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Press/168
8 February 2000
Denmark makes 1 million dollar contribution to WTO's global trust fund

The Danish Government has contributed 1 million USD to the Global Trust Fund for WTO Technical Cooperation to benefit developing and least-developed countries. The fund was established in July 1999 to receive extra-budgetary donations from WTO Members to finance technical cooperation activities carried out by the WTO.

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Mr. Niels Helveg Petersen, Danish Minister of Foreign Affairs, announced Denmark's contribution in his address to the Seattle Ministerial Conference on 1 December 1999. “The WTO must be able to respond favourably to requests for technical assistance”, he said. “The newly established Global Trust Fund is important in this regard”. Mr. Helveg Petersen added that “the present situation, marked by insufficient funding as well as by financing by a few Members through voluntary contributions outside the budget is unsustainable. Technical assistance should be financed as part of the ordinary WTO budget”.

Current demand for technical assistance from developing and least-developed countries considerably outweighs WTO's financial capacities. A group of countries including Denmark, as well as Director-General Mike Moore, have proposed that CHF 10 million be included in the regular WTO budget for technical cooperation. It is proposed that the figure be phased in over a three-year period starting from the year 2000.