Globalization and Access to Drugs. Perspectives on the WTO/TRIPS Agreement - Health Economics and Drugs Series, No. 007 (Revised)
(1998; 97 pages) [French] [Spanish] View the PDF document
Table of Contents
View the documentAcknowledgements
View the documentAbbreviations and acronyms
Close this folderPART I: GLOBALIZATION AND ACCESS TO DRUGS: IMPLICATIONS OF THE WTO/TRIPS AGREEMENT
View the documentExecutive summary
View the documentIntroduction
Close this folder1. Brief historical background to the international trading system
View the document1.1 The simultaneous creation of the GATT, the IMF and the World Bank
Close this folder1.2 The objectives, nature and functioning of the GATT
View the documentObjectives
View the documentNature
View the documentObligations of the contracting parties
View the documentThe “Rounds”
Open this folder and view contents1.3 The Uruguay Round and the creation of the WTO
View the document1.4 The protection of intellectual property rights before the WTO
Open this folder and view contents2. Reading the TRIPS Agreement from the perspective of access to drugs
Open this folder and view contents3. Conclusions: issues at stake and constraints on access to drugs
View the documentDefinitions and terminology4
Open this folder and view contentsSelected bibliography5
Open this folder and view contentsPART II: PRESENTATIONS AT THE AD HOC WORKING GROUP ON THE REVISED DRUG STRATEGY HELD IN GENEVA ON 13 OCTOBER 1998
View the documentOther documents in the DAP - Health Economics and Drugs Series
View the documentBack cover
 
Obligations of the contracting parties

Under the terms of the treaty, each country had to concede most-favoured-nation* treatment to all other parties. Each signatory State also granted tariff concessions to the other parties, that is, they limited the customs duties imposed on the importation of foreign goods.

Signatory States were obliged not to take certain measures that would result in obstacles to international trade. In practice, this type of obligation amounted to a code of good conduct in trade, which Member States undertook to adhere to when they joined the General Agreement. This was principally designed to prevent discrimination between national products and imported products, to regulate the use of anti-dumping measures, to prohibit quantitative restrictions to trade, and to regulate subsidies.

Depending on the specific situation and particular characteristics of each State, some exceptions to these obligations were agreed. Certain sectors, namely services, agriculture and textiles, were largely excluded from the scope of the General Agreement. Some States also enjoyed the benefit of special rules. Since the signature of the General Agreement in 1947, developing countries had frequently pointed out that the general principles of the GATT worked against them. But their grievances were not acknowledged until the first United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) in 1964, when the principle of differential treatment was invoked. UNCTAD has since become a subsidiary body of the United Nations General Assembly, well known for defending the economic interests of developing countries.

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