I associate myself and our staff with your comments in regard to the
horrific and grotesque events last week.
night I saw a report where rescuers discovered a group of victims'
bodies; they were all holding hands. In the end all they had was each
the end all we have is each other. It has affected everyone and
everything. For myself, I am less patient with trivia; it reminds us
all of what's important, what isn't.
of the reasons I've always been dedicated to this organization is that
I believe in a definition of civilization that means the rule of law
and the peaceful settlement of differences and disputes through agreed
rules. As imperfect as we are, I believe the WTO dispute settlement
system ought to be a matter of inspiration and hopefully imitation in
other areas of human differences.
talked to a lot of Ministers over the past few weeks. There is another
important Ministerial Meeting in Africa this weekend. All this work
must fold and feed into our process here. Ministers have said we
should continue our work in preparation for our meeting in Doha, in
November. We have heard very publicly from the United States, the EU
and other trading partners — and I know this is a view shared by many
others — on the need for Member Governments in this Organization to
proceed steadfastly on track for the important Ministerial Conference
are resolute. The global economy, the need to address everyone's vital
interests must drive us forward. If anything, recent events have
strengthened Ministers' commitment to address reality and to make our
civilized system of engagement succeed. In times of political and
economic uncertainty, it's even more important.
advise and warn me that our objective must be to have as few
substantial differences as is possible by Doha. I have told them of
the focus and commitment of our team, and of Ambassadors' hard and
patient work. In particular our Chairman is doing magnificent work on
behalf of us all. But we do need to remind ourselves that our
objective is to have just a handful of issues that need to be fixed
and decided at Doha. Mr. Chairman, I'm still haunted by the thought of
142 ministers, multiplied by 5-minute speeches, times a dozen issues.
That won't work. The next few weeks will test all of us, our patience,
and our generosity, but I sense goodwill, commitment, growing
flexibility and momentum.
week our host, the Minister from Qatar, will again visit Geneva to
discuss practical arrangements. Again I must ask colleagues to revisit
the number of staff necessary to make our Ministerial function. We
will have to reduce numbers.
Ministerial is important not only for the substance of our common
agenda, but to correctly hold us accountable and refocus the World
Trade Organization, the better to serve you and your Governments, thus