Post-Accession Support Platform

WTO obligations, including notification requirements, and specific accession commitments are complex. Most of them become effective from the date of WTO membership. From a centralized accession process, new members now suddenly have to adapt to a decentralized WTO procedures and participate in parallel in its multiple bodies. The twenty years of post-accession experience of Article XII members suggests that many, especially least-developed countries (LDCs), have faced major implementation challenges until a system of post-accession support was introduced recently. This chapter reviews the Post-Accession Support Platform (PASP), a framework developed by the WTO Secretariat to facilitate the transition from acceding economy to full-fledged WTO member. The PASP offers individual post-accession implementation strategies, technical assistance and capacity-building, best international practices, a dedicated website and internal Secretariat procedures that can be used to support new WTO members. The chapter reviews the use of the PASP by two recently acceded LDCs – Afghanistan and Liberia – and finds early signs of improved effectiveness in the WTO post-accession transition process.

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