ďLast year was truly an outstanding year for the World Trade
Organization, perhaps the most significant in our brief history. But
we havenít the time to reflect on last yearís achievements,
because Ministers at our highly successful Ministerial Conference in
Doha, Qatar, have given us much to do and not much time in which to do
it. Doha was where we as an organization ďremoved the stain of
Seattle,Ē as U.S. Trade Representative Bob Zoellick put it, but now
we must maintain the Ministerial momentum launched at that conference
and build on its success.
think weíve made a very good start. There were those who speculated
that it may take six months to choose the venue for our next
Ministerial Conference in 2003. It took one meeting of our General
Council. Much behind the scenes work took place and itís never easy
to gain a consensus among 144 governments, but last month, our Member
Governments agreed that Mexico would host us next year. Iím
delighted. This means our hosts can begin their preparations
have also seen our members approve a significant increase in our
budget to CHF 143 million (an increase of 6.75%) and we will be able
to increase our spending on technical assistance in 2002 by around
80%. We have shifted and re-deployed some of our Secretariat staff to
better serve the intentions spelled out by Ministers in Doha.
of these steps are necessary because the far-reaching set of
negotiations launched in Doha, must be completed within a three-year
timeframe. With the launch of the Doha Development Agenda we have
placed development issues and the interests of our poorer Members at
the heart of our work.
year was also one in which we have welcomed more than a quarter of the
world's population into our membership from Lithuania, Moldova, China
and Chinese Taipei. I am confident that we can make solid progress
with our 28 other accession candidates in 2002. I am asked often about
the timetable for Russia. Iíve been saying that I expect Russia to
take her seat as a member by the time of our conference in Mexico, but
I think we can do better than that. We have a core group of Ministers,
including Bob Zoellick and EU Trade Commissioner Pascal Lamy who have
the willpower, the horsepower and the firepower to move this accession
along quickly and smoothly. President Putin and Minister Medvedkov
have extended great commitment and effort to bring Russia into the WTO
and we could see Russia becoming a member well before people expect. Iím
hopeful that other important nations including Saudi Arabia, Vietnam,
Cambodia and Ukraine can progress this year as well.
was a year of important lessons and new insights. The Doha success was
built on a preparatory process that was transparent and inclusive. We
must carry these principles into our future work. In 2002 we will
ensure all our Members, large and small, rich and poor, are given
every assistance and opportunity to participate in our negotiations.
Ministers have told me they want to be engaged so they can continue to
guide our agenda forward.
the conclusion of the 4th Ministerial Conference, I said that while
the Doha Development Agenda was launched out of mutual self-interest,
for many resource-constrained Member countries it was also a brave act
of faith, trust and hope. I believe Members have already begun to
deliver on this faith.
example of this is the Secretariat budget for 2002. Itís a budget
which closely reflects the priorities identified by Ministers in Doha,
including in such key areas as technical cooperation and
capacity-building, coherence, advancing accessions and doing a better
job of explaining ourselves to those who pay our bills, the outside
world. In addition to the 6.75% increase in the budget, highlights
of the Doha Development Agenda Global Trust Fund with a proposed
core budget of CHF 15 million to provide secure and predictable
resources to build capacity,
funding to allow us to double the number of trainees from
developing countries who can attend the recently established WTO
funds of CHF850,000 for translation services which is in addition
to the CHF1.5 million given last year; this addresses a
long-standing grievance from some non-English speaking Member
to take on 8 new staff in key areas identified by Ministers; more
short-term staff will be contracted once the DDA Global Trust Fund
brings more resources on line, and
to enable us to continue to run the Geneva Week programme in 2002,
assisting non-resident Member officials to participate more fully
in the work of the WTO.
is a good budget and an important first step. It is focused and
balanced and helps us to deliver on the promise of Doha. But much
remains to be done to ensure the next Ministerial Conference is a
success and the new negotiations are concluded within the three-year
timeframe. My duty is clear: to ensure the Secretariat's activities
are aimed at assisting Members to undertake and conclude their
negotiations. I must also ensure our resources match our collective
ambitions. I have taken important steps already in this regard:
resources have been re-deployed to reflect the priorities of the
Doha Development Agenda, particularly in areas of development,
capacity-building, accessions, coherence and outreach. Efficiency
gains and cost savings are being introduced. We will also review
matters further in light of decisions taken by Members on the
trade negotiating machinery.
am establishing a Resource and Performance Analysis function in
the Secretariat so we can regularly and routinely monitor our
performance against agreed objectives. A report will be prepared
on how this new function will operate.
will be commissioning work on how to make the Secretariat a better
working environment for staff. I want to look at issues of working
conditions, career development, tenure, recruitment and promotion
processes, and ways to reward innovation and efficiency gains.
Committee on Budget, Finance and Administration has suggested a
report on staffing issues and I look forward also to commissioning
this important work.
terms of the roadmap ahead, I am taking other steps as well to ensure
the Secretariat's work builds on the momentum from Doha and towards
the next Ministerial Conference:
have been communicating with key groups in Geneva. Immediately
following Doha I met with Ambassadors from Arab countries to
discuss our Arab Strategy. I have met recently with Geneva-based
representatives of acceding countries and have communicated with
their Ministers. We are increasing our resources in this area, in
line with the Doha outcomes, and I have invited delegations to
give me ideas for accelerating their accession processes. We are
also increasing our efforts in favour of Least Developed Countries
and economies in transition. Once again, I have written to their
Missions seeking advice and guidance.
are preparing a programme of activities for 2002 that will give
heightened attention to particular regions. For example, we are
planning major initiatives in coordination with other institutions
in the Balkans and Central Asia. These areas have regrettably not
been given adequate attention in the past.
contact is always important. My staff tell me I have travelled
over 625,000 km and visited more than 180 cities in the past 2
years. This is necessary work. I will continue to visit capitals
and seek guidance from Ministers. Early in the new year I am
planning a series of missions including to the United States,
Africa and Oman.
are investigating other innovative ways to keep Ministers fully
engaged and involved. In addition to personal contacts, telephone
calls and regular mailings, we may shortly run a series of
will be focusing more closely on issues of coherence so we can
produce models of cooperation and synergies with other
institutions better suited to deliver fair results since Doha. I
have already met with representatives of international agencies
based in Geneva and I will continue to pursue coherence issues
when I meet with heads of agencies in the United States early next
year. I am also looking to reinforce our staff resources in this
area. Of course, coherence is an issue that needs to be pursued by
all stakeholders. Those seeking assistance need to be more
specific about their needs. Donors need to better coordinate their
own efforts both in capitals and amongst each other. The same is
true of international agencies. Duplication and wastage is costly,
not only in financial terms but in precious time and credibility.
have been asked to do better, and be more creative, in our
dealings with wider society including groups such as
parliamentarians. I will be looking at this early in 2002. We are
already planning a major Symposium in May which will address the
concerns expressed by some Ministers at Doha on our relations with
the public. Already, useful suggestions for the agenda of this
Symposium are emerging. They include development issues such as
Trade and Debt, Trade and Finance and the impact of technology and
the digital divide; issues of participation and the problems of
capacity constrained missions; the functioning and financing of
the WTO; external relations; issues of social justice and the
social, economic, environmental and political impacts of
globalisation. Much more consideration needs to be done before our
agenda is finalized. However, the serious studies being undertaken
by my group of Eminent Advisors could be very useful input.
too must create momentum. I believe early agreement is needed on the
details of the structure for dealing with the work programme from
Doha. Also, despite urgings by many Ministers and considerable effort
over the past few years, little movement has been achieved on issues
such as derestriction of documents and observership. More focus on
these types of issues might assist in building momentum.
of the new initiatives and actions I have discussed, and which are
based on the Doha Development Agenda, do not detract from the core
business of this Organization. It reinforces this critical work.
However, because of the commitment of Ministers and Ambassadors, I
think we can now claim with confidence that we have truly given birth
to the WTO. It is now not the old GATT with a few, symbolic gestures
to the new global realities, but better reflects the new needs of our
wider membership and instructions from Ministers.