Clara Menke

Cite as

Committee: World Trade Organization (WTO)

Country: Cameroon

Delegate: Clara Menke, Bucerius Law School


The topics before the World Trade Organization are: Identifying and Enforcing the Obligations of Former Colonial Empires towards Former Colonies and Combating digital piracy.

I.                Question of identifying and enforcing the obligations of former colonial empires towards former colonies

In today’s world we observe immense economic inequality. Many countries in the northern hemisphere strive, whilst many countries in the southern hemisphere, especially on the African continent, continue to struggle against poverty and citizens cannot always live a life in peace and security. This is the outcome of a multitude of historical processes. One of the most important has been European colonialism, which began in the 15th with Portuguese looking for new trade routes.  In the following centuries various European nations explored, conquered, settled and exploited large areas of the world spurred on by their competitive desire to acquire new lands and resources. Whilst the colonizing countries became stronger and richer through industrialization, the colonized countries outside of Europe became weaker. Land and people were heavily exploited, cultural heritages destroyed and citizen’s political, economic, social and human rights abused.

With the collapse of the colonial empires and the proclamation of independence of many African countries in the 1960s the area of exploitation of former dependent countries was meant to come to an end. However, up until today the colonial past leaves negative repercussions. Around the world intractable conflicts are found in once colonized areas. The source of these often lies in past colonial policies, that promoted ethnic rivalry by favoring one group above the others, distributed resources in an unequal manner, disallowed, democratic governments and prohibited local participation in governmental decisions and actions. The Republic of Cameroon also contains the seed of internal conflicts. It started to sprout in 2016, when activists from the northwestern anglophone parts of the country stepped up their campaign for independence and turned to violence and armed guerilla warfare, which resulted in economic downturn and a stagnation in trade with neighboring countries.

The Republic of Cameroon esteems that the genuine recognition of the influential historical factors and their lingering effects on former colonies today is an indispensable step towards achieving global prosperity and more equity. It urges former colonist countries to assume responsibility for the atrocities done during the period of colonialism and not ignore that the colonial history is a major cause for today’s situation.  Reparation payments for the historical injustices will not only restore the dignity of our people, but also benefit the countries’ macro-economic and political stability, which will on the long run lead to the achievement of the SDGs and prevent migratory movements to the global north.

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