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India opposes to include non-trade issues in WTO

India firmly opposed inclusion of issues like human rights, labour standards, gender equality and environment in global trade negotiations despite consistent efforts by the developed countries to have them included.

 The issues were raised at a meeting organized by the Inter Parliamentary union and European Parliament at the ongoing 11th Ministerial Conference of WTO

 For India, they are all non-trade issues. 

Three members of Indian parliament- Kirit Somaiya, Anurag Thakur and Swapan Dasgupta are here for the parliamentary meetings while 200 members of the European Parliament have made it. "Developed countries keep coming up with such issues to keep developing countries on tenterhooks, divert their time and resources and slyly try to creep in these issues in main negotiations sometime later," said an expert on trade matters. 

Developing countries also feel the duplicity on part of the proponents of environment standards in WTO as they are not part of Convention of Biodiversity, Paris Agreement or Kyoto protocol. Another expert said that it is a lever and ploy by developed countries because no nation will ever say that it is against gender equality or environment and labour standards. 

"We didn't agree to introduce these in the Parliamentary conference. We are against rule making on these though we are not against these issues per se," the official added. 


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