The Uruguay Round and Beyond
Edited by Ramesh Adhikari and Prema-chandra Athukorala
Chapter 1: Developing countries in the world trading system: an overview
Ramesh Adhikari and Prema-chandra Athukorala The Uruguay Round (UR) of multilateral trade talks, which formally concluded on 15 August 1994 in Marrakesh, Morocco, after eight years of intense and often contentious negotiations, was a landmark in the evolution of the global trading system. The Uruguay Round Agreement signed at Marrakesh embodied three key outcomes, which were crucial for laying the foundation for an effective, rules-based trading system, namely: (a) providing for the establishment of the World Trade Organization (WTO) as the successor to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT); (b) laying down provisions to ensure participation by developing countries as equal partners in the world trading system; and (c) broadening the coverage of international trade rules to encompass virtually all economic activities relevant to economic interaction. For almost fifty years following World War II the global trading system functioned without a fully fledged organization with well-defined rules of decisionmaking and enforcement to deal with trade issues among countries. The GATT, which came into being in 1947 on the basis of the Protocol of Provisional Application signed at the United Nations Conference on Trade and Employment in Havana, Cuba, on 21 November in that year,1 did not have the international standing of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) or the World Bank, both of which were international organizations. Instead the GATT, as its name implied, was a multilateral agreement among its contracting parties rather than a treaty among sovereign nations (Jackson 1989). By contrast, the WTO, which came into...
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