WTO news: what’s been happening in the WTO

WTO NEWS: 1999 PRESS RELEASES

Press/145
4 November 1999

Norway makes contribution to WTO’s global trust fund

The Norwegian Government recently contributed two million Norwegian Kroner (approximately CHF 400,000) to the WTO Global Trust Fund to be used to benefit 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.

"I welcome Norway’s generous contribution to the Fund," said WTO Director-General Mike Moore. "Since the WTO was formed, demand for technical assistance has increased dramatically. We are doing our best to respond to these demands, on our own and in cooperation with other international organizations. We need to be able to plan for a steady increase in technical assistance to meet the new demands that will undoubtedly result from the WTO’s Ministerial Conference in Seattle later this year.

150pxls.gif (76 bytes)
SEE ALSO:
press releases
WTO news
Mike Moore's speeches
Renato Ruggiero's speeches, 1995-99



"The WTO’s regular budget for technical assistance of CHF 741,000 is insufficient to meet all the demands of developing and least-developed countries, as well as the needs of economies in transition, to enable them to engage more fully in the trading system. In recent years, these funds have largely been supplemented by the generous contributions from countries such as Norway to support important programmes for development."

The projected budget to meet at least the current demand for technical assistance would need to be in the region of CHF 10 million. A group of countries including Norway have proposed that such a figure shall be included in the regular WTO budget if Ministers at the Seattle Conference agree to this. It is proposed that the figure shall be phased in over a three-year period starting from the year 2000.