“The success of our conference at this difficult time is …
especially important as a reaffirmation of the determination of the
international community to work together to respond to these
challenges for a better future,” said conference chairman, Qatari
Finance, Economy and Trade Minister Youssef Hussain Kamal.
Mike Moore said: “This conference has been a remarkable experience
for all of us. It has been difficult, because we have been dealing
with some of the most sensitive issues in international trade policy,
and many governments have had to move towards the positions of their
partners to make this agreement possible.
have been impressed by the readiness which so many ministers have
shown to understand and accommodate the needs of others, and by the
strength of the common determination to make the conference a success
— not just for the sake of national interests, but very much because
everybody appreciated the need to give a signal of confidence in this
very difficult time of international uncertainty.”
work programme, spelt out in two declarations — a main declaration
and one on intellectual property (TRIPS) and public health — and one
decision on implementation — i.e. developing countries’
difficulties in implementing current WTO agreements.
main ministerial declaration includes elaboration of objectives and
timetables for the current negotiations in agriculture and services,
negotiations or possible negotiations in a range of issues such as
industrial tariffs, trade and investment, trade and competition
policy, some aspects of trade and the environment, implementation, and
declaration gives a boost to developing countries and commits
ministers to address “the particular vulnerability of least
developed countries and the special structural difficulties they face
in the global economy”. Numerous items in the work programme deal
under the work programme are to be concluded not later than 1 January
2005. The only exception is the negotiation on improving and
clarifying the Dispute Settlement Understanding, which is to conclude
by the end of May 2003.
elements of the work programme are to be concluded by the end of 2002
or by the next Ministerial Conference — the conferences have to take
place at least once every two years.
the declaration was adopted, the chairman, Minister Kamal, explained
his understanding of the mandates on investment, competition policy,
transparency in government procurement and trade facilitation. This,
together with all the other statements made at the closing plenary
session, will appear in the record of the meeting.
declaration on TRIPS and public health spells out ministers’
recognition of various flexibilities that the agreement gives to
governments to deal with health problems. It also sets out sets out
specific tasks for the WTO TRIPS Council.
was reached on 14 November after all-night consultations on remaining
ministers agreed to grant the European Union a waiver from its
non-discrimination obligations, in order to enable it give
preferential tariff concessions to the African, Caribbean and Pacific
(ACP) countries that are former colonies of its member states.
on this also required intensive consultations because of concerns
raised by some developing countries that are not ACP members.