implementation of S&D provisions in WTO agreements and decisions. “I believe that this is a very important decision for the multilateral trading system, and certainly in terms of the work of the Committee on Trade and Development,” said the Chair of the Committee, Ambassador Pierre Claver Ndayiragije of Burundi.

Uganda, on behalf of the Least-developed Countries (LDCs) Group, said that “the ultimate goal of special and differential treatment is to enable LDCs to meaningfully integrate into the multilateral trading system so as to derive maximum economic benefits. To that end, we believe that the Monitoring Mechanism has a fundamental role to play.” Uganda informed the Committee that the LDCs Group intends to submit a proposal before the next meeting on the Monitoring Mechanism.

Lesotho, on behalf of the African Group, noted that the Monitoring Mechanism is not an end itself, but rather the means to an end. The final objective is to strengthen the S&D provisions and make them more precise, effective and operational.

Several members welcomed the first meeting of the Monitoring Mechanism. Some delegations noted that the review of S&D provisions will be based on members' written inputs or submissions, and called for members to submit proposals as soon as possible.

According to the Bali decision of December 2013, the Mechanism will act as a focal point within the WTO for analysing and reviewing the implementation of S&D provisions. It will meet at least twice a year in a dedicated session of the Committee on Trade and Development, with additional meetings convened as appropriate.

Special and differential treatment provisions are contained in WTO agreements, ministerial decisions and General Council decisions. They include various types of flexibilities for developing and least-developed countries, ranging from provisions aimed at increasing trade opportunities to granting longer transition periods for the implementation of WTO agreements and providing technical assistance.

A note by the WTO Secretariat identified about 140 such provisions in the WTO's agreements and decisions (see WT/COMTD/W/196).

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