BRICS leaders declare common stand on WTO reform

: Leaders of the emerging economies’ bloc BRICS declared their common stand on the reform of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) here on Friday. A communique was issued after Brazilian President Michel Temer, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chinese President Xi Jinping and South African President Cyril Ramaphosa held an informal meeting on the sidelines of G-20 Summit. BRICS countries agreed that full support should be given to the rules-based multilateral trading system represented by the WTO and to ensure transparent, non-discriminatory, open and inclusive international trade, according to the document, Xinhua news agency reported. The document called on all WTO members to oppose unilateral and protectionist measures that disaccord with WTO rules and withdraw such measures that are restrictive and discriminatory in their nature. BRICS countries pledged to support the improvement of the WTO, increase its relevance and validity and safeguard the core values and basic principles of the WTO, and agreed that the WTO should embody the interests of all members, developing economies in particular. They stressed the importance of the dispute settlement mechanism in the smooth operation of the WTO, calling for starting, as soon as possible, the selection process to fill the vacancies in the Appellate Body, so as to maintain the stable and valid operation of the dispute settlement system. BRICS countries, according to the document, vowed to strengthen communication and cooperation and work with other members to ensure the WTO keep abreast of the times, advance inclusive growth and the participation of various countries in international trade, and play a significant part in global governance. In the meantime, BRICS countries reiterated their commitment to world peace and stability and support for the central role played by the UN. They pledged joint efforts to strengthen multilateralism, strive for an international order that is fair, just, equal, democratic and representative and implement the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement on climate change.

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