BRICS Foreign Ministers call for reform of WTO
BRICS Ministers reiterated the important role of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development in the integrated treatment of trade and development
BRICS Foreign Ministers, during their standalone meeting, held in a virtual format on Tuesday reaffirmed their support for a transparent, rules-based, open, inclusive and non-discriminatory multilateral trading system with the World Trade Organization at its core.
They reiterated their support for the necessary and urgent reform which would inter alia, preserve the centrality, core values and fundamental principles of the WTO and consider the interests of all members, including developing countries and LDCs, recognizing that the majority of the WTO members are developing countries.
It is critical that all WTO members avoid unilateral and protectionist measures that run counter to the spirit and rules of the WTO, BRICS Foreign Ministers said in their joint statement.
They stressed the need to restore the normal functioning of all WTO’s functions as highlighted in the Joint Statement by BRICS Trade Ministers on Multilateral Trading System and the WTO Reform of 2020.
They emphasized the primary importance of ensuring the restoration and preservation of the normal functioning of a two-stage WTO Dispute Settlement system, including the expeditious appointment of all Appellate Body members.
The Ministers acknowledged that global economic governance in an increasingly interconnected world is of critical importance for the success of national efforts for achieving sustainable development in all countries, and that, while efforts have been made over the years, there remains a need to continue improving global economic governance and to strengthen the role of the United Nations in this regard with extensive consultations and joint contributions for the shared benefits.
The Ministers reiterated the important role of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development in the integrated treatment of trade and development, finance, technology, investment and sustainable development and reaffirmed support for its vital mandate and promotion of an open and inclusive global economy and provision of development oriented policy analysis.
On international financial architecture, the Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to broadening and strengthening the participation of emerging markets and developing countries (EMDCs) in the international economic decision-making and norm-setting processes, especially in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic.
To that end, they stressed the importance of continuing efforts to reform the international financial architecture, noting that enhancing the voice and participation of EMDCs, including the least developed countries, in the Bretton Woods institutions remains a continuous concern.
The Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to a strong Global Financial Safety Net with a quota-based and adequately resourced IMF at its center and expressed their deep disappointment at the failure in addressing the quota and governance reforms under the 15th General Review of Quotas (GRQ).
They called for the timely and successful completion of the 16th GRQ by December 15, 2023, to reduce the IMF’s reliance on temporary resources and to address under-representation of EMDCs for their meaningful engagement in the governance of IMF and to protect the voice and quota shares of its poorest and smallest members and have a new quota formula that better reflects the economic weight of members.
The Ministers called for governance reform in the recruitment processes of the World Bank and the IMF by ensuring selection through an open and merit- based process, noting that the true potential of the Bank and Fund would be realized only by building more democratic governance structures and strengthening their financial capacity.