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WTO Appellate Body

Mains -GS3- Economic Development, Mains  -GS2- International Relations.

What is WTO Appellate Body?

 1. It is a standing body of seven persons that hears appeals from reports issued by Dispute Settlement body for the disputes brought by WTO Members. 

2. Currently, the Appellate body has just three members and it will be reduced to one by December 2019.

3. No new member has been appointed from the past two years because the new appointments have been blocked by the USA.

4. It has resulted in a backlog of dispute settlement issues that are under appeal.

Why is WTO Appellate Body important?

1. This ongoing impasse has weakened the dispute settlement system and threatens to completely paralyze the WTO itself.

2. Amid growing trade tensions and protectionist tendencies, WTO Appellate body is the only way to resolve the issues, especially for LDCs against developed countries.

How Developing Countries and LDCs have responded to it?

1. India, along with 16 other developing and least developed countries (LDCs), signed a declaration urging members of WTO to “engage constructively” to prevent any delay in filling out vacancies of its appellate body for trade dispute settlement.

2. The declaration also states that these countries have agreed to work “collectively” to develop proposals to ensure their common interests are reflected in the WTO reform process.

Where was the declaration signed?

1. Recently India hosted the 2nd WTO two-day ministerial meet of over 20 developing countries and LDCs in New Delhi.

2. The declaration was signed in this meeting.

3. The declaration comes ahead of the 12th Ministerial Conference to be held in Kazakhstan in 2020.

Which other issues were discussed?

1. The meeting also highlighted the need to “preserve” the Special and Differential Treatment (S&D) mechanism.

2. Richer nations have been calling for guidelines to further categorize developing countries and LDCs.

3. The developing countries and LDCs want the categorizing should be eligible for the benefits of the S&D mechanism.

4. It also demands for longer time periods for countries like India to implement agreements and the implementation of measures to provide more trading opportunities.

Source: The Indian Express