> Negotiations, implementation and development: the Doha agenda
> The Doha Declaration explained
> The Implementation Decision explained
> How the negotiations are organized
> The Trade Negotiations Committee
Before turning to the first item of business
at our meeting today I would like to say a few words on how I see the
organization of this week so as to facilitate the work of delegations
and ensure that a maximum degree of transparency and inclusiveness is
As indicated in my fax to delegations on 12 March I see this week as
consisting of three modules, if you wish. The First Module, i.e. today's
TNC, is intended to serve as a platform for the Negotiating Chairs to
provide the membership with their reports — written as well as oral — on
the state-of-play in each of their negotiating areas. Today's meeting,
including the reports from the Chairs, is above all intended to provide
participants with a transparent basis for further reflection over the
next few days, rather than an occasion for detailed responses. In line
with this approach, I do not intend to provide you with a lengthy
Chairman's report today.
Of course, the floor will be open for comments following all of the
reports, but I would very much hope to be able to adjourn this meeting
fairly early this morning to allow for the Second Module of this week to
begin namely consultations among yourselves. As indicated in my fax I
will also be meeting and consulting with participants in a range of
formats and configurations over the next few days, including a Green
Room on the afternoon of Thursday 25 March.
On Friday, 26 March, we will then re-convene in this formal TNC format,
i.e. Module Three, to provide participants with the opportunity to wrap
up this stocktaking and express their views. I will, of course, provide
you with my impressions of the week's activities and I hope that we will
collectively get a sense of gaps remaining, the size of these gaps and
the dynamic with which to address them. It is my hope that on the basis
of our exchange of views on Friday we will be able to send a strong
signal to the outside world and focus the political energy that is
needed to move the Round into the concluding phase.
This is broadly how I see this week's activities unfolding and I hope I
can count on your cooperation to allow us to proceed as smoothly and
efficiently as possible.
Agenda item 1
We will now turn to the first item on our
agenda, my introductory statement.
As indicated earlier, I intend to provide you with a full statement on
Friday morning after I have had an opportunity to evaluate the
activities of this week. Today I want only to emphasize that many eyes
are on us this week. We are responding to the call of Ministers when
they met at the 7th WTO Ministerial Conference last December. The signal that we are
able to send from this week, this stocktaking, will be closely watched
by a broader world community, not just by trade negotiators. This is
anything but a bureaucratic exercise. I urge you to approach this week
with serenity and determination as well as the unity of purpose which
will allow us to take the next steps towards concluding the Round.
Let me also say a few words about our process here in Geneva. If we have
learned something since 2008 it is that a Geneva-based process must
remain at the core of the negotiation centred on the negotiating groups
led by the Chairs. This is vital to ensure the full participation and
informed decision making we all want.
Agenda item 2
I suggest we now turn to our second agenda
item, which is reports by Chairpersons of the bodies established by the
These reports will be circulated following this meeting.
I would now like to open the floor to the Chairs.
The Chairman would invite the Chairpersons to take the floor:
Amb. Walker (New Zealand), Special Session
of the Committee on Agriculture
Amb. Wasescha (Switzerland),
Negotiating Group on Market Access
Amb. de Mateo y Venturini (Mexico), Special
Session of the Council for Trade in Services
Amb. Valles Galmes (Uruguay), Negotiating
Group on Rules
Amb. Mwape (Zambia), Special Session of the Council for TRIPS
Amb. Teehanke (Philippines), Special Session of
the Committee on Trade & Environment
Amb. Saborio Soto (Costa Rica), Special
Session of the Dispute Settlement Body
Amb. Sophastienphong (Thailand), SpecialSession
of the Committee on Trade & Development
Amb. Sperisen-Yurt (Guatemala), Negotiating
Group on Trade Facilitation
Before I invite the Trade Negotiations
Committee to take note of the reports by the Chairpersons I would like
to provide you with a brief update on my consultations on the issues of
GI [geographical indications] extension and TRIPS/CBD [Trade-related
intellectual property rights/Convention on Biological Diversity].
Ministers in Hong Kong requested me, as DG and not as TNC Chairperson,
to intensify the existing consultative process on two TRIPS issues that
were included as outstanding implementation issues in the Doha
Declaration and in subsequent ministerial declarations:
the extension of the protection of
geographical indications provided for in Article 23 of the TRIPS
Agreement to products other than wines and spirits; and
the relationship between the TRIPS Agreement
and the Convention on Biological Diversity.
I was also mandated to report regularly on my
consultations to the TNC and the General Council.
From March 2009 onwards, at the request of Members, I have undertaken
these consultations personally, convening seven sessions between March
2009 and March 2010. I have reported on these consultations at
successive meetings of the TNC and General Council. Further, in the
interests of transparency and inclusiveness, I have also convened two
open-ended sessions, in July 2009 and March 2010, to brief the full
Membership on the consultations I had undertaken. My reports, which give
the details of the consultations, including on the issues raised, were
placed on the WTO website soon after each of these open-ended sessions.
My overall impression is that while my consultations have not created
convergence they have certainly shed clearer light on the divergences.
On both issues, we now understand more about what divides Members, and
we have a better practical sense of what it could mean to bridge the
gaps, if and when the decision comes to try to construct that bridge. My
full reports touch on substantive points. Clearly, more work is needed
if we are to see any movement towards convergence. It should also be
noted that these consultations only deal with the substance of the
issues, and have expressly not dealt with the broader, systemic issues
such as the question of how the Doha mandate is to be read or
implemented, and in particular whether, and if so how, these issues
should be linked to the broader negotiating agenda.
In the coming days I will be consulting with Members with different
sensitivities on both of these matters regarding the best way forward.
I now invite the Trade Negotiations Committee to take note of the
reports by the Chairpersons of the Negotiating Bodies.
Chair's reports to the TNC for the Purpose of the TNC Stocktaking Exercise
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