Développement : demandez le programme

Quelles que soient les mesures qui seront prises pour sauver la face, la rencontre qui aura lieu à Hong Kong mi-décembre pour conclure les négociations de l'OMC du programme de développement ne répondra sans doute pas au seul critère qui compte : celui qui veut qu'un tel accord œuvre dans le sens du développement des pays les plus pauvres. Les cyniques diront que les pays avancés, dans la tradition de précédents accords commerciaux, n'avaient l'intention que de faire le moins de concessions possibles tout en donnant leur maximum en termes d'interprétation des informations afin d'embarquer avec eux les pays en voie de développement.

Ce qui est arrivé depuis le début du Programme de développement de Doha en novembre 2001 m'a immensément déçu. En tant qu'économiste en chef de la Banque mondiale, j'ai examiné l'Uruguay Round de 1994 et conclu qu'à la fois son programme et ses aboutissements faisaient preuve de discrimination envers les pays en développement. En mars 1999, je me suis rendu au quartier général de l'Organisation mondiale du commerce, à Genève, pour demander la tenue d'un programme de développement afin de rectifier ces déséquilibres. J'ai cru pendant un moment que mon appel avait été entendu.

Il y a deux ans, les pays du Commonwealth, groupe varié composé principalement d'ex-colonies britanniques, à la fois du nord et du sud, m'ont demandé de préparer une étude sur ce à quoi un vrai programme de développement devrait ressembler. Ce mois-ci, Oxford University Press publie une version étendue de ce rapport appelée Fair Trade for All: How Trade can Promote Development [Le commerce équitable pour tous : comment le commerce peut favoriser le développement].

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