implementation and development: the Doha agenda
Doha Declaration explained
Implementation Decision explained
the negotiations are organized
Trade Negotiations Committee
Report by the Chairman of the Trade Negotiations Committee
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
At the last meeting of the General Council in July, I undertook to
continue my contacts with participants at every level in order to
facilitate resumption of the negotiations. This remains my top priority.
I want to report today on the results of those contacts so far and on
what, in my judgement, is still needed before the negotiations can
Since July, I have talked to many Ministers and officials across a broad
range of the membership. I have attended the meetings of the G20, the
Cairns Group and World Bank-IMF, and I have visited China and Nigeria. I
will be going to Brussels and Washington this month. I have also met
here in Geneva with the Negotiating Group Chairs, coordinators of
regional and other groups, and various delegations.
In all these contacts, I have repeatedly stressed the costs if we fail
to resolve the current impasse — to the global economy and the
multilateral system which underpins it. I think we are all very much
aware of what is already on the table in this Round, and of the
potential benefits for every Member and for the global economy if we
successfully conclude it. And it is now obvious that the costs of
failure, and the missed opportunity to rebalance the trading systems,
would hurt developing countries more than others, which is probably why
it is developing countries who have been the loudest in clamouring for a
resumption of the negotiations.
The General Council has just endorsed a very good set of recommendations
on Aid for Trade. This is most gratifying, and we must now build on the
progress and momentum that clearly exists. I have also reported on my
own consultations to secure additional financial resources for aid for
trade. I believe we must actively continue to work closely with both
donors and beneficiaries to ensure that the initiative continues to
gather momentum as an essential complement to a solid Doha Round
As I stated at UNCTAD Trade and Development Board meeting two weeks ago,
the present time-out in our negotiations should allow us to think more
creatively about how trade, development and growth can fit together into
a coherent whole, and Aid for Trade is a key piece of that puzzle. It
presents all of us with the major opportunity — and challenge — of
translating our promise of greater global cooperation into concrete
actions and meaningful results.
Given what is at stake in the Round, I have also urged governments to
work hard in their own constituencies, although I am very aware of the
political difficulties they face in doing so. But the fact remains that
there is no acceptable alternative to the successful conclusion of the
Round, and we all need to act upon that basis.
From what I have heard from different interlocutors, I can say that
there appears to be no doubt whatsoever in anyone's mind that we must
conclude the Round as soon as possible. The desire to come back to the
negotiating table and to make a deal is widespread and genuine. We have
now heard calls for a swift resumption of the negotiations from every
quarters — ASEAN, the G20, the Cairns Group, the World Bank-IMF Finance
Committee and many Presidents and Ministers around the world. The
African Union is preparing its position to be discussed at the end of
this month in Addis Ababa.
The next step, then, is to determine how and when we can bring everyone
back to the table. This has been very much the focus of my recent
meetings with Ministers, senior officials and Permanent Representatives
here. I believe we have now established some of the parameters of our
First, we can only resume when substantive positions have changed on key
problem issues, in particular in the key area of Agriculture which holds
the key to unlocking the rest of the agenda. No visible indications of
flexibilities until now. Unless and until it happens, we will remain
Second, when we resume, it must be across the board — the whole
negotiating agenda must resume in step.
Third, the window of opportunity we have is limited. If we are to have a
chance of finishing in 2007, the space to move is somewhere between
November and springtime, which appears to be the latest time to get the
breakthrough we need.
All our efforts over the next weeks must be dedicated to meeting these
conditions. I am encouraged at the renewed informal contacts among
governments and the seriousness with which Ministers and officials are
tackling the challenge. There is also an obvious need to renew support
for the DDA among the wider community, and in this respect I believe our
recent Public Symposium was helpful. We have to combat complacency about
the fate of the Round; there must be no doubt that it matters very much
and that it must be brought to a successful conclusion.
The resumption of the negotiations, therefore, has to be something we
all work to make possible, because resuming makes no sense if nothing
has changed since July. I will keep up my engagement with the membership
to facilitate the movement we need, and I have encouraged the
Negotiating Group Chairs to do the same. This is no time for inaction
but rather for discreet and quiet activity. This pause in the process
must be a productive one, where we lay the foundations for success. I
urge all of you to continue technical work, discreet calculations,
private sounding to prepare the ground. I do not believe anything else
is acceptable to the global community.
That concludes my report on this occasion. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr Lamy's statement to the General Council as chairman of the TNC
(8 mins, 7.5MB)
DG statement on the Aid for Trade task force recommendations
(10 mins, 9.5MB)