Should WTO Have Agreements with NAM

In charting the evolution of the NAM’s position on economic issues, it is important to note that developmental and economic growth issues have been a priority on the agenda of the Movement almost since its inception .One of the major issues confronting the Non Aligned Movement pertains to developmental concerns of developing and non-aligned states within the global economy. This is seen in the fact that developing and non- aligned states continue to be in a dependent position within the global economy and an exploitative relationship between the advanced capitalist societies and the underdeveloped periphery exists whereby peripheral states are forced to specialise within a hierarchical world division of labour Currently, in multilateral negotiations within the GATT/WTO or within the Montreal, non-aligned states  do not participate as part of regional groupings or other multilateral groupings. However, the NAM remains the most effective forums, in which the interests of the South as a whole are articulated.
Developing countries, mostly members of the Non Aligned Movement account for nearly two third of the membership of the World Trade Organization and are increasingly able to use their power to influence negotiations traditionally dominated by developed countries. Although the organization operates on a one-country-one-vote basis and on a consensus mechanism (which formally also considers members on an equal basis), the reality of negotiations and of the decision-making process is much more complex and susceptible to the arbitrage of economic power. As a result, in most instances, developing countries have to act in coalitions in order to gain sufficient leverage and some developing country members have little if any voice if they do not ally with others. Despite their increased number and activity in the WTO, developing countries still find themselves in a relatively marginalized position and experience difficulties in linking their development agenda to multilateral trade negotiations. However, as examined earlier this is on account of one country-one vote basis. If the developing countries of the global South group themselves collectively under the umbrella of Non Aligned Movement, then they would be able to assert their voices collectively against the economic practices of the developed countries of the global North.
It is thus argued that the WTO should have a relationship with the Non Aligned Movement. Being an organization devoted to coordinate market processes in the international level, the WTO is theoretically expected to stimulate among its members utility-driven, rational behavior only. However, the WTO also incarnates values of the international society, in particular the notion of multilateralism and in the past few decades, the Global South has often embraced multilateral regimes for both pragmatic and ideational reasons.
Moreover, The role of the developing countries in the WTO negotiations has undergone a significant change. Earlier, they had been negotiating mostly for special concessions and relaxations from the developed countries, whereas now the negotiations are more about extracting concessions from them. The developed countries have started taking up these negotiations with a new determination to expand the access of their economic entities in developing countries, It would thus be beneficial if the WTO enters into an agreement with NAM as no other international organization has the collective numbers of the developing countries as the Non Aligned Movement.
With the maintenance of a stable global trading regime increasingly being in the interests of non – aligned and developing states, examining the possibilities of new forms of leadership that will be able to fill the vacuum left by declining American hegemony, has become of increasing importance to non- aligned states. Moreover increasing trade conflicts amongst the major economic powers has provided a scope for other actors to play a bridge building role within international institutions in strengthening the global trading system in issue specific areas. This has meant that there is a space for new forms of multilateral co-operation between the newly industrialized countries (NIC) of the developing world, acting in accordance with their interests, in providing new forms of leadership in addressing non- aligned states’ interests of maintaining an open global trading system in issue specific areas. This again makes it imperative for the WTO to enter into negotiations with the Non Aligned Movement as representative of the developing economies.

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