The concept of special and differential treatment (S&D) in WTO is still controversial, mainly among developed countries. The reason is, at first glance this concept does not seem consistent with the basic philosophy of the WTO agreement, namely liberalism. The concept of S & D requires differential treatment in WTO that benefits its members from developing countries. Meanwhile, the liberal philosophy of the WTO requires the same treatment of its members.
Nandang Sutrisno, Ph.D., a lecturer in Faculty of Law, Islamic University of Indonesia mentioned the concept of S & D actually does not conflict with the paradigm of liberalization in the WTO. In this case the S&D is positioned as an instrument of liberalism to achieve development goals and justice for developing countries in international trade under WTO’s authority.
"S & D in this case is positioned as an instrument to remove the gaps and means to achieve equality between developing and developed countries,” Nandang said.
In a seminar on WTO and Third World Countries organized by the Center for World Trade Studies, Universitas Gadjah Mada, on Tuesday (19/4) at Graduate Building of Faculty of Social and Political Sciences UGM, Nandang said the concept of S & D is used to balance the position of developing countries to developed countries. This principle reinforces the existence of S & D as a legal instrument in the multilateral trade agreements. The concept of S & D is substantive justice which is formulated, interpreted, implemented and enacted as the formal justice.
Meanwhile, Chairman of WTO Chairs Programme (WCP) UGM/ Indonesia, Drs. Riza Noer Arfani, MA, conveyed about the process of glocalization in facing the contradiction between globalization with local concept. According to Riza, glocalization process that combines the globalization from above with a variety of traditions, values, or local idea is a theme that should be studied more deeply. This process should be examined in-depth not only to prevent conflict between globalization with local content from occuring extremely, but also to guard against the process of hyper-globalization.