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Forum for the Future of Aid

Southern Voices for Change in the International Aid System Project

The Forum on the Future of Aid is an online community dedicated to research and opinions about how the international aid system currently works and where it should go next

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Unity In Diversity: Governance Adaptation In Multilateral Trade Institutions Through South-South Coalition-Building

By Vicente Paolo B. Yu III

This paper discusses the ways in which developing countries participate in the institutional governance mechanisms of the WTO and UNCTAD, the two premier multilateral trade governance institutions.
The current global trading system exemplifies “some historical and structural inequities” in which the rules are “less advantageous for developing countries.” Changing the rules of the trading game to make them more equitable and capable of supporting developing countries’ development interests will require addressing the flaws in the institutional architecture which shapes and implements those rules.
The experience of developing countries, individually and collectively, during the more recent period of globalization has only confirmed that developing countries need to be consistent and united in promoting their views and interests, and that to succeed it is also essential for them to join forces and pursue group action in most domains on the development agenda. With a number of developing countries having made important progress and strides in development and economic growth, the collective weight of the South should be used for launching major policy initiatives, as well as to counter the systemic economic and political imbalances that favour the developed countries.

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