South Africa Current Affairs - 2019

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Bali Ministerial of the World Trade Organisation 2013

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.

Other Related Article(s):

India declines WTO Peace Clause proposal

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India to host 2017 under-17 FIFA World Cup

The Under-17 FIFA World Cup 2017 tournament will be hosted by India. India bagged the landmark rights by beating other bidders like South Africa, Ireland and Uzbekistan.

As a host nation India will get the opportunity to participate in the 24-nation biennial mega event for the first time. This will be the biggest ever football tournament India will be hosting and the first FIFA event in the country’s history. Previously, India has hosted Asian Football Co federation’s Youth Championships (Under-20) in 2006 and then the AFC Challenge Cup in 2008 but never any FIFA tournament.

This year’s (2013) tournament was hosted by the United Arab Emirates while Chile will be the host country for the 2015 edition.

FIFA president
Sepp Blatter supported India hosting the event and wants India to build the required infrastructure and facilities.

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