believe this is the first time I have been in a position to brief you
collectively since Doha and to update you on progress on our roadmap
to implement the Doha Development Agenda.
have met personally with over 30 Ministers since Doha and spoken to
many more on the telephone. I have reported in writing to all
Ministers at least twice. Ministers have expressed a desire to be
closely involved in our important work.
a meeting I was able to convene recently in New York on the margins of
the World Economic Forum, the 15 Ministers present were pleased with
our progress here in Geneva. Many Ministers are likely to attend the
forthcoming Financing for Development Conference in Monterrey, the
OECD Ministerial in Paris and the important Conference on Sustainable
Development in South Africa. All these meetings are opportunities to
report to Ministers on our work and seek their input. You, the
Chairman and I have worked hard and with much success, especially when
you compare progress since Doha and the time it took after the Uruguay
launch to put in place structures, systems and timelines.
are pleased that an early decision has been taken on the venue for the
next Ministerial Conference. Minister Derbez has already visited
Geneva to begin preparations. A WTO mission will visit Mexico over the
next few weeks to report on facilities. Ministers want us to turn good
words and good news into good deeds.
you also for deciding on the TNC structure. We now need to decide on
the various chairs and in this we all need your advice and
cooperation; we need decisions as soon as possible.
matter how impressive the TNC structure looks on paper, unless we move
swiftly on capacity building in capitals and here in Geneva, we
will not be able to do what is necessary to enable our more
capacity-constrained Members to participate in the substantive
negotiations. The Doha Development Agenda saw some developing
countries put "conditionality" on further progress. The
condition of further progress on the development dimension of many new
issues is capacity building, to ensure the next Ministerial makes
progress and we conclude on time as promised. This is understood by
major donors and supporters. This is why many Ministers visited Geneva
so quickly after Doha and why our new budget was approved. This is
good news. Further good news is that our Pledging Conference for the
Doha Development Agenda Global Trust Fund will be held on
11 March; invitations have been extended, and the agenda is being
given a final polish.
me report that we have also moved quickly on coherence issues.
I have met with the heads of other agencies to ensure there is maximum
cooperation and a minimum of duplication. I will be continuing the
dialogue in the period ahead.
26 February, a meeting of agency heads will be convened in Washington,
hosted by Jim Wolfensohn of the World Bank, to advance all the good
work done by the Technical Cooperation Division on the Integrated
27 February, in Washington there will be a meeting under the umbrella
of the Inter-American Development Bank of all the Trade and,
hopefully, Finance Ministers of the Americas and the Caribbean to
discuss capacity building and how resources can be most effectively
deployed. In preparatory meetings with the IDB, we have suggested that
representatives of other regional banks and the secretariat of the New
Partnership for African Development (NEPAD) also be invited as
observers and I suggested as well that consideration be given to
inviting some ambassadors who coordinate regional groups here in the
WTO. This will save time because we think the “model” of
cooperation that could come out of the Washington meeting will be an
appropriate one to take to other regions and development banks. We
also hope to have a meeting in Geneva of all the regional banks and
stakeholders in April.
have reported to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan on progress and have
expressed appreciation for his leadership and the cooperation of his
Agencies. I hope to brief him personally again very soon.
also met with Mr. Malloch Brown of UNDP, as well as his local
representative when in the Ivory Coast. They and the Banks have people
on the ground and in capitals; we do not. Therefore they can be
important partners as we develop our country file project.
me explain our country file concept.
is our ambition to have a country file for each of our Members who
need capacity assistance. Then I would like to report directly to
Ministers and Ambassadors every three months or so on progress or
otherwise in our efforts to assist these Members.
initiative, supported by many agencies, will help us maximise
resources and avoid duplication. It will also impose transparent
disciplines on everyone – ourselves, donors, other institutions, and
those who need capacity assistance. We need to know what other
institutions and donors are doing, not to control, but to put these
efforts into a transparent, accountable framework. This will allow
capitals to be informed on how we are doing and where we are falling
behind, the better to measure our results.
must impose strict time limits and checkpoints on ourselves, to audit
progress and ensure delivery as promised. By early March, after
consulting other agencies, we will produce the first draft framework
on the country files. These will be issue headings only. In early May
we will report directly to you and will have filled in, hopefully,
most of the subject areas. It will expose where we must do more work.
Thereafter we should report to each capital every three months on how
we are, with other partners, achieving our objectives on
capacity-building based on the Doha Development Agenda as instructed
see ourselves as a clearinghouse and I have instructed Divisions to
seek out strategic partners, e.g. perhaps UNCTAD on investment or
perhaps UNIDO on trade facilitation. Competition, government
procurement and transparency need new capacity resources and we need
partners to assist us. These are also important development issues.
work has implications for observer status of some institutions who so
far have been denied such status. We need tolerance and acceptance to
unblock these problems because they are about our own internal and
I was in New York and Africa I repeated our core message that trade
must be mainstreamed and it is vital that capacity building is put
into Poverty Reduction Strategy papers because this is the basis for
World Bank and IMF funding decisions in the future.
Technical Cooperation Division has already put up staff proposals to
handle this complicated job. The Development & Economic Research
Division has been strengthened and recruited three interns, one from
Mali (an LDC), another from China, and the third from Zimbabwe. These
temporary staff resources will be used to build up an information base
on research and policy analysis to assist delegations.
can further report that over the past week I visited the Ivory Coast,
the OAU in Addis Ababa, Ministers and leaders in Ethiopia, Botswana,
Kenya and South Africa. In meeting African leaders, I was deeply moved
by the public support they offered, because they all said they now see
the WTO positively since Doha.
Doha, as instructed by Ministers, we have strengthened the Accessions
Division and I have personally visited Vietnam, Cambodia and Ethiopia
to offer encouragement and technical assistance for their respective
accessions. I had a meeting a few weeks ago with all the Ambassadors
resident in Geneva who are seeking accession, in order to update them.
I will have such meetings frequently.
is my update. I want to thank Members, the Chairman and our staff for
their hard work and focus as we move ahead with the Doha Development
Agenda. This process must be Member-driven and Ministerial-led so we
can maintain the momentum to conclude these negotiations on time, as
instructed by Ministers.