General Council Chairman Sergio Marchi of Canada and WTO
Director-General Supachai Panitchpakdi praised WTO governments for
reaching these accords. At the same time, they both urged governments
to continue working toward compromise in negotiations involving two
issues of great importance to WTO member governments, enhancing access
to life saving drugs for developing countries lacking the capacity to
produce pharmaceuticals and agreeing provisions to assist those
developing countries experiencing difficulty in implementing existing
agreeing on these important questions, WTO Member Governments have
addressed issues involving both the poetry and plumbing of our
organization,” said Ambassador Marchi. “The agreement on
facilitating the entry into the WTO for Least Developed Countries
shows that concern for the world’s poorest nations is central to our
work. The accords on our budget and on selecting the DG and committee
and council chairs will ensure a smoother functioning WTO in the
issues of access to essential medicines for poor nations and the
extension of special and differential treatment for developing
countries remain unresolved. These two outstanding issues are of huge
importance. However, I believe the political will exists on all sides
to find a balanced agreement. With a bit more hard work and a little
more flexibility I believe governments can get the job done,” Mr.
Supachai also welcomed the agreements while stressing the importance
of resolving remaining issues before the end of the year.
package on LDC accession and the agreements on budget and selection
procedures are important for our organization, but we still have work
to do in the coming days. Agreements on access to medicines and
special and differential treatment are of great importance. These
issues are high priorities for developing countries and success in
these negotiations will provide substantial momentum for our work next
year as we confront important deadlines in agriculture, services,
non-agricultural market access and reform of the Dispute Settlement
Understanding,” Dr. Supachai said.
all of these deadlines is essential if we are to conclude the Doha
Development Agenda on time. New deadlines face us at each stage of the
Doha process and we cannot afford to postpone decisions on key issues.
Failure to meet deadlines this year and next carries the risk of
overloading our agenda at the Ministerial Conference in Cancún next
year,” he added.
by ministers in Doha, Qatar in November 2001, the Doha Development
Agenda includes a wide range of trade negotiations including those in
agriculture, services, market access for industrial products, trade
and environment, intellectual property and WTO rules. Ministers agreed
on a 1 January 2005 deadline for those talks. The Doha agenda also
includes other tasks including the implementation of current
agreements and other work programmes.
governments are committed to agree a framework for the final
agricultural agreement by 31 March 2003 and guidelines for
non-agricultural market access by 31 May 2003. Governments also face a
deadline of 31 March for submitting offers in the services
negotiations. Negotiations on reforming the DSU are scheduled for
completion by 31 May 2003. It is part of the Doha agenda, but is
separate from the package of negotiations, known as the “single
undertaking” that has the 1 January 2005 deadline.
ministers will meet in Cancún, Mexico 10–14 September 2003 to
assess progress in the talks and make decisions which would further
shape these negotiations.
more information, go to the WTO website:
> Doha Development
Details of these five decisions —
streamlined accessions, procedures for selecting directors-general,
the budget agreement, the Armenian accession and the appointment of
WTO officers — as well as Amb. Marchi's statement on the budget can
be found in the General
Council section of the WTO website. back to text