Global South & Multilateral Trade

We provide technical assistance to developing country negotiators in the World Trade Organization, while connecting them to non-state actors in the Global South.

The rules-based World Trade Organization is facing formidable challenges and the multilateral trading system is under serious threat of becoming weaker. This must be avoided as it is a critical global public good. A strong, rule-based, and equitable WTO is in the interest of both the developed and developing countries.

The need of the hour is to increase the engagement of all stakeholders in the WTO and not to withdraw due to the slow pace of negotiations. It is particularly important to facilitate the participation and integration of developing countries as they comprise the vast majority of the WTO membership and their support to the it can be the main source of strength in the 21st century.

The Voice of the Global South in Geneva

CUTS International, Geneva was founded to place the CUTS family of organisations at the center of multilateral trade negotiations and become a Southern voice in Geneva.

As an observer to the WTO and UNCTAD, we organise and participate in a variety of public meetings with a view to bring our lessons from the ground into multilateral debates.

We also produce various publications on WTO issues for an audience ranging from busy negotiators to policy makers and civil society back in the developing world.

CUTS has also participated in all WTO Ministerial Conferences since the creation of the organization.

Supporting WTO Negotiators

Given both the challenges and the benefits that the multilateral trading system holds for development, we focus on empowering developing country negotiators to effectively advance their interests in WTO negotiations. We therefore serve as a platform for exchange and interaction between negotiators and experts, civil society and others.

We hold regular consultations with developing country negotiators of the same region to respond to their expressed needs. These regional forums have also helped South Asian and East African WTO members find common negotiating positions.

Our Expertise

Beyond WTO negotiation issues (agriculture, trade facilitation, services, NAMA etc.) our expertise in multilateral trade include core WTO functions such as Trade Policy Reviews, Dispute settlement and the work of key committees (Agriculture, Technical Barriers to Trade, Sanitary and Phytosanatitary Standards etc.).

We also collaborate regularly with international organizations in trade-related capacity building initiatives such as Aid for Trade and the Enhanced Integrated Framework.

Related Publications


Books >Reflections from the Frontline: Developing Country Negotiators in the WTO

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