Introduction to the Development Box: Finding Space for Development Concerns in the WTO's Agriculture Negotiations

By Sophia Murphy, Steve Suppan on April 28, 2003
This paper, prepared by IISD for the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, was written as World Trade Organization negotiations were in progress. Its content was accurate as of the end of December 2002, but in the few months since, a great deal has happened. We have therefore added a postscript to review where things stand at the end of April 2003, as this paper goes to print. The rapidly-changing environment has changed the status of the "Development Box," which is a package of proposals from developing countries that describes what they would like to see in the next iteration of global trade rules for agriculture. In many respects, the Development Box has been overtaken by events. It was never likely to be a stand-alone element in the new agreement, as this paper explains. At this point, what may survive from the Development Box will be individual proposals from the package. Nonetheless, the paper is still timely. All of the issues raised by the Development Box discussion are still pertinent, and some of them need urgent attention from the international community, no matter how the multilateral trade community decides to handle them in this round of negotiations. The ideas will deserve and require consideration and debate for some time to come.

Publication details

IISD, 2003