OSLO, July 30, 2008 (AFP) – The breakdown of the World Trade Organization (WTO) negotiations signals a “new world order” in which the West can no longer unilaterally impose its will on the rest of the world, Norway’s foreign minister said Wednesday.
“I may have been present as the world order crumbled. But at the same time, I have witnessed the emergence of a new world order where all of the world’s countries are present and defend their rights,” Jonas Gahr Stoere wrote in an opinion piece in the Norwegian paper of reference Aftenposten.
“Just a few years ago, the United States and the EU resolved all disputes. When they agreed on a solution, that was often the way it turned out. Those days are numbered,” he wrote, pointing to the mounting influence of countries like China, India and Brazil.
The Geneva talks collapsed Tuesday after nine gruelling days of negotiations aimed at reaching a consensus on subsidy levels and import tariffs for a new deal under the WTO’s seven-year-old Doha Round.
“The failure in Geneva should encourage us to develop a world order that is in line with a new era,” Stoere said, insisting that the aborted talks should not be the final word on the matter.
Norway, which is not a member of the European Union, has traditionally imposed high duties on imported agricultural goods to protect its heavily subsidised farmers.