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“It is only Member Governments which have the power to bring about
convergence. There is no doubt that political leaders throughout the WTO
membership want to agree on a July package that re-energizes the DDA.
There is a great deal of political commitment invested in our efforts
and governments know that the future of the DDA, where agreement can
help lift living standards around the world, will be determined by what
we do here in the next two weeks,” he said.
Last Friday, Director-General Supachai and General Council Chairman
Shotaro Oshima issued a
negotiating text as a means of focussing negotiators on the task of
reaching interim agreements on agriculture, non-agricultural market
access, development issues and trade facilitation.
“This paper is not an agreed text but a negotiating document. We expect
it will evolve over the course of the coming days. However, it is
important to remember that this text is based on consultations and
negotiations stretching back many months. It represents a balance of
interests that should form the basis for consensus. Clearly, there will
be areas of this text with which members take issue. No Government can
expect to get everything it wants from any text. But in an organization
in which all significant decisions are taken by consensus of all
Governments a balanced outcome providing something for everyone is the
only way in which agreement can be reached,” Director-General Supachai
The Director-General and the General Council Chairman will hold
consultations with Governments throughout this week in preparation for
next week's General Council meeting at which a decision on the package
of framework agreements must be reached. Director-General Supachai
reminded all members that they have much to gain through an agreement.
“But a failure this month means the continuation of an unsatisfactory
status quo, certainly for the remainder of this year and next and
possibly for years to come. At a time when protectionist pressures lie
just below the surface, when people across the world are demanding
change, the 147 Member Governments of the World Trade Organization must
deliver. There is no satisfactory alternative to the multilateral
trading system. But should confidence in our system erode further, we
should not be surprised if countries pursue other means of rule-making
in trade. All of us would be poorer for such an outcome,” he said.