WTO Ministerial Commitments from Nairobi: Key Issues for South Africa at MC11
At the WTO’s 10th Ministerial Conference, held in Nairobi from 15–19 December 2015, members agreed on several outcomes relating to public stockholding, export competition, cotton, domestic support and a special safeguard mechanism for developing countries. Ahead of the next ministerial conference, which will be held in Buenos Aires on 10–13 December 2017, this discussion paper assesses the implementation of the Nairobi Package, and identifies gaps in this process. The 11th Ministerial Conference (MC11) comes at a time when developed countries are calling for the abandonment of the Doha Development Round to focus on new 21st century trade-related issues. Yet some developing countries remain committed to the conclusion of Doha before moving on to new issues. These disagreements have resulted in numerous proposals with no consensus emerging for the upcoming conference. As a result, there is no set agenda for MC11. This paper explores potential issues that it is anticipated will be on the agenda of the ministerial conference. This assessment is conducted bearing in mind South Africa’s interests. The paper also considers how the implementation gaps could influence outcomes in December 2017. It provides recommendations for key focus areas, and suggestions for policy alignment among members sharing similar interests.