Belize warns UN debate that multilateral trading system is threatened
Global trading relations could fragment into a series of bilateral and regional arrangements unless the world’s countries commit seriously to ensuring that the current Doha round of negotiations is successful, Belize’s Foreign Minister told the General Assembly today.
Lisa Shoman said the Doha trade talks so far have yielded “harsh consequences for developing countries, particularly those that are commodity and preference-dependent.”
She told the annual high-level debate of the Assembly that “fundamental distrust” in international economic relations was threatening the development agenda for poor countries.
“The international community must keep development in perspective in the current climate change debate, since economic development better enables countries to tackle climate change.”
Ms. Shoman said the recent discussions on climate change and the wider debate about development illustrate the need for “an effective, legitimate multilateral system that is fair and balanced.”
She stressed the importance of “responsible leadership” from the world’s countries.
“We ask the question: is there a serious commitment to the survival of the multilateral trading system? If the answer is no, we can expect to see even more bilateral and regional arrangements resulting in a movement away from the idea that together we are better at solving our common problems.”