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Two multilateral organisations dealing with trade: UNCTAD and WTO More differences than similarities. Manuela Tortora Chief, Technical Cooperation UNCTAD. THE DIFFERENCES LIE ON:. The origins of both organisations Their mandates The institutional functioning

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slide1

Two multilateral organisations dealing with trade:UNCTAD and WTOMore differences than similarities

Manuela Tortora

Chief, Technical Cooperation

UNCTAD

the differences lie on
THE DIFFERENCES LIE ON:
  • The origins of both organisations
  • Their mandates
  • The institutional functioning
  • Their thinking on trade and development
the origins
The GATT

and the WTO

Keynes’ ideas on post-war international economic governance (avoid economic conflicts)

The Bretton Woods agreements (1944)

1947: the ITO, the Havana Charter and the GATT (light links with the UN)

GATT Rounds of trade negotiations until the Uruguay Round

(1986-94)

1995: WTO is established outside the UN system

UNCTAD: 1964

Decolonisation

North-South and East-West tensions

Non-Aligned Movement

Group of 77

“Trade not aid”: link between

trade and development (Prebisch thinking)

1st UNCTAD Ministerial Conference meets in Geneva;

Permanent UNCTAD secretariat established in Geneva

THE ORIGINS
the functioning
THE FUNCTIONING

WTO

  • No links with the UN machinery
  • Permanent governmental bodies that monitor the implementation of the trade rules
  • Negotiating governmental bodies
  • The Secretariat provides neutral technical support to the negotiations
  • Accession has to be negotiated
  • Limited role of non-governmental stakeholders

UNCTAD

  • UNCTAD intergovernmental machinery (Ministerial Conferences and Trade and Development Board) linked to UN General Assembly and ECOSOC
  • UNCTAD secretariat part of the UN Secretariat (part of same budget)
  • UNCTAD secretariat devoted to development
  • No normative role, no negotiations of binding rules, only political role
  • UN membership (192 countries)
  • Strong participation of non-governmental stakeholders
the mandate
UNCTAD:

Integrated treatment of trade, investment and related issues=

wide mandate

Research on a range of trade and development issues

Consensus-building through debates and exchange of experiences among 192 member States on all UNCTAD issues

Technical cooperation on all the topics of UNCTAD work

(policy and legal advice, training, institution building, support to negotiations)

THE MANDATE
  • WTO
  • Rules-based organisation, sets binding multilateral trade law through negotiations (“legislative” role)
  • Dispute settlement mechanism with mandatory decisions, can apply sanctions (“judicial” role)
  • Work confined to the existing trade agreements and to the scope of the negotiations = narrow mandate based on existing trade rules
the ideas on development
WTO

Main goal is not development per se, but to avoid commercial disputes

Same trade rules and reciprocity apply to all, but…

…Special and differential treatment is introduced with various intensities

The “Doha Development Agenda” introduced in 2001

Trade liberalisation and implementation of trade rules leads to development

UNCTAD

Trade is one of the main instruments leading to development…

…but no automatic links between trade liberalisation, poverty reduction, and development

The links between trade and development are multidimensional

Special and differential treatment is key

No “one size-fits-all” development models

THE IDEAS ON DEVELOPMENT
slide7

INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC ENVIRONMENT

NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT GOALS

TRADE SUPPORT

SERVICES

POLICIES

SUPPLY-SIDE

PRODUCTIVE

CAPACITY

POLICIES

TRADE POLICY

AND

NEGOTIATION

UNCTAD’s INTEGRATED VISION OF TRADE AND DEVELOPMENT and THE SCOPE OF ITS WORK:

some unctad ideas
SOME UNCTAD IDEAS
  • Special and differential treatment and recognition of different levels of development (including trade preferences)
  • Identify the development content and impact of trade negotiations
  • Need for a development-friendly coherence between the international financial and trading systems
  • Development impact of bilateral and regional trade and investment agreements
  • Enhance endogenous capacities and homegrown development policies
  • Links between investment, science and technology, ICTs and trade flows
  • Role of commodities in international trade
  • Development-friendly structure of the GATS
  • LDCs’ terms of WTO accession
  • Need for debt reduction and debt sustainability
  • Role of competition law and policies in development processes
  • Traditional work on trade facilitation and related issues
  • Research on non-trade barriers
thank you
THANK YOU !

www.unctad.org