WTO to resolve the challenges for Indian food exports
- Russia- Ukraine war poses risk to global food security.
- The Russian Federation and Ukraine play an important role in the global food supply including food and agricultural products.
- According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), the prices increase by 8 to 22 per cent which is the highest since 1961.
- Together, both countries account for 30 per cent of global wheat, 70 per cent of sunflower oil and 18 per cent of corn exports.
- Ukraine banned exports of wheat, millets, meat, live cattle and other products to ensure domestic supplies.
- Nearly 50 countries depend on the Russian Federation and Ukraine for 30 per cent of their wheat import needs.
- A high rise in prices creates widespread scarcity in West Asia and North Africa.
- The implication of fertilizer in today’s market disruptions limits options for responses by wealthy countries as well as low- and middle-income countries.
- In March, the global price of sunflower oil reached a record high, as did global prices of rapeseed ( canola) oil, soybean oil and palm oil.
- Prices for ammonia, nitrogen, nitrates, phosphates, potash and sulphates, which constitute the global fertilizer market are up to 30 per cent since January.
- According to the FAO, 26 countries rely on Ukraine and Russia for at least 50 per cent of their wheat imports.
- These include countries in Africa's Sahel region, where 6 million children are malnourished and 16 million people are at risk of food insecurity.
- UN World Food Program (WFP) also recently noted the vulnerability of countries in East Africa experiencing the effects of conflict and severe drought.
- UNICEF emphasizes the vulnerability majority of children do not have access to adequate nutrition
- In the Middle East and North Africa where countries depend on Ukraine and Russia.
- High food and fuel prices are a crisis in the presidential election in France, Germany, Italy and Spain have offered energy allowances, prices and tax cuts to curb the impact of high energy prices.
- The World Trade Organization (WTO) is the only global international organization dealing with the rules of trade between nations.
- It has 164 members and 23 observer governments.
- GATT ( General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade) provided the rules for world trade from 1948- to 1994. it was a provisional agreement and organization dealing with trade in goods.
- The WTO created in 1995 marked the biggest reform of international trade since the end of the Second World War. It agreements also cover trade in services and intellectual property.
- The birth of the WTO also created new procedures for the settlement of disputes.
- Administering WTO trade agreements
- Conducting forum for trade negotiations
- Handling trade disputes
- Monitoring national trade policies
- Providing technical assistance and training for developing countries
- Cooperation with other international organizations.
The WTO has six main objectives:
- to establish and enforce international trade rules,
- to provide a forum for negotiating and monitoring further trade liberalization,
- to resolve trade disputes,
- to improve decision-making transparency,
- to collaborate with other major international economic institutions involved in global economic management, and
- to assist developing countries in fully benefiting from the global trading system.
- The Ministerial Conference, which must meet at least every two years, is the WTO's highest authority.
- The daily work is handled between Ministerial Conferences by three bodies whose membership is the same; the only difference is the terms of reference under which each body is created.
- The General Council
- The Dispute Settlement Body
- The Trade Policy Review Body
- The General Council is the highest governing body of the United Nations.