DOHA DEVELOPMENT AGENDAback to top Lamy: The trade talks are at a “crucial” phase
Director-General Pascal Lamy, in a
speech on 18 May in
Geneva at a forum on “The City and the Quality of Life”, said that
members now have to assume their responsibility and table proposals,
in particular the EU, the US and large emerging countries. He also
said that in establishing trade rules, the WTO is a tool in managing
report to the
General Council as chair of the Trade
Negotiations Committee on 15 May, he urged negotiators to find “second
wind” in trade talks. He said trade negotiators “now need to push to
the finish”. “We can achieve modalities — I am convinced of that, but
it is going be hard work... as we all know, looking at the
developments in the world around us, the stakes are too high for us to
Mr. Lamy, in his
statement to the Trade Negotiations Committee on 1
May, said that finding consensus in the negotiations “remains doable,
but only if a sense of urgency — which I feel is not always shared by
all — starts appearing in each and every delegation”. “We must now focus
our efforts on working intensively, continuously and in an effective
manner on a text-based negotiating process, which is solidly anchored
in Geneva”, he added.
In his opening remarks
to the 5th Munich Economic Summit on 4 May, underlined the possible
gains from the Doha Round, He said that “like all good teams, Germany
and Europe know that what they need are clear and transparent rules, a
level playing-field and a trusted referee” in international trade. He
added that the challenges for Germany and all other countries are “to
keep on with the hard work, to have the courage to adapt to ever
changing circumstances, and in not getting discouraged”.
On two occasions during the month, the Director-General highlighted
the environmental dimension of the current Round:
In his remarks to the Commission on Sustainable Development on 10 May, he urged WTO
members to pursue “more forcefully” the environment dimension of the
Doha Round. He said that “negotiations on the trade liberalization of
environmental goods and services, as well as on the relationship
between WTO rules and multilateral environmental agreements, could
have a positive impact on the energy sector”.
In a video conference address
to the opening session of the European Commission's Green Week 2006 in
Brussels on 30 May, he urged WTO members to lend their support to
multilateral environmental accords. He added that the Doha Round is “a
once in lifetime opportunity” to confirm the need for mutual
supportiveness between the WTO and MEAs.
On 19 May, in a speech
to the European Society of International Law at Sorbonne, Paris, he
said that the WTO is “a catalyst for international mutual respect
towards international coherence and even for more global governance,
which I believe is needed if we want the world we live in to become
less violent, be it social, political, economic or environmental
TRADE POLICY REVIEWback to top Uruguay: Further liberalization could help sustain a recent record of
The WTO Trade Policy Review body conducted the third review of Uruguay's
trade polices and practices on 17 and 19 May. The review was chaired by
Amb. Eirik Glenne (Norway) on 17 May, and by Amb. Claudia Uribe
(Colombia) on 19 May. Amb. Mario Matus (Chile) acted as discussant for
After four years of economic contraction since the last review in 1998,
Uruguay is experiencing strong growth, expected to be over 6% for 2005,
thanks to a macroeconomic adjustment programme, the strengthening of the
financial sector and a policy to keep markets open, according to a WTO
Secretariat report on the Trade Policies and Practices of Uruguay by the
Trade Policy Review Body.
The report notes that during the period of economic contraction, Uruguay
did not make use of trade restrictive measures to address the crisis, it
made scant use of contingency measures, applied limited non-tariff
barriers and made improvements in areas such as import procedures,
customs valuation and intellectual property protection, while additional
reforms are under consideration.
The report also says that to promote greater economic efficiency and
diversification it would be particularly important for Uruguay to
further liberalize its economy on an MFN basis and anchor these efforts
through multilateral commitments.
DISPUTE SETTLEMENTback to top DSB discusses EC's first status report concerning implementation of the
At its meeting, on 17 May, the DSB considered EC's first status report
about measures to reform its sugar regime.
On 9 May, it established a second panel to consider additional EC and
member States measures affecting trade in large civil aircraft brought
by the EC.
DEVELOPMENT back to top CTD: Questions tabled on ASEAN-China framework agreement
At the Committee on Trade and Development (CTD) regular meeting on 11
May, the notifying members said that they will reply soon to questions
submitted by the European Communities, the United States and Japan on
the Enabling Clause notifications concerning the Framework Agreement on
Comprehensive Economic Cooperation between ASEAN and China.
Also with regard to Enabling Clause notifications, the EC introduced its
notification concerning its revised GSP scheme and gave preliminary
responses to questions from Brazil and China. The EC indicated that it
would shortly provide written responses to those questions as well as to
questions circulated by India at the meeting.
The Committee took note of the report on the 39th session of the Joint
Advisory Group on the International Trade Centre UNCTAD/WTO and
forwarded it to the General Council for adoption.
Under the agenda item concerning the Committee's review of steps taken
to provide duty-free and quota-free market access (DFQF ) to
least-developed countries, the US made a submission in which it provided
an overview of the procedural steps it would need to take to implement
the Hong Kong Decision.
