QUESTION-Prelims-IAS – ECONOMICS MCQ-38
- The United Nations officially adopted a new set of global goals on 25th Sept,2016 to combat poverty, inequality and climate change.
- The agreement outlines 17 non-binding goals termed as Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with 169 specific targets that comprise different socio-economic issues.
- These goals will succeed 8 MDGs(The Millennium Development Goals) which was adopted in 2000 for fifteen years in Rio 20+ summit of United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development.
- Most-favoured-Nation (MFN): Although this sounds like a contradiction. It suggests special treatment, but in the WTO it actually means non-discrimination – treating virtually everyone equally.
Under the WTO agreements, countries cannot normally discriminate between their trading partners. Grant someone a special favour (such as a lower customs duty rate for one of their products) and you have to do the same for all other WTO members.
- National Treatment: It is a principle which requires that imported and locally-produced goods should be treated equally. National treatment only applies once a product has entered the market. Therefore, charging customs duty on an import is not a violation of national treatment.
- In general, disputes in the WTO involve allegations that a country has violated an agreement or broken a commitment.
- But in some situations a government can go to the Dispute Settlement Body even when an agreement has not been violated.
- This is called a non-violation complaint.
- It is allowed if one government can show that it has been deprived of an expected benefit because of another government’s action, or because of any other situation that exists.
- The aim is to help preserve the balance of benefits struck during multilateral negotiations.
- For example, a country may have agreed to reduce its tariff on a product as part of a market access deal, but later subsidized domestic production so that the effect on the conditions of competition are the same as the original tariff.
- A non-violation case against this country would be allowed to restore the conditions of competition implied in the original deal.
- Non-violation complaints are possible for goods and services (under GATT for goods and market-opening commitments in services). However, for the time being, members have agreed not to use them under the TRIPS Agreement.
- India supports this “moratorium” (i.e. the agreement not to use TRIPS non-violation cases).
- Section 3(d) of the India Patents Act (1970) is likely to be a target of complainants, according to the Regulatory Affairs Professionals Society.
- This section of the Act defines what an invention is, and has been interpreted by the Indian Patent Office to deny patents for drugs such as Sovaldi, a hepatitis C drug by Gilead Sciences, and Glivec, a cancer drug by Novartis.
- The denial of these patents has significant benefits for access to affordable medication in India. It also has implications for the revenues of multi-national pharmaceutical companies and their incentives to innovate.
- Anti-dumping duties are imposed if a country dumps goods in another country at a much cheaper price than it normally charges in its own home market.
- Countervailing duties are levied on imported goods to offset export subsidies offered to producers in the exporting country.
- Anti-dumping and countervailing measures in India are administered by the Directorate General of Anti- Dumping and Allied Duties (DGAD), which functions under the commerce ministry.
- DGAD conducts anti-dumping and CVD investigations and makes recommendations to the government on imposition of anti-dumping measures.
- While the department of commerce recommends anti-dumping duties, it is the ministry of finance which levies such duty.
- About United Nations Security Council (UNSC): UNSC is one of the five principal organs of the United Nations (UN). It is charged with the maintenance of international peace and security.
- Powers: (i) establishment of peacekeeping operations, (ii) establishment of international sanctions, (iii) authorization of military action through UNSC resolution.
- All members of the United Nations agree to accept and carry out the decisions of the Security Council.
- While other organs of the United Nations make recommendations to member states, only the Security Council has the power to make decisions that member states are then obligated to implement under the Charter.
- Members: It consists of five permanent, veto-wielding members – China, Russia, France, UK and US along with 10 non-permanent members. The non-permanent seats are allocated according to a rotation pattern set by the UNGA in 1963, to ensure a proportionate representation over time from different parts of the world. Of the 10 members, 5 are from African and Asian states, 1 from Eastern European states, 2 from Latin American states and 2 from Western European and Other states.
- Recently The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) has elected Ethiopia, Bolivia, Sweden and Kazakhstan as the non-permanent members of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).