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AGRICULTURE: WORK OF THE COMMITTEE
Annual report to General Council 2001

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G/L/483
28 September 2001
(01-4650)

Committee on Agriculture (regular meetings)
General Council overview of WTO activities (2001)
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Report by the Vice-Chairman

The present report on the regular meetings of the Committee on Agriculture held thus far in 2001 is submitted on the responsibility of the Vice-Chairman, Minister Yoichi Suzuki, as agreed by the Committee at its meeting on 27 September 2001.

1.    Since its last annual report (G/L/417 dated 20 November 2000) the Committee on Agriculture has held three regular meetings: on 29-30 March, 28-29 June and 27 September 2001 (Secretariat summary reports of these meetings, G/AG/R/26 to 28 refer). A further regular meeting is scheduled for 6 December 2001.

2.    In accordance with Article 18.1 of the Agreement on Agriculture (“the Agreement”), the Committee, at each of these meetings, reviewed progress in the implementation of commitments negotiated under the Uruguay Round reform programme. This review process was undertaken on the basis of notifications submitted by Members in the areas of market access, domestic support and export subsidies and under the provisions of the Agreement relating to export prohibitions and restrictions. In total, 237 notifications in these four areas were subject to review in the Committee. At each of its meetings, the Committee also reviewed the overall position with respect to compliance with the notification obligations under Article 18.2 and other relevant provisions of the Agreement. The current situation concerning compliance with notification requirements is summarized in the Annex to this report.

3.    The Committee addressed a wide range of general and specific matters relevant to the implementation of commitments that were raised, independently of notifications, under the provisions of Article 18.6 of the Agreement. A number of these matters have been subject to informal consultations.

4.    The following implementation-related issues were considered or further considered at the Committee's meetings in line with relevant decisions of the General Council (WT/GC/M/59 and WT/L/384 refer), with progress reports being submitted to the General Council as appropriate:

(i)   the development of internationally agreed disciplines to govern the provision of export credits, export credit guarantees or insurance programmes pursuant to Article 10.2 of the Agreement on Agriculture, taking into account the provisions of paragraph 4 of the Decision on Measures Concerning the Possible Negative Effects of the Reform Programme on Least-Developed and Net Food-Importing Developing Countries (progress reports: G/AG/8 and G/AG/9 and Corr.1 refer);
 
(ii)   examination of possible means of improving the effectiveness of the implementation of the Decision on Measures Concerning the Possible Negative Effects of the Reform Programme on Least-Developed and Net Food-Importing Developing Countries (progress reports: G/AG/7 and G/AG/10 refer); and

the submission by Members administering tariff quotas of addenda to their notifications to the Committee on Agriculture (Table MA:1) in accordance with paragraph 1.1 of the decision of the General Council in WT/L/384 regarding the administration of tariff rate quota regimes in a transparent, equitable and non-discriminatory manner.

5.    At its meeting on 27 September, the Committee approved recommendations concerning the above implementation-related issues in a report to be submitted to the General Council on the responsibility of the Vice-Chairman. (This report has been circulated as G/AG/11.)

6.    At the meeting of the Committee in March, Saint Kitts and Nevis, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines were included in the WTO list of net food-importing developing countries (G/AG/5/Rev.4 refers). This list currently comprises the least-developed countries as recognized by the United Nations, and the following 21 developing country Members of the WTO: Barbados, Botswana, Côte d'Ivoire, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Honduras, Jamaica, Kenya, Mauritius, Morocco, Pakistan, Peru, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Senegal, Sri Lanka, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia and Venezuela. The follow-up to the Decision as a whole is monitored annually by the Committee, with the next monitoring exercise to be undertaken at the December 2001 meeting of the Committee.

The following international intergovernmental organizations have regular observer status in the Committee: FAO, the IMF, the International Grains Council, the OECD, UNCTAD, the UN World Food Programme and the World Bank. No consensus was reached as regards requests for observer status by ten other international/intergovernmental organizations (G/AG/W/29/Rev.4 refers).

 
 
OUTSTANDING NOTIFICATIONS FOR THE IMPLEMENTATION YEAR 1995
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1. The following Members are yet to submit the notification of imports under tariff and other quotas (Table MA.2):

Nicaragua, Tunisia

2. The following Member is yet to submit the annual notification concerning the use of the special safeguard provisions (Table MA.5):

Swaziland

3. The following Members without Total AMS reduction commitments are yet to submit the relevant domestic support notification (Table DS:1):

Antigua and Barbuda, Bahrain, Barbados*, Belize, Brunei Darussalam, Cameroon, Côte d'Ivoire, Dominica, Ghana, Kuwait, Mauritius, Nicaragua, Saint Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Senegal, Suriname, Swaziland

4. The following Members without export subsidy reduction commitments are yet to submit the relevant notification (Table ES:1):

Antigua and Barbuda, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belize, Brunei Darussalam, Burkina Faso, Burundi*, Cameroon, Central African Rep., Côte d'Ivoire, Djibouti, Guinea Bissau, Guinea, Rep. of, India, Kuwait, Lesotho, Malawi, Mali*, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mozambique, Myanmar, Saint Lucia, St Vincent & Grenadines, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Suriname, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo

* Cases in which a notification or draft notification has been provided to the Secretariat but, for various reasons, has not been circulated, are indicated by an asterisk

 
 
ANNEX: NOTIFICATIONS RECEIVED FOR THE YEARS 1996-2000
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