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WTO Draft Sees End To Farm Export Subsidies By 2013

South Korean protesters on 17 December (epa) 18 December 2005 -- A last-minute compromise draft of a World Trade Organization (WTO) agreement proposes that all nations end agricultural and other export subsidies by 2013.

The draft is expected to be put to the summit for approval in the next
few hours. It comes after all-night negotiations at a six-day WTO
summit in Hong Kong, which is to conclude today with adoption of a
final statement.

The 2013 date had been advocated by the European Union with the United Sates and Brazil voicing a preference for 2010.

The revised draft also calls on wealthy nations to allow duty-free and
quota-free privileges to at least 97 percent of products exported by
the least developed countries by 2008.

Meanwhile some 1,000 antiglobalization demonstrators marched through
Hong Kong after a night of street battles between protesters and

At least 70 people were injured and 900 arrested yesterday in some of the city's worst street violence in decades.

(news agencies)
WTO Status Of RFE/RL Broadcast Countries

An exhibition of the history of the WTO in Singapore in 1996 (courtesy photo)

WTO Members:
Armenia: Joined on 5 February 2003.
Croatia: Joined on 30 November 2000.
Georgia: Joined on 14 June 2000.
Kyrgyzstan: Joined on 20 December 1998.
Macedonia: Joined on 4 April 2003.
Moldova: Joined on 26 July 2001.
Romania: Joined on 1 January 1995.

Countries That Are Not Yet WTO Members:
Afghanistan: Submitted its application in November 2004.
Azerbaijan: Submitted its application in June 1997.
Bosnia-Herezgovina: Submitted its application in May 1999.
Belarus: Submitted its application in September 1993.
Iran: Submitted its application in July 1996.
Iraq: Submitted its application in September 2004.
Kazakhstan: Submitted its application in January 1996.
Russia: Submitted its application in June 1993.
Serbia and Montenegro: Submitted separate applications in December 2004.
Tajikistan: Submitted its application in May 2001.
Ukraine: Submitted its application in November 1993.
Uzbekistan: Submitted its application in December 1994.

For more information, click here.

For an exclusive RFE/RL interview with former WTO head MICHAEL MOORE,click here.