Social Scientist. v 20, no. 224-25 (Jan-Feb 1992) p. 99.


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SURENDRA J. PATEI/

Statement to the Group of Ministers on Arthur Dunkel 's Draft of the Final Act on Uruguay Round of GATT Negotiations**

It is an honour for me to be invited by the Cabinet Sub-Committee for a discussion of the Draft of the Final Act, presented by Mr Arthur Dunkel, Director General of GATT. I am pleased to learn that this meeting is taking place in response to the desire of the Prime Minister to initiate a broad discussion on the final act on the Uruguay Round of Negotiations in GATT. I very much hope that this discussion will involve not only a select few, but also the Parliament, the press, the political parties as well as wide sectors of our people.

While I am honoured to be invited to come here, I am also distressed to witness India being placed at a difficult crossroads. The choices before the government and the country are severe. The turn that is taken at this critical juncture will have far-reaching consequences for our future development in the economic, social and political spheres.

What is happening in GATT has a long background. It would be useful, I think, to keep this background in mind so that we can better appreciate the full implications of the GATT negotiations. I will then comment on selected issues in the Dunkel Draft Text (DDT) and conclude with a few observations.

THE BACKGROUND TO THE URUGUAY ROUND

As a Director of the Technology Division of UNCTAD, and thereby in charge of UNCTAD's work on technology policies (1969 to 1984), I had the privilege of participating in the debates in the United Nations and UNCTAD which preceded the current GATT negotiations.

I was also privileged to be associated with successive generations of very able and devoted diplomats from India and other countries of the South, who from the inception of UNCTAD in 1964, have contributed so much to the South's negotiations to restructure the very unfair and inequitious international economic relations among countries.

Sardar Patel Institute of Economic and Social Research, Ahmedabad-54. This is a revised text of the oral presentation to the Group of Ministers on January 23,1992.

Social Scientist, Vol. 20, Nos. 1-2, January-February 1992



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