Good morning and welcome. The purpose of this meeting, as always, is
to update you on the consultations I have been holding and to hear
your views on the negotiations.
Since our Heads of Delegation meeting yesterday, I have held further
consultations with delegations, together with the negotiating group
Chairs, in order to progress our critical work. The format of my
consultations involved, as I announced yesterday, both a small as
well as a larger and broadly representative group of delegations,
including group coordinators.
Focus in these discussions continued to be on the six key elements
in Agriculture and the three key elements in NAMA which I outlined
to you on Wednesday.
When we met yesterday, many of you had urged the Members
participating in these consultations to show leadership, and to make
the compromises that would help move us towards the establishment of
modalities in Agriculture and NAMA. I believe they have listened to
you, and the package of elements that has been circulated in the
room ó and which was also made available on the Members' website
yesterday ó represents their contribution, and I believe it is an
important contribution to progress towards establishment of
The various elements of this package are linked in one way or
another as part of a whole, and should be seen as such. This is not
a final product, but one around which to build convergence in order
to move the whole of the modalities forward. There are elements in
this package with which many at this stage are uncomfortable to a
larger or lesser degree, including some who have expressed specific
It is not my intention to propose to have a detailed discussion on
these elements today. The package will remain on the table as a
contribution toward our work. But, as you all recognize, this is by
no means the full picture of our task. There remain many elements
not in this package which are dear to many of you and therefore need
to be tackled urgently in order to find the overall political
balance. This is necessary because as I have said many times, there
is no such thing as partial modalities.
This being the case, the next step in our consultative process
therefore is to address these other issues.
They include, in Agriculture cotton, preference erosion, tropical
products, bound in-quota tariff rates, tariff simplification, tariff
quota administration, developing country sensitive products to name
In NAMA, focus of our work needs to be on issues such as preference
erosion, the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela issue or RAMs issues.
Keeping in mind the urgency of our task, the Chairs of the
negotiating groups have already convened consultations for today and
tomorrow to address these issues. I would urge your Senior Officials
to begin work extremely urgently with the two negotiating group
Chairs. I will myself be chairing the Services Signalling Conference
which is scheduled for 2 p.m. today.
I will thereafter continue to take up these issues, as needed, in
the same way as I took up the earlier issues, namely in various
Ministerial configurations as necessary with full reporting back to
this open-ended HODs. The goal is to produce as rapidly as possible
a further package on the next group of issues, which I can then also
put before you for your consideration.
With these words, let me now invite Minister StÝre to report on the
work he has been doing on my invitation on the TRIPS-related issues
of GIs and the TRIPS/CBD relationship.
from Minister StÝre.]
I would like to thank Minister StÝre for his report and once again
for the work he is undertaking on these issues.
With these words, I will ask now those delegations who wish to speak
at this HODs meeting to take the floor. Following this meeting, the
negotiating group Chairs and I will renew our consultations, before
reporting back to our next HODs meeting, which will be held Monday
morning at the same time.
The floor is open.
[Statements from delegations.]
We will now go back to the various
consultations. I would like to recall that we have a Services
Signalling Conference this afternoon. After one week of hard work, I
believe we have a basis for possible convergence. As many of you
have said, we need to build on that towards something which will be
a global package and not only on a few issues. In achieving this
after one week of hard work, I think we have also created a
necessity for a few more days of very hard work and this is what we
have to do now. See you next in this format on Monday at 10 am.
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