WTO ANALYTICAL INDEX: MARRAKESH AGREEMENT
Marrakesh Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization
The texts reproduced here do not have the legal standing of the original documents which are entrusted and kept at the WTO Secretariat in Geneva.
Also in this section:
- Article I
- Article II
- Article III
- Article IV
- Article V
- Article VI
- Article VII
- Article VIII
- Article IX
- Article X
- Article XI
- Article XII
- Article XIII
- Article XIV
- Article XV
- Article XVI
- Explanatory Notes
- Ministerial Decisions and Declarations Regarding the WTO as an International Organization
XIV. Article XIII
Article XIII: Non-Application of Multilateral Trade Agreements between Particular Members
1. This Agreement and the Multilateral Trade Agreements in Annexes 1 and 2 shall not apply as between any Member and any other Member if either of the Members, at the time either becomes a Member, does not consent to such application.
2. Paragraph 1 may be invoked between original Members of the WTO which were contracting parties to GATT 1947 only where Article XXXV of that Agreement had been invoked earlier and was effective as between those contracting parties at the time of entry into force for them of this Agreement.
3. Paragraph 1 shall apply between a Member and another Member which has acceded under Article XII only if the Member not consenting to the application has so notified the Ministerial Conference before the approval of the agreement on the terms of accession by the Ministerial Conference.
4. The Ministerial Conference may review the operation of this Article in particular cases at the request of any Member and make appropriate recommendations.
5. Non-application of a Plurilateral Trade Agreement between parties to that Agreement shall be governed by the provisions of that Agreement.
|Invoked by||In respect of||Date of General Council decision on accession||Date of invocation||Withdrawal|
|United States||Romania||N/A||WTO document dated 27 January 1995 indicates that the United States informed the Director-General on 30 December 1994 WT/L/11||WT/L/203|
|United States||Mongolia|| 18 July 1996
| Communication dated 11 July 1996
|United States||Kyrgyz Republic|| 14 October 1998
| Communication dated 9 October 1998
|United States||Georgia|| 6 October 1999
| Communication dated 30 September 1999
|United States||Moldova|| 8 May 2001
| Communication dated 2 May 2001
|Still in force|
|El Salvador||China|| 10 November 2001
WT/ACC/CHN/49 and Corr.1
| Communication dated 5 November 2001
|Still in force|
|Turkey||Armenia|| 10 December 2002
| Communication dated 29 November 2002
|Still in force|
|United States||Armenia|| 10 December 2002
| Communication dated 3 December 2002
|United States||Viet Nam|| 7 November 2006
| Communication dated 3 November 2006
B. Interpretation and Application of Article XIII
(a) “This Agreement … shall not apply as between any Member and any other Member … if either … does not consent”
259. Concerning GATT practice in respect of non application of the GATT 1947 under GATT Article XXXV.
260. As of 30 September 2011, Article XIII of the WTO Agreement has been invoked in nine instances. Six invocations were subsequently withdrawn, and three remain in force.
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XV. Article XIV
Article XIV: Acceptance, Entry into Force and Deposit
1. This Agreement shall be open for acceptance, by signature or otherwise, by contracting parties to GATT 1947, and the European Communities, which are eligible to become original Members of the WTO in accordance with Article XI of this Agreement. Such acceptance shall apply to this Agreement and the Multilateral Trade Agreements annexed hereto. This Agreement and the Multilateral Trade Agreements annexed hereto shall enter into force on the date determined by Ministers in accordance with paragraph 3 of the Final Act Embodying the Results of the Uruguay Round of Multilateral Trade Negotiations and shall remain open for acceptance for a period of two years following that date unless the Ministers decide otherwise. An acceptance following the entry into force of this Agreement shall enter into force on the 30th day following the date of such acceptance.
2. A Member which accepts this Agreement after its entry into force shall implement those concessions and obligations in the Multilateral Trade Agreements that are to be implemented over a period of time starting with the entry into force of this Agreement as if it had accepted this Agreement on the date of its entry into force.
3. Until the entry into force of this Agreement, the text of this Agreement and the Multilateral Trade Agreements shall be deposited with the Director-General to the CONTRACTING PARTIES to GATT 1947. The Director-General shall promptly furnish a certified true copy of this Agreement and the Multilateral Trade Agreements, and a notification of each acceptance thereof, to each government and the European Communities having accepted this Agreement. This Agreement and the Multilateral Trade Agreements, and any amendments thereto, shall, upon the entry into force of this Agreement, be deposited with the Director-General of the WTO.
4. The acceptance and entry into force of a Plurilateral Trade Agreement shall be governed by the provisions of that Agreement. Such Agreements shall be deposited with the Director-General to the CONTRACTING PARTIES to GATT 1947. Upon the entry into force of this Agreement, such Agreements shall be deposited with the Director-General of the WTO.
B. Interpretation and Application of Article XIV
1. Transition from GATT 1947 to the WTO
261. The Preparatory Committee for the World Trade Organization adopted Decisions on the transitional coexistence of the GATT 1947 and the WTO Agreement(428) on 8December 1994. The General Council also adopted a decision to avoid procedural and institutional duplication at its meeting of 31 January 1995.(429)
262. In addition, the Preparatory Committee adopted Decisions to deal with cases of withdrawal from or termination of certain agreements associated with the GATT 1947(430) on 8 December 1994. The General Council similarly adopted a decision providing for invocations of provisions for delayed application and reservations under the Customs Valuation Agreement by developing countries.(431)
263. Pursuant to the Decision adopted on 8 December 1994 (see paragraph 261 above)(432), the General Council adopted a Decision on participation of certain signatories of the Final Act (who were eligible to become original Members of the WTO) at its meeting of 31 January 1995.(433) See also Section II of the Chapter on Institutions and Procedure of the GATT Analytical Index.
(a) Date of entry into force of the WTO Agreement
264. The WTO Agreement entered into force on 1 January 1995.(434)
(b) “unless the Ministers decide otherwise”
265. The General Council decided on 24 April 1997 to extend the 1 January 1997 deadline retroactively to 25 February 1997 for the Republic of the Congo, the only remaining contracting party to the GATT 1947 that was eligible for original Membership and had not yet become a Member.(435)
(a) Notifications of acceptance of the WTO Agreement
266. The Members of the WTO and their dates of acceptance are listed in a table at the end of this Chapter.
(b) Depositary functions of the Director-General of the GATT 1947
267. The Agreement on the Transfer of Assets, Liabilities, Records, Staff and Functions from the Interim Commission of the International Trade Organization and the GATT to the WTO, approved by the CONTRACTING PARTIES to the GATT 1947 on 8 December 1994 and by the General Council on 31 January 1995, provides:
“The Director-General of the WTO shall perform the depositary functions of the Director-General of the GATT 1947 after the date on which the legal instruments through which the contracting parties apply the GATT 1947 are terminated. On that date the records of the GATT 1947 shall be transferred to the WTO.”(436)
(a) Acceptance and entry into force of the Plurilateral Trade Agreements
(i) Agreement on Government Procurement
268. The Agreement on Government Procurement entered into force on 1 January 1996, in accordance with the provisions of its Article XXIV:1 on acceptance and entry into force.(437) By application of Article XXIV, the governments and the European Communities whose agreed coverage was listed in the Agreement were eligible to accept the Agreement on 15 April 1994 or to accept it then subject to ratification, and ratify the Agreement before 1 January 1996.
(ii) Agreement on Civil Aircraft
269. The Agreement on Civil Aircraft entered into force on 1 January 1980. Acceptance of the Agreement is governed by the provisions of Article 9.1 thereof, which provides: “This Agreement shall be open for acceptance by signature or otherwise by governments contracting parties to the GATT and by the European Economic Community”. As of 30 September 2011, there were 31 signatories to the Agreement, seven of which accepted the Agreement after entry into force of the WTO Agreement (Albania, Bulgaria, Estonia, Georgia, Latvia, Lithuania, Macao (China), Malta, Chinese Taipei). See further in the Chapter on the Agreement on Trade in Civil Aircraft.
(iii) International Dairy Agreement and International Bovine Meat Agreement
270. Acceptance of the International Dairy Agreement was governed by the provisions of Article VIII of that Agreement.(438) Acceptance of the International Bovine Meat Agreement was governed by the provisions of Article VI of that Agreement.(439) However, each of these agreements was terminated and deleted from Annex 4; see under Article X:9 in this Chapter.
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XVI. Article XV
1. Any Member may withdraw from this Agreement. Such withdrawal shall apply both to this Agreement and the Multilateral Trade Agreements and shall take effect upon the expiration of six months from the date on which written notice of withdrawal is received by the Director-General of the WTO.
2. Withdrawal from a Plurilateral Trade Agreement shall be governed by the provisions of that Agreement.
B. Interpretation and Application of Article XV
(a) “Any member may withdraw from this Agreement”
271. No Member has withdrawn from the WTO Agreement to date.
(a) “Withdrawal from a Plurilateral Trade Agreement”
272. No Member has withdrawn from any Plurilateral Agreement to date.
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XVII. Article XVI
Article XVI Miscellaneous Provisions
1. Except as otherwise provided under this Agreement or the Multilateral Trade Agreements, the WTO shall be guided by the decisions, procedures and customary practices followed by the CONTRACTING PARTIES to GATT 1947 and the bodies established in the framework of GATT 1947.
2. To the extent practicable, the Secretariat of GATT 1947 shall become the Secretariat of the WTO, and the Director-General to the CONTRACTING PARTIES to GATT 1947, until such time as the Ministerial Conference has appointed a Director-General in accordance with paragraph 2 of Article VI of this Agreement, shall serve as Director-General of the WTO.
3. In the event of a conflict between a provision of this Agreement and a provision of any of the Multilateral Trade Agreements, the provision of this Agreement shall prevail to the extent of the conflict.
4. Each Member shall ensure the conformity of its laws, regulations and administrative procedures with its obligations as provided in the annexed Agreements.
5. No reservations may be made in respect of any provision of this Agreement. Reservations in respect of any of the provisions of the Multilateral Trade Agreements may only be made to the extent provided for in those Agreements. Reservations in respect of a provision of a Plurilateral Trade Agreement shall be governed by the provisions of that Agreement.
6. This Agreement shall be registered in accordance with the provisions of Article 102 of the Charter of the United Nations.
B. Interpretation and Application of Article XVI
(a) “the WTO shall be guided by the decisions, procedures and customary practices followed by the CONTRACTING PARTIES to GATT 1947”
273. Article IX:1 also refers specifically to “the practice of decision-making by consensus followed under GATT 1947.”
274. A Secretariat Technical Note on the accession process observes that the process is “guided by the decisions, procedures and customary practices” of the GATT 1947.(440)
275. In Japan — Alcoholic Beverages II, the Appellate Body referred to Article XVI:1 in the course of examining the legal effect of panel reports adopted by the CONTRACTING PARTIES to GATT 1947 or the Dispute Settlement Body.(441) The Appellate Body stated:
“Article XVI:1 of the WTO Agreement and paragraph 1(b)(iv) of the language of Annex 1A incorporating the GATT 1994 into the WTO Agreement bring the legal history and experience under the GATT 1947 into the new realm of the WTO in a way that ensures continuity and consistency in a smooth transition from the GATT 1947 system. This affirms the importance to the Members of the WTO of the experience acquired by the CONTRACTING PARTIES to the GATT 1947 — and acknowledges the continuing relevance of that experience to the new trading system served by the WTO.”(442)
(b) Status of actions or instruments as “decisions, procedures or customary practices”
276. In EC — Poultry, the Appellate Body upheld the Panel’s rejection of Brazil’s argument that “the MFN principle under Articles I and XIII of GATT does not necessarily apply to TRQs opened as a result of the compensation negotiations under Article XXVIII of GATT”. In so doing, the Appellate Body found that the Oilseeds Agreement, which was a bilateral agreement between the European Communities and Brazil under Article XXVIII of the GATT 1947, does not constitute part of the “decisions, procedures and customary practices followed by the CONTRACTING PARTIES to GATT 1947” within the meaning of Article XVI:1. The Appellate Body stated: “These ‘decisions, procedures and customary practices’ include only those taken or followed by the CONTRACTING PARTIES to the GATT 1947 acting jointly.”(443)
277. In Brazil — Desiccated Coconut, the Panel examined the legal relevance under Article XVI:1 of the Tokyo Round SCM Code and the practice of Code signatories to the interpretation of GATT Article VI and the SCM Agreement and stated:
“We recognize that the Pork Panel had indicated, in passing, that the Tokyo Round SCM Code represents ‘practice’ under Article VI of GATT 1947. Article 31.3(b) of the Vienna Convention provides that there may be taken into account, when interpreting a treaty, ‘[a]ny subsequent practice in the application of the treaty which establishes the agreement of the parties regarding its interpretation’. Article 31.3 clearly distinguishes between the use of subsequent agreements and of subsequent practice as interpretive tools. The Tokyo Round SCM Code is, in our view, in the former category and cannot itself reasonably be deemed to represent ‘customary practice’ of the GATT 1947 CONTRACTING PARTIES. In any event, while the practice of Code signatories might be of some interpretive value in establishing their agreement regarding the interpretation of the Tokyo Round SCM Code (and arguably through Article XVI:1 of the WTO Agreement in interpreting provisions of that Code that were carried over into the successor SCM Agreement), it is clearly not relevant to the interpretation of Article VI of GATT 1994 itself; rather, only practice under Article VI of GATT 1947 is legally relevant to the interpretation of Article VI of GATT 1994.”(444)
(iii) GATT 1947 Council decisions
278. In US — FSC, the Appellate Body examined the legal relevance to the interpretation of the SCM Agreement and GATT Article XVI:4 of the 1981 decision by the GATT 1947 Council to adopt the four panel reports on Belgium — Income Tax, US — DISC, France — Income Tax and Netherlands — Income Tax, subject to certain understandings. The Appellate Body found that the 1981 Council action did not address the issues in the US — FSC dispute, but it observed:
“We recognize that, as ‘decisions’ within the meaning of Article XVI:1 of the WTO Agreement, the adopted panel reports in the Tax Legislation Cases, together with the 1981 Council action, could provide ‘guidance’ to the WTO.”(445)
279. The Appellate Body in Japan — Alcoholic Beverages II noted that the Panel in that case had stated that adopted panel reports “are often considered by subsequent panels” and that “they create legitimate expectations among WTO Members, and, therefore, should be taken into account where they are relevant to any dispute.”(446) The Appellate Body found that adopted panel reports are not binding “except with respect to resolving the particular dispute between the parties to that dispute”:
“Adopted panel reports are an important part of the GATT acquis. They are often considered by subsequent panels. They create legitimate expectations among WTO Members, and, therefore, should be taken into account where they are relevant to any dispute. However, they are not binding, except with respect to resolving the particular dispute between the parties to that dispute.(447) In short, their character and their legal status have not been changed by the coming into force of the WTO Agreement.
For these reasons, we do not agree with the Panel’s conclusion in paragraph 6.10 of the Panel Report that ‘panel reports adopted by the GATT CONTRACTING PARTIES and the WTO Dispute Settlement Body constitute subsequent practice in a specific case’ as the phrase ’subsequent practice’ is used in Article 31 of the Vienna Convention. Further, we do not agree with the Panel’s conclusion in the same paragraph of the Panel Report that adopted panel reports in themselves constitute ‘other decisions of the CONTRACTING PARTIES to GATT 1947’ for the purposes of paragraph 1(b)(iv) of the language of Annex 1A incorporating the GATT 1994 into the WTO Agreement.
