not agree on whether to accept or reject the delays, or to consider them individually
member by member.
These deadlines will
now be among the subjects discussed in consultations in the New Year, and members agreed
in the 17 December General Council meeting to exercise restraint and understanding in
dealing with the deadlines while the consultations are underway.
up the meeting, the first since the Ministerial Conference ended inconclusively on
3 December, General Council chairman Ali Mchumo of Tanzania said:
I have proposed, this meeting of the General Council will be adjourned and resumed as
early as possible next year to take up Item 3 of the Agenda [i.e. issues arising from
the Seattle Ministerial Conference].
is my understanding that the question raised by a number of delegations concerning the
provisions which lapse and deadlines which expire on 31 December of this year will be
part of the consultations to be continued.
General Council will therefore revert to these matters when it resumes early next year.
is understood that all Members will exercise restraint on the matters under consultation
so as not to prejudice further fruitful discussion and decisions on these matters, or the
positions of other Members.
have made it clear that informal consultations are necessary on a wide variety of issues,
including the issue of deadlines. Many Members urged understanding by all Members in those
consultations, and they urged due restraint on the part of Members. This approach would be
without prejudice to the position on rights and obligations of members."
more information on the ministerial, go to the WTOs official ministerial website.