IASCLUB PIB News Summary : 14 May 2019

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WTO Ministerial Meeting of Developing Countries

The WTO Ministerial Meeting of Developing Countries concluded in New Delhi today

More in news:

  • A year ago, on 19-20 March 2018, India had organised an Informal WTO Ministerial Gathering, in which more than 50 Members – both developed and developing- had participated.
  • In the March 2018 Gathering in New Delhi it was emphasized that there is a need to preserve and enhance the functioning and credibility of the rules-based Multilateral Trading System as embodied in the WTO.

Outcome of the WTO Ministerial Meeting of Developing Countries

  • It reaffirm the pre-eminence of the WTO as the global forum for trade rules setting and governance.
  • Note with concern the multiple challenges confronting the rules-based multilateral trading system and agree to work together with all WTO Members to strengthen the WTO, make it more effective and continue to remain relevant to the diverse needs of its Members, in line with objectives of the WTO.
  • We re-affirm that the dispute settlement system of the WTO is a central element in providing security and predictability to the multilateral trading system. This has proved to be more effective and reliable as compared to its predecessor, GATT.
  • It noted that Members have failed to arrive at a consensus in the selection process to fill vacancies in the Appellate Body. This ongoing impasse has weakened the dispute settlement system and threatens to completely paralyze it by December 2019.
  • They urge all WTO Members to engage constructively to address this challenge without any delay in filling the vacancies in the Appellate Body, while continuing discussions on other issues relating to the functioning of the dispute settlement mechanism.
  • An inclusive multilateral trading system based on equality and mutual respect should ensure that all WTO Members abide by WTO rules and abjure any form of protectionism.
  • The core value and basic principles of the multilateral trading system must be preserved and strengthened, particularly with a view to building trust among Members. To this end, they urge WTO Members to adopt measures that are compatible with WTO rules to avoid putting the multilateral trading system at risk.
  • They recall that international trade is not an end in itself but a means of contributing to certain objectives, including raising standards of living. Special and Differential Treatment is one of the main defining features of the multilateral trading system and is essential to integrating developing Members into global trade.
  • Special and Differential Treatment provisions are rights of developing Members that must be preserved and strengthened in both current and future WTO agreements, with priority attention to outstanding LDC issues.
  • They stress the importance of technical assistance and capacity building provided to developing Members, in particular LDCs, including through the Enhanced Integrated Framework, Aid for Trade and other tools. And urge Members to continue doing so.
  • The process of WTO reform must keep development at its core, promote inclusive growth, and fully take into account the interests and concerns of developing Members, including the specific challenges of graduating LDCs
  • In order to instill confidence among the Members, it is imperative that the Ministerial Conferences of the WTO are organized in a more open, transparent and inclusive manner.
  • Some WTO agreements, for example the Agreement on Agriculture, contain imbalances and inequities that prejudice the trade and development interests of developing Members. There is a need to provide adequate policy space to the developing Members to support their farmers through correcting the asymmetries and imbalances in this Agreement on priority. This should be undertaken on the basis of work done and progress already made in the past, and provide further flexibilities to the LDCs and Net Food Importing Developing Countries. It is really time that cotton receives concrete and appropriate responses it deserves.
  • They urge WTO Members to expedite the process of accession of new Members.
  • They reiterate commitment to work towards strengthening WTO by promoting development and inclusivity for the benefit of all Members.

India to co-chair Consultative Group (CG) of Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery

India is unanimously chosen as co-chair of the Consultative Group (CG) of Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) for the fiscal year 2020.

More in news:

  • GFDRR is a global partnership that helps developing countries better understand and reduce their vulnerability to natural hazards and climate change.
  • GFDRR is a grant-funding mechanism, managed by the World Bank that supports disaster risk management projects worldwide. It is presently working on the ground with over 400 local, national, regional, and international partners and provides knowledge, funding, and technical assistance.
  • India became member of CG of GFDRR in 2015 and expressed its interest to co-chair in last meeting of CG held in October 2018. India’s candidature was backed by its consistent progress in disaster risk reduction (DRR) in the country and its initiative to form a coalition on disaster resilient infrastructure.
  • This will give the country an opportunity to work with the member countries and organizations of GFDRR with a focused contribution towards advancing the disaster risk reduction agenda during the course of the year.
  • This is the first time that the country has been afforded the opportunity of co-chairing the CG meeting of GFDRR. India would like to pursue a focused agenda and develop synergies with ongoing work streams of GFDRR.
  • Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (DRI) will be a central theme of engagement with the GFDRR partners and stakeholders.

National Training Workshop of Master Trainers for 7thEconomic Census

In the run up to upcoming 7th Edition of Economic Census, a National Training Workshop of the Master Trainers was organized by the Ministry of Statistics and Program Implementation (MoSPI) at India Habitat Center in the national capital today.

Objective

  • The objective was to impart training to Master trainers (enumerators and supervisors) engaged in Seventh Economic Census (7thEC).
  • 7thEconomic Census -2019 is being conducted by MoSPI to provide disaggregated information on various operational and structural aspects of all establishments in the country.
  • A comprehensive training strategy has been evolved to impart training to trainers engaged in the 7thEconomic Census. After the National Training Workshop of Master Trainers in New Delhi today, similar exercise will be undertaken across the country. Over 6000 State and District level training workshops will be organized during the month of May and June 2019.
  • MoSPI has partnered with Common Service Centres, CSC e-Governance Services India Limited, a Special Purpose Vehicle under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology as the implementing agency for 7th An IT based digital platform for data capture, validation, report generation and dissemination will be used in this Economic Census. The fieldwork for the 7thEC will commence in June 2019. The results of the exercise will be made available after verification and validation of the fieldwork.
  • Six Economic Censuses (EC) have been conducted till dateThe first Economic Census was undertaken in 1977. The Second EC was carried out in 1980 followed by the Third EC in 1990. The fourth edition took place in 1998 while the fifth EC was held in 2005. The Sixth edition of Economic Census was conducted in 2013.

 

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