India strongly advocates for the reinstatement of the Appellate Body at WTO

Abu Dhabi, Feb 28 (IANS) – In a recent working session of the 13th ministerial conference, India stressed the urgent need for the restoration of the Appellate Body at the World Trade Organisation (WTO). The Appellate Body has been non-functional since December 2019, leading to concerns about the credibility of the WTO and the rules-based trade-order it maintains.

India highlighted the commitment made by WTO Members during the 12th Ministerial Conference to have a fully operational dispute settlement system by 2024. A reliable WTO dispute settlement system is crucial for a fair and predictable multilateral trading system, according to India.

Despite engaging in informal discussions on DS reform over the past year, India raised concerns about the format and pace of the talks, which posed challenges for developing countries. India called for the formalisation and multilaterisation of the reform process to address these issues.

India proposed a three-point action plan to move forward. First, transitioning the discussions on DS reforms to formal WTO bodies under the guidance of the Dispute Settlement Body Chair. Second, ensuring an open, transparent, and inclusive multilateral process that considers the capacity and technical challenges of developing countries. And finally, prioritising the restoration of the Appellate Body.

The restoration of the Appellate Body remains a top priority for India in the WTO reform process, as it plays a crucial role in upholding the rules-based trade order. India’s call for multilateralisation and formalisation of the DS reform process reflects the country’s commitment to a fair and equitable trading system.


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