Is China or Russia a developing country? Whether a state gets classified as developed or developing has major consequences for development assistance, trade preferences, climate change commitments and a host of other obligations or privileges under domestic legislation and international treaties. With the rise of emerging countries and the financial crisis in much of the developed world, one of the major challenges for international cooperation is how to rethink the traditional dividing line between developed and developing countries. Such re-think is needed to build regimes that are both effective and equitable. In today’s context, treating all developing countries as a single group for all matters is neither effective nor equitable. Both in trade and climate change regimes, the trend during the last decade is one of further differentiation. This may be the end of differential treatment for developing countries as a single group. It is certainly not the end of differentiation between countries based on their development or other needs. On the contrary, we can expect more, not less, differentiation. Although this is overall a positive development, a number of risks arise, in particular: divide and rule strategies and a race to the bottom or lowest common denominator. These can be mitigated by using objective, evidence-based criteria for differentiation (rather than purely subjective or ad hoc ones) and by providing for a minimum of multilateral control and protection.
Thursday, December 13, 2012
Pauwelyn: The End of Differential Treatment for Developing Countries? Country Classifications in Trade and Climate Change Regimes
Joost Pauwelyn (Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies - Law) has posted The End of Differential Treatment for Developing Countries? Country Classifications in Trade and Climate Change Regimes (Review of European Community & International Environmental Law, forthcoming). Here's the abstract: