WTO news: what’s been happening in the WTO

13 February 2002

Statement by the Director-General  Item 7: WTO work programme for LDCs

Thank you Chairman.

On behalf of the Secretariat, I welcome the adoption of the Work Programme for the LDCs, adopted by the SCLDCs, yesterday, 12 February 2002.

I would like to congratulate Ambassador Simon Fuller for the serious efforts and his deep personal involvement as well as that of the UK in the consultations that led to the adoption of the Work Programme. In the Doha Development Agenda, it was clear that the meaningful integration into the Multilateral Trading System and the global economy of the LDCs, the Non-Residents and other capacity constrained countries, is the greatest challenge that faces the WTO. I agree with Ambassador Fuller that the adoption of this Work Programme sends a powerful and positive message from the Membership of the WTO that the Doha Development Agenda was not just words but that we intend to implement it seriously.

Under other business, I will be reporting on my recent visit to Africa, my meetings with African Heads of State and Ministers and their changed perception of the WTO since Doha. This Work Programme for the LDCs, issued as an unrestricted document, would further strengthen the re-newed confidence of our Members in the post-Doha WTO.