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Dismantling of Doha Development Agenda and India's Role

What Happened at Nairobi and Why

The 10th ministerial of the World Trade Organization at Nairobi in December 2015 marked a turning point in bringing the organisation back into the hegemonic grip of the trans-Atlantic powers. Despite New Delhi's demands being summarily rejected by the United States and the European Union, India became a party to the final Nairobi Ministerial Declaration. The NMD succeeded in whittling away the previous developmental gains of the Doha Round of negotiations. Why did India and its minister for commerce act in this manner at Nairobi?

“Our ministers were relegated to coffee cup bearers instead of negotiating their trading rights,” is a telling comment on what happened at the World Trade Organization’s 10th ministerial conference in Nairobi, Kenya, in December 2015, over two months ago. 

“We were never consulted,” the Ugandan trade envoy complained, after finalising the “Nairobi Package.” The Nairobi ministerial has few parallels. Perhaps, it is the first of its kind where an ongoing “developmental” round of multilateral negotiations has been effectively declared dead.

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