Communique by the Hon Ham Lini Vanuaroroa, Deputy Prime Minister and Director General, Pascal Lamy of the World Trade Organisation on the occasion of the visit of Pascal Lamy, Director General of the World Trade Organisation to Port Vila, Vanuatu.
The Hon Ham Lini Vanuaroroa, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Trade, Commerce, Industries and Tourism and Director General Mr Pascal Lamy of the World Trade Organisation met today at the Ministry of Trade, Commerce, Industries and Tourism and had fruitful discussions in Port Vila, Vanuatu.
As the 157th member of the WTO, the Hon Vanuaroroa welcomed DG Lamy to the beautiful shores of Vanuatu and expressed Vanuatu’s gratitude to the WTO Secretariat who had continuously given guidance to Vanuatu in her efforts towards WTO accession.
As a member of the WTO, Hon Vanuaroroa expressed Vanuatu’s call for continued special and differential treatment for Vanuatu as a Least Developed Country (LDC) and as a Small Island State (SIS). The WTO was asked to ensure that the special and differential treatment of these groups of countries continued to be placed on the WTO agenda.
The Hon Vanuaroroa conveyed Vanuatu’s desire for more resources towards Trade and Development and also acknowledged WTO Secretariat for their assistance thus far.
The Director General, Pascal Lamy stated that his visit to Vanuatu is a testament to the importance of all WTO Members irrespective of size. His visit was also an opportunity to listen to any views or concerns regarding Vanuatu’s membership of the WTO and more importantly to look at building a post accession programme that meets the priorities of Vanuatu. He requested that Vanuatu seek to develop this post accession programme based on the country’s priorities.
The DPM and DG discussed a number of specific issues such as the impasse in the Doha Round of negotiations as well as issues on Agriculture specifically the importance of rural development and food security issues, SPS, TBT, Trade Facilitation and other technical issues – taking note of the status on these matters in the current negotiations. Vanuatu was committed to participating fully in the rule making of the multilateral trade regime and the ways and means of achieving that will be finalised as part of the post accession strategy.
They also agreed that Aid for Trade remain a strong focus for developing countries and that the Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF) was particularly important for LDCs. It was agreed that efforts should be made to ensure that Vanuatu’s priorities are considered in the Aid for Trade discussions. It was noted that the 4th Global Review of Aid for Trade will be convened in July 2013 and agreed that participation of Vanuatu will be crucial.
The DPM thanked DG Lamy for his stewardship of the WTO over the last eight years and for patient and untiring guidance for Vanuatu’s accession to become a Member of the WTO.
Port Vila, Vanuatu 30 November 2012.