WTO: 2013 NEWS ITEMS

GENERAL COUNCIL

Summary of General Council meeting of 25 February 2013

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MINUTES:

1. Report by the Chairman of the Trade Negotiations Committee

    1. The Director-General outlined the elements that would make up the package of deliverables at the Ninth Ministerial Conference (MC9), including elements in the Doha Development Agenda and those stemming from mandates at the Eighth Ministerial Conference. He also gave an overview of the preparations for the Fourth Global Review of Aid for Trade, which he expected would set the foundations for a work programme which MC9 could take forward. Other areas could bring positive outcomes as well, such as the Information Technology Agreement and government procurement. Eleven delegations intervened in the discussion.

2. Work Programme on Small Economies — Report by the Chairman of the Dedicated Session of the Committee on Trade and Development (CTD)

    The Chair of the General Council read a report on behalf of the Chair of the CTD, which focused on the ongoing work on the effects of non-tariff measures on small, vulnerable economies (SVE) exports. Barbados (on behalf of SVE proponents) spoke.

3. Review of the exemption provided under Paragraph 3 of the GATT 1994

    In line with the procedure agreed by the Council in 2002, statements made at General Council meetings in 2013, questions posed to the United States and related replies would form the basis of this year’s review, together with the annual report provided by the US (WT/L/880). The General Council would take up the matter again at its December meeting. The US indicated its willingness to organize informal consultations in which interested delegations would be free to ask questions and discuss issues of interest. A number of delegations expressed concerns about the exemption and called for a meaningful review which should consider if the conditions for the exemption still prevailed.

4. Ukraine’s Article XXVIII notification — Statements by ASEAN, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Croatia, Egypt, European Union, Guatemala, Hong Kong China, Iceland, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Paraguay, Turkey and the United States

    Twenty-four delegations, some of them speaking on behalf of WTO groups, expressed again concerns about Ukraine’s notification to modify its schedule of tariff concessions under GATT Art. XXVIII. They called on Ukraine to reconsider its position. In its statement, Ukraine provided some facts and figures related to its notification under Article XXVIII and took note of the views expressed. 

5. Improving the Guidelines for granting Intergovernmental Organizations Permanent Observer Status in the WTO — Statement by the Chair

    The General Council Chair provided an update on her consultations on this matter.

6. Appointment of Officers to WTO Bodies

    In line with the Guidelines for Appointment of Officers (WT/L/510), the General Council took note of the consensus on the slate of names for chairpersons to WTO bodies, as per Annex I.

7. Election of Chairperson

    The Council elected by acclamation Amb. Shahid Bashir (Pakistan) as Chair for 2013.

 

General Council

H.E. Mr. Shahid BASHIR (Pakistan)

Dispute Settlement Body

H.E. Mr. Jonathan FRIED (Canada)

Trade Policy Review Body

H.E. Mr. Joakim REITER (Sweden)

Council for Trade in Goods

H.E. Mr. Moncef BAATI (Tunisia)

Council for Trade in Services

H.E. Dr. Abdolazeez AL-OTAIBI (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia)

Council for TRIPS

H.E. Mr. Alfredo SUESCUM (Panama)

Committee on Trade and Development

H.E. Mrs. Marion WILLIAMS (Barbados)

Committee on Balance-of-Payments Restrictions

H.E. Ms Päivi KAIRAMO (Finland)

Committee on Budget, Finance and Administration

Mr. Michael STONE (Hong Kong, China)

Committee on Trade and Environment

H.E. Mr. Esteban CONEJOS (Philippines)

Committee on Regional Trade Agreements

H.E. Mr. Francisco LIMA MENA (El Salvador)

Working Group on Trade, Debt and Finance

H.E. Mr. Faizel ISMAIL (South Africa)

Working Group on Trade and Transfer of Technology

H.E. Mrs. Wafaa BASSIM (Egypt)

 

 

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