A number of developed Member delegations made interventions supporting
the need to implement the Hong Kong Decision as soon as possible. They
highlighted some of the existing measures and those being taken to
comply with the Hong Kong mandate to provide market access to LDCs.
Zambia, on behalf of the LDCs, expressed the view that questions
concerning market access for LDCs should be discussed in the Special
Session of the CTD.
The US and Canada, however, said that their interpretation of the
mandate was that negotiations on the issue were complete and it was now
for the Regular Session of the CTD to review steps being taken to
implement the Decision.
Under the item relating to the declining terms of trade for primary
commodities, the International Coffee Organization made a presentation
on its work in improving market conditions for coffee producers. The
Committee agreed to invite the Food and Agriculture Organization to make
a presentation at its next meeting.
Under the item relating to technical cooperation and training, the
Committee took note of the Technical Cooperation Audit Report for 2005.
holds dedicated session on small economies
At the 14th Dedicated Session on Small Economies of the Committee on
Trade and Development on 26 April, members discussed how best to monitor
proposals made on small economies issues in the negotiating bodies and
agreed that a
compilation document prepared by the
proponents could serve as the basis for this work. The summary document
could be further supplemented by reports from the Chairs of the
negotiating bodies to the Chair of the Dedicated Session and through
inputs by the Secretariat.
Regarding the small economies' proposals for regional bodies in the
areas of TBT, SPS and TRIPS, Members agreed to discuss at the next
meeting of the Dedicated Session the reports which had been requested
from the Chairs of the SPS and TBT Committees and the TRIPS Council.
Members also agreed to begin work on drafting a recommendation to the
General Council which recognizes the rights of Members to designate
regional bodies to assist them in the implementation of their
obligations in the areas of SPS, TBT and TRIPS. Members would
incorporate any comments and concerns expressed in the reports of the
SPS, TBT and TRIPS Chairs into the recommendation.
The meeting benefited from the attendance of delegates from Members and
Observers without missions in Geneva who are participating in the 12th
Geneva Week event.
Norway pledges 10 million Norwegian Kroner to WTO Technical Assistance
The Government of Norway made on 2 May a contribution of 10 million
Norwegian Kroner (2 million Swiss Francs) to the Doha Development Agenda
Global Trust Fund.
37th trade policy course starts
Government officials from twenty-one countries started on 1 May a
three-month Trade Policy Course (TPC) in the WTO Secretariat at its
Geneva Headquarters. The participants in the 37th TPC were welcomed by
Paul Rolian, Director of the Institute for Training and Technical
Cooperation, who chaired the traditional opening ceremony.
Twenty-five government officials from developing countries,
least-developed countries and economies in transition had the
opportunity to strengthen their negotiation skills and knowledge during
a two-week WTO Specialized Course on Trade Negotiations which took place
from 8-19 May in Geneva.
An online course in Spanish has been organized for 143 government
officials from developing countries from 15 May to 23 June 2006 (six
weeks). The course is entitled “7th Introduction to the WTO and its
Basic Principles”. The objective of the course is to familiarize
participants with the World Trade Organization, the multilateral trading
system and its legal framework.
The WTO Institute for Training and Technical Cooperation and the
Agriculture and Commodities Division, in cooperation with the World
Organization for Animal Health, are organizing a two-week Specialized
Course on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS) in Geneva, at the
WTO Headquarters from 16 to 27 October 2006 (immediately following the
SPS Committee meetings).
PUBLICATIONS AND REPORTSback to top WTO makes public all official GATT documents
The WTO has decided to make public all official documents issued under
the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) during the period
1947-1995. “Providing access to these historic documents is a further
sign of the WTO's commitment to transparency. This will be especially
important for academics, trade specialists and others with an interest
in how the trading system evolved in the GATT era, from 1947 to 1995”,
said WTO Director-General Pascal Lamy.
WTO Secretariat reports further declines in both new anti-dumping
investigations and new final anti-dumping measures
The WTO Secretariat reported that during the period 1 July-31 December
2005, the number of initiations of new anti-dumping investigations and
the number of new measures applied continued their previously-reported
downward trends, with 2005 marking the fourth consecutive year of
declines in new initiations, and the second in new measures.
Managing the Challenges of WTO Participation: 45 Case Studies
Forty-five case studies from economies around the world, each of which
illustrates how governments, business and civil society manage their
country’s participation in the WTO.This publication was made possible
with funding from the Australian Agency for International Development
This compilation of forty-five case studies documents disparate
experiences among economies in addressing the challenges of
participating in the WTO. It demonstrates that success or failure is
strongly influenced by how governments and private-sector stakeholders
organize themselves at home. The contributors, mainly from developing
countries, give examples of participation with lessons for others.
They show that when the system is accessed and employed effectively,
it can serve the interests of poor and rich countries alike. However,
a failure to communicate among interested parties at home often
contributes to negative outcomes on the international front. Above
all, these case studies demonstrate that the WTO creates a framework
within which sovereign decision-making can unleash important
opportunities or undermine the potential benefits flowing from a
rules-based international environment that promotes open trade.