However, we agree with the Panel’s conclusion in that same paragraph of the Panel Report that unadopted panel reports ‘have no legal status in the GATT or WTO system since they have not been endorsed through decisions by the CONTRACTING PARTIES to GATT or WTO Members’. Likewise, we agree that ‘a panel could nevertheless find useful guidance in the reasoning of an unadopted panel report that it considered to be relevant.”(448)
280. In Argentina — Textiles and Apparel, the Appellate Body reversed the Panel’s finding that “past GATT practice” generally required that a Member could not apply one type of duties if its GATT tariff bindings are expressed in terms of another type of duties. Examining three working party reports relied on by the Panel, the Appellate Body criticized their substantive relevance, and noted in particular:
“[T]he Panel relied extensively on the unadopted panel report in Bananas II. In our Report in Japan — Taxes on Alcoholic Beverages(449), we agreed with that panel that ‘unadopted panel reports have no legal status in the GATT or WTO system …, although we believe that a panel could nevertheless find useful guidance in the reasoning of an unadopted panel report that it considered to be relevant’. In the case before us, the Panel’s use of the Bananas II panel report appears to have gone beyond deriving ‘useful guidance’ from the reasoning employed in that unadopted panel report. The Panel, in fact, relies upon the Bananas II panel report.”(450)
(vi) Panel findings that are not appealed
281. In Canada — Periodicals, the Appellate Body stated:
“[A] panel finding that has not been specifically appealed in a particular case should not be considered to have been endorsed by the Appellate Body. Such a finding may be examined by the Appellate Body when the issue is raised properly in a subsequent appeal.”(451)
(c) Relationship between Article XVI:1 and Paragraph 1(b) of GATT 1994 incorporation clause
282. In US — FSC, with respect to the difference in scope between Article XVI:1 of the WTO Agreement and Paragraph 1(b) of the GATT 1994, the Panel stated:
“In our view, the difference between the more particularly defined range of actions falling within the ambit of Article XVI:1 of the WTO Agreement and the list of ‘legal instruments’ that are incorporated into GATT 1994 pursuant to the language in Annex 1A incorporating GATT 1994 into the WTO Agreement is explained by the different implications of the two provisions. Inclusion of a decision in the language of Annex 1A means that the decision actually becomes part of GATT 1994 and thus of the WTO Agreement. Inclusion of a decision within the scope of Article XVI:1 of the WTO Agreement, on the other hand, means that the WTO ’shall be guided’ by that decision. A decision which is part of GATT 1994 is legally binding on all WTO Members (to the extent it is not in conflict with a provision of another Annex 1A agreement), while a decision which provides ‘guidance’ in our view is not legally binding but provides direction to the WTO. It is important to note that, as explained by the Appellate Body, adopted panel reports should be taken into account ‘where they are relevant to a dispute’. In our view, this consideration applies equally to any other decision, procedure or customary practice of the CONTRACTING PARTIES to GATT 1947.”(452)
283. See also paragraph 273 above, and the discussion of the “GATT 1994” incorporation clause in the Chapter on the GATT 1994.
(a) “the Director-General to the CONTRACTING PARTIES to GATT 1947, …, shall serve as Director-General of the WTO”
284. Mr Peter Sutherland, Director-General to the GATT 1947, served as the first Director-General to the WTO from 1 January 1995 to 30 April 1995. See paragraph 171 above.
285. Concerning the appointment of the Director-General and the Secretariat, see under Article VI above.
(a) “Each Member shall ensure the conformity of its laws, regulations and administrative procedures”: measures to be brought into compliance
(i) Legislation, regulations and tariff schedules
286. In US — Section 301 Trade Act, the Panel described the role of Article XVI:4 as confirming the following “GATT acquis”:
“As a general proposition, GATT acquis, confirmed in Article XVI:4 of the WTO Agreement and recent WTO panel reports, make abundantly clear that legislation as such, independently from its application in specific cases, may breach GATT/WTO obligations:
(a) In GATT jurisprudence, to give one example, legislation providing for tax discrimination against imported products was found to be GATT inconsistent even before it had actually been applied to specific products and thus before any given product had actually been discriminated against.
(b) Article XVI:4 of the WTO Agreement explicitly confirms that legislation as such falls within the scope of possible WTO violations. It provides as follows:
‘Each Member shall ensure the conformity of its laws, regulations and administrative procedures with its obligations as provided in the annexed Agreements’ (emphasis added).
The three types of measures explicitly made subject to the obligations imposed in the WTO Agreements — ‘laws, regulations and administrative procedures’ — are measures that are applicable generