>Paris, Saturday, August 12, 2000
>Report for UN Labels WTO a 'Nightmare'
>GENEVA - A United Nations-appointed study team calls the
>World Trade Organization a ''nightmare'' for developing
>countries and suggested the body should be brought under
>In a report presented this week to the UN subcommission
>on protection of human rights and made available Friday,
>the team also dismisses the WTO's so-called open trading
>rules as based on ''grossly unfair and even prejudiced''
>The report also calls for a ''radical review of the whole
>system of trade liberalization'' and questions whether the
>system is geared toward shared benefits ''for rich and poor
>There was no comment on the report from the WTO. Senior
>envoys from most member states - around 70 percent of them
>are from developing countries - and officials of the
>secretariat are on summer leave.
>But supporters of the open trading system say the dispute-
>settlement system, which adjudicates in trade arguments on
>the basis of the rules that all members have agreed to, has
>often found in favor of emerging economies in cases they
>have brought against big powers.
>The document, a study of the effect of globalization on
>human rights, was written by two jurists - J. Oloka-Onyango
>of Uganda and Deepika Udagama of Sri Lanka.
>If approved by the full subcommission, which is currently
>meeting in Geneva, it will be presented to the annual
>session of the overall UN Human Rights Commission when it
>holds its annual six-week session next March and April.
>The report says that human rights were given only an oblique
>reference in the founding documents of the WTO, which was
>launched at an international conference in Marrakesh, Morocco,
>in 1994 to succeed the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade.
>''The net result is that for certain sectors of humanity -
>particularly the developing countries of the South - the WTO
>is a veritable nightmare,'' the jurists said in the report.