Zambia Daily Mail
Posted by: web editor
Darlington Mwape and Dr Hamadoun Touré
By CLAVER MUTINTA
THE World Trade Organisation (WTO) has selected former permanent representative to the United Nations and WTO in Geneva Darlington Mwape to be part of a panel of three experts to assist in resolving trade disputes between China and the United States (US), and the European Union (EU) and Japan.
The other two members of the panel are Nacer Benjelloun-Touimi of Morocco, who is also a former ambassador to the WTO, and Hugo Cayrus of Uruguay.
Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services permanent secretary Amos Malupenga said in a statement issued in Lusaka yesterday that the panel has been constituted at the request of the US, EU and Japan.
The three members have complained to the WTO that China’s measures on export of rare earths, tungsten and molybdenum increase the burden and cost of export and constitute a violation of China’s commitments under WTO agreements.
Rare earths are used mainly in the electronic industry and are becoming increasingly important in green technology such as hybrid and electronic vehicles.
However, China contends that the measures introduced are aimed at protecting the environment and achieving sustainable economic development.
Panels of the WTO are the first adjudicative bodies to the cases, assess the evidence and legal issues raised by the case and are required to reach decisions that often affect international trade between concerned parties.
Mr Mwape, who is also former legal advisor to former President Mwanawasa, is currently presiding over negotiations on copyright law at the World Intellectual Property Organisation.
And Mr Mwape said it is an honour for him to be part of such an assignment and that he is indebted to Zambia.
He said his selection is also good for Zambia to be able to contribute to an important international undertaking.
“It is a heavy responsibility, but I am going there to contribute because I have worked at the WTO before, which gave me useful experience,” Mr Mwape said.
He said if he was not appointed to work at the WTO, he would not have the opportunity to assist in resolving the trade dispute between China and US, and EU and Japan.
Mr Mwape said he believes that the WTO has good expertise which can be used in such serious undertakings.