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What is WTO Ministerial Conference?
The WTO Ministerial Conference is the topmost decision-making body of the World Trade Organization which regularly convenes every two years. It brings together all members of the WTO, all of which are countries or customs unions. The Ministerial Conference can take decisions on all matters under any of the multilateral trade agreements.
The conference has key issues to discuss viz. Trade facilitation, Agriculture negotiations, Cotton Least-developed countries Monitoring mechanism, Small and vulnerable economies, Yemen’s accession, E-commerce “Non-violation” in intellectual property, etc.
What was India’s stand at the Bali Ministerial of the World Trade Organisation 2013 ?
India decided not to agree to the ‘Peace Clause’ for agriculture subsidies that the World Trade Organization (WTO) Director-General Roberto Azevedo has proposed for Bali talks.
Here, India stands to seek safeguards for subsidies given to the farmers for food security purposes by poor countries. Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma said that for India, food security is non-negotiable, it is an integral part of the millennium development goals and the need for public stockholding of food grains to ensure food security must be respected, and for this WTO rules must be updated.
For this valuable cause, India got support from many WTO members like South Africa, Nepal, Egypt, Uganda, Namibia, Argentina, Zimbabwe, Ecuador, Venezuela, Mauritius and Nicaragua, etc.
What is the Peace Clause under current context and why an issue over this Peace Clause?
Under this ‘Peace Clause’, developing countries can provide WTO-prohibited subsidies to farmers without inviting any dispute under the Agreement on Agriculture, developed countries will have the right to drag these countries to the WTO Disputes Settlement Body, under the Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures. This would render the peace clause null-and-void.
Note : Developed countries pressurizing India to accept a peace clause, which offers four years of immunity against penalties imposed for breaching the farm subsidy cap of 10 per cent under the WTO Agreement on Agriculture (AoA).
Outcome of the 9th ministerial conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO)
Because of India’s concern of Food security, WTO’s Bali Ministerial Conference revised draft decisions on a package of issues designed to streamline trade, allow developing countries more options for providing food security, boost least developed countries’ trade and help development more generally.
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Tags: Agriculture • Argentina • Current Affairs - 2017 • Current Affairs 2013 • Ecuador • Egypt • India-International Relations • Mauritius • Namibia • Nepal • Nicaragua • South Africa • Uganda • Venezuela • WTO • Zimbabwe
India has been re-elected to the new Council of International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) as one of the states making the largest contribution in facilitating global air navigation. The elections were held at the 38th session of the Assembly of ICAO in Montreal.
What is ICAO?
International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO)
Estblished: 1944, as a specialized agency of the United Nations to promote the safe and orderly development of international civil aviation throughout the world.
Functions: It sets standards and regulations necessary for aviation safety, security, efficiency, capacity and environmental protection, apart from serving as the forum for cooperation in all fields of civil aviation among its 191 member states.
Term of the Council: 3 years
No. of Member: 36 members
Categories: 3 categories.
The Structure of present Council is as follows:
- PART I – (States of chief importance in air transport) – Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russian Federation, United Kingdom and the United States. All of them have been re-elected.
- PART II – (States which make the largest contribution to the provision of facilities for international civil air navigation) – Argentina, Egypt, India, Mexico, Nigeria, Norway, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, Spain and Venezuela. Except Norway, Portugal and Venezuela, all others have been re-elected.
- PART III– (States ensuring geographic representation)- Bolivia, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chile, Dominican Republic, Kenya, Libya, Malaysia, Nicaragua, Poland, Republic of Korea, United Arab Emirates and United Republic of Tanzania. Bolivia, Chile, Dominican Republic, Kenya, Libya, Nicaragua, Poland and United Republic of Tanzania have been elected for the first time.
Tags: Argentina • Bolivia • Burkina Faso • Cameroon • Chile • Current Affairs 2013 • Dominican Republic • Egypt • India-International Relations • Kenya • Libya • Malaysia • Mexico • Nicaragua • Nigeria • Norway • Poland • Portugal • Republic of Korea • Saudi Arabia • Singapore • South Africa • Spain • Tanzania • UAE • UN • Venezuela