WTO agreement

The contracting parties also accredit, in the preamble of the WTO agreement, the necessity to assure the developing countries an appropriate proportion of world trade growth according their development status. The industrial countries are called upon to participate in the growth of the world trade of the developing countries and to diminish trade barriers to the greatest possible extent. That includes additionally that they work together within and beyond the GATT (General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade) in order to promote the aim of the GATT.

However these goals do not present binding rules but only give the fundamental direction of the sequencing agreement. 7 Many of the exceptional provisions specified in the WTO agreement in favour of the economically weak states are nevertheless not made because of economical thinking but rather originated under political pressure. The industrialised countries have yield to the pressure partly because they claim similar exceptions or because the developing countries represent interesting sales markets themselves.

Within the WTO the developing countries are occasionally faced with discriminating behaviour of the industrial countries. The undemocratic dealing with the developing countries becomes obvious within the informal rounds of negotiations on the third Minister conference 1999 in Seattle. Judith Ann Maltz (Article from The Watertalk Forum) points out in her article that for example from the conference management, only selected partners participated in certain negotiations whereby the USA, Japan, Canada and the European Union always took part.

Representatives from the developing countries "struggled to find meetings scheduled in unknown locations". 8 In these debates decisions were negotiated, which only had to accede later to the official committees. This was justified with the necessity for an efficient conduct of the negotiations. 9 Another further large problem results from the insufficient financial and personnel resources of the developing countries within the WTO. Many developing countries can only afford a small diplomatic representation in Geneva.

This is in the light of the multiplicity of the residential international organisations not an adequate representation which ensures equitable cooperation in the WTO. Therefore it can be said, that attempts are made to encourage and involve the developing countries and the policies seem to be reasonable. But this should happen with a more human face. 10 Nevertheless it is important to stay critical and there has to be consistently observation.