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AGRICULTURE: NEGOTIATIONS 2000
February 2001: chairperson’s report to General Council

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G/AG/NG/5
8 February 2001
(01-0621)

Committee on Agriculture
Special Session

Fifth Special Session of the Committee on Agriculture

Report by the Chairman, Ambassador Jorge Voto-Bernales, to the General Council

1.    The Special Session of the Committee on Agriculture, which was established by the General Council to conduct the negotiations for continuing the reform process under Article 20 of the Agreement on Agriculture (WT/GC/M/53, paragraph 39 refers), held its fifth meeting on 5-7 February 2001.

2.    The agenda as set out in WTO/AIR/1471 was adopted.

3.    The following new or additional proposals for continuing the reform process were presented and examined at the meeting: (i) a comprehensive negotiating proposal by the European Communities (NG/W/90); (ii) a negotiating proposal by Japan on WTO negotiations (NG/W/91); (iii) a proposal by Canada on “Domestic Support” (NG/W/92); (iv) a Cairns Group proposal on “Export Restrictions and Taxes” (NG/W/93); (v) a proposal by Switzerland on “WTO: Negotiations on Agriculture” (NG/W/94); (vi) a proposal by Swaziland on “Market Access Under Special and Differential Treatment for Small Developing Countries” (NG/W/95); (vii) a proposal by Mauritius on “WTO Negotiations on Agriculture” (NG/W/96); (viii) “Proposals by Small Island Developing Countries (SIDS)” from Cuba, Barbados, Dominica, Jamaica, Mauritius, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Trinidad and Tobago (NG/W/97); (ix) “Proposal for WTO Negotiations on Agriculture” by the Republic of Korea (NG/W/98); (x) a proposal on behalf of Members of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) “WTO Negotiations on Agriculture — Market Access” (NG/W/100). Consideration of the proposal presented at the meeting by India, on “Negotiations on WTO Agreement on Agriculture” (NG/W/102), is to be completed at the additional meeting referred to in paragraph 4 below.

4.    The time available for this meeting did not allow for the presentation and consideration of the following proposals: (i) proposals by Mali for the “Future Negotiations on Agriculture” (NG/W/99); (ii) a proposal by Norway on “WTO Agriculture Negotiations” (NG/W/101); (iii) a proposal by Poland on “WTO Negotiations for Continuation of the Reform Process in the Agricultural Sector” (NG/W/103); (iv) a proposal on “State Trading Enterprises” by Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay (MERCOSUR), Bolivia, Chile and Colombia (NG/W/104); (v) a proposal by Morocco (NG/W/105); (vi) a proposal by Turkey on “WTO Negotiations on Agriculture” (NG/W/106); and (vii) a comprehensive proposal by the Arab Republic of Egypt (NG/W/107). These proposals, plus any new proposals that may be submitted, as well as the technical submission by Argentina (NG/W/88), will be for presentation and consideration at an additional Special Session meeting which it was agreed will be held for this purpose on 22-23 March 2001.

5.    As requested by the participants concerned, the following statements made at the meeting are being circulated: Argentina (NG/W/108); Australia (NG/W/109); Bolivia (NG/W/110); Bulgaria (NG/W/111); Canada (NG/W/112); Guatemala (NG/W/113); India (NG/W/114); Indonesia (NG/W115); Japan (NG/W/116); Korea (NG/W/117); Malaysia (NG/W/118); Mauritius (NG/W/119); Norway (NG/W/120); Pakistan (NG/W/121); Philippines (NG/W/122); Slovenia (NG/W/123); Sri Lanka (NG/W/124); Swaziland (NG/W/125); Thailand (NG/W/126) and United States (NG/W/127). (Statements made at the fourth Special Session but circulated after the appearance of the Chairman’s report on that meeting (G/AG/NG/4) are: Hungary on behalf of Albania, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Georgia, Hungary, the Kyrgyz Republic, Latvia, Lithuania, Mongolia, the Slovak Republic and Slovenia (NG/W/85); Jamaica (NG/W/86); and the Czech Republic (NG/W/87).)

6.    In the course of the meeting the opportunity was taken to hold open-ended informal consultations on the work of the end-March stock-taking meeting and on the programme and arrangements for the second phase of the negotiations under Article 20 of the Agreement on Agriculture. It was noted that the Chairman would continue his informal consultations and contacts and that it was his intention to convene another open-ended informal meeting in advance of the end-March stock-taking meeting to discuss a draft text which sketches out possible elements for the second phase programme and arrangements.

7.    It was agreed that the end-March stock-taking meeting would be held on 26–28 March 2001, with the aim being to conclude that meeting at the morning session on Wednesday 28 March. (It was noted that the regular, back-to-back meeting of the Committee on Agriculture would accordingly take place on 29-30 March 2001.)



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Note: “NG/W/-” refers to documents in the series: “G/AG/NG/W/-”.