Non – Trade Issues at WTO : India Worried Over Lack of Legal Experts

Recently India suggested that developing nations, consisting of India too, are confronting a double disadvantage at the World Trade Organisation’s (WTO’s) Dispute Settlement Body (DSB).

India’s Concerns

These Developing nations are challenged not only by the lack or an adequate pool or trade law experts to represent them effectively at the DSB but also by particular efforts to bring within the body’s range non – trade issues such as labour and environment.


India has been regularly advocating that certain issues, comprising or labour and environment, must be kept out of the WTO’s radar and instead be dealt with by the global bodies such as the International Labour Organisation and United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The developed world, however, is adamant that the WTO addresses, what they say, global trades new challenges, including labour and environment.

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About WTO

As an intergovernmental organisation, the World Trade Organisation regulates international trade. Signed by 123 Nations on 15 April, 1994, under the Marrakesh Agreement, the WTO commenced on 1 January 1995. WTO replaced General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) that commenced in 1948.

The WTO handles regulation of trade between participating countries by providing a framework for negotiating trade agreements and a dispute resolution process intended at enforcing participants’ attatchment to World Trade Organisation agreements which are signed by representatives of member Governments and ratified by their Parliaments.

Functions of World Trade Organisation

  • The World Trade Organisation shall make sure the implementation, administration and operation and further the objectives of this Agreement and of the Multilateral Trade Agreements, and shall also cater to the framework for the administration, implementation and operation of the multi lateral Trade Agreements.
  • The World Trade Organisation shall administer the understanding of Rules and procedures Governing the settlement of Disputes.
  • The World Trade Organisation shall administer Trade Policy Review Mechanism.
  • The World Trade Organisation is also a centre of economic research and analysis, WTO cooperates intimately with two other parts of the Betton Woods System, the IMF and the World Bank.

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