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Séminaire sur le traitement spécial et différencié en faveur des pays en développement

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

7 March 2000


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


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).


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.


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).


Lunch break ./.


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.


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.


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