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Synopsis

Developing countries comprise the majority of the membership of the World Trade Organization. Many developing countries believe that the welfare gains that were supposed to ensue from the establishment of the WTO and the results of the Uruguay Round remain largely elusive. Though often aggregated under the ubiquitous banner 'developing countries', their multilateral trade objectives - like their underlying policy interests and the concerns - vary considerably from country to country and are by no means homogenous. Coming off the heels of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the ongoing Doha Development Round, launched in that Middle Eastern city in the fall of 2001 and now on 'life support' so to speak, was inaugurated with much fanfare as a means of addressing the difficulties that developing countries face within the multilateral trading system. Special and differential treatment provisions in the WTO agreement in particular are the focus of much discussion in the ongoing round, and voices for change have been multiplying, due to widespread dissatisfaction with their effectiveness, enforceability, and implementation.

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