Behind the Scenes at the WTO

The Real World of International Trade Negotiations/Lessons of Cancun

Fatoumata Jawara and Aileen Kwa

Behind the Scenes at the WTO

Fatoumata Jawara and Aileen Kwa

Distributed for Zed Books

416 pages
Cloth $95.00 ISBN: 9781842775325 Will Publish January 2004 For sale in North and South America only
'This timely book effectively counters the myth that developing countries are well-served by the WTO and usefully exposes the often brutish methods employed by the world's powerful states to impose their agenda on the poorest.'

Mark Curtis, Head of Global Advocacy and Policy Division, Christian Aid

World hunger, jobs, the overall economic prospects of developing and developed countries alike are all being influenced by the international negotiations about trade, agriculture, services, investment and intellectual property rights going on at the World Trade Organization (WTO). Based on interviews with the participants, this remarkable book lifts the shroud of secrecy surrounding these ostensibly democratic negotiations.

What emerges is a disturbing account entirely at odds with the official picture of a rules-based consensus emerging out of multilateral trade discussions in which all WTO member countries are equal participants. In reality:

- Closed doors rather than open access and public information is the preferred mode of negotiation; 
- Decisions are often being made without the full approval of developing countries; 
- The tiny delegations of the poorest and smallest countries have only a limited capacity to calculate in advance the implications of what they are being asked to sign up to;
- More seriously still, there are instances of illegitimate pressures and inducements being offered by the US and EU delegations - including threats to report non-compliant Third World delegates to their superiors, and hints that aid to countries refusing to kow-tow may be withheld.

The revelations contained in this book are of enormous importance to all those concerned that international institutions should be more transparent and democratic, and that the rules being developed for the world economy should primarily be geared to solving the pressing humanitarian problems of poverty, hunger, jobs and improvements in the standards of living of all those being left behind by the process of globalization.
Introduction: Cancun and its aftermath - 'multilateralism' without good will
1. The devil you know - an introduction to the WTO
2. The battleground - the key issues in Doha
3. Settling the stage - the pre-Doha mini-ministerial meetings
4. A controlled bedlam - the Doha Ministerial 2001
5. Looking back in anger - post-Doha reflections
Appendix: The Like-Minded Group proposal
6. The gentle art of persuasion - arm-twisting and pay-offs
7. Miek Moore and the WTO Secretariat - wolves in sheep's clothing
8. After Doha - business as usual
9. The Doha development agenda - 'everything but development'
10. Conclusion
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