Director-General Dr. Supachai Panitchpakdi applauded the decision
taken today by WTO Members in the Sub-Committee on least-developed
countries to adopt guidelines for LDCs’ accessions to the WTO. The
guidelines will be formally submitted next week to the WTO General
Council, where governments are expected to approve them.
agreed guidelines constitute a significant milestone and a vital
contribution to the efforts to integrate the LDCs into the
multilateral trading system. The decision on the guidelines represents
a major breakthrough and substantively contributes to facilitating the
accession of LDCs to the WTO”.
agreed text identifies guidelines for LDCs’ accessions in 4 areas:
market access; WTO rules; process; and trade-related technical
assistance and capacity building. The guidelines were negotiated in
accordance with the mandate given to negotiators by trade ministers at
the WTO’s Doha Ministerial Conference in November 2001. When
ministers in Doha launched the global trade negotiations known as the
Doha Development Agenda, they underscored as a principle objective of
those negotiations, the integration of the LDCs into the multilateral
trading system and the global economy. The adoption of the guidelines
also builds on the WTO Work Programme for the LDCs agreed on 12
February, shortly after Doha.
Supachai thanked all WTO Members for their flexibility in the
consultations, which was instrumental to leading to the agreement on
the guidelines. He said the commitment shown on negotiating this
framework must be matched with thorough implementation on all sides.
The Director-General commended Ambassador Johan Molander of Sweden who
chaired the negotiations in the Sub-Committee on LDCs which resulted
in this agreement.