“I welcome the support the Doha Development Agenda has received from
G-8 leaders and from the dozen or so other heads of State and Government
invited to Evian by President Jacques Chirac. But these pledges of
support must be translated into action soon if the Cancún Ministerial
Conference and our subsequent efforts are to provide benefit for the
world’s citizens, particularly for the 2 billion who live in dire
poverty,” Dr. Supachai said.
During two days of meetings with world leaders, Dr. Supachai stressed
the need for concrete progress in the negotiations before the September
10-14 WTO Ministerial Conference in Cancún, Mexico. Dr. Supachai said he
was encouraged by the fact that the leaders were fully aware of the
important links between trade expansion, development and poverty
alleviation. In a time of increasing economic uncertainty across the
world, the Director-General said it was essential for the world’s
leaders to work to foster growth and development.
“One of the best ways to create such an environment is through a
successful conclusion to the Doha round”.
The Director-General expressed appreciation to the leaders for working
to resolve the politically charged issues of agriculture trade reform
and access to medicines for the poorest countries.
“I realize that rolling back subsidies and trade barriers in the area of
agriculture trade requires leaders to take difficult decisions. I
understand too the difficulties involved in developing a system for
enhancing access to medicines for people in poor countries while
preserving the incentives that entrepreneurs require if they are to
continue to make the investments that are necessary to continue the
research and development of new drugs. On both of these issues we need
to establish a climate of trust and cooperation because absent an
agreement in these two areas a successful outcome to the Doha
negotiations is not possible. This would be a tremendous setback in the
fight against global poverty,” the Director-General explained.
In the course of the two days of meetings, Dr. Supachai also met
bilaterally with many of the leaders and discussed a range of issues
including the accession of Algeria, the Russian Federation and Saudi
Arabia to the WTO, the sluggishness of the global economy and the
proliferation of regional trade agreements.
Participants in the Enlarged Dialogue G8 Summit meeting
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Summit Statement: Cooperative G8 action on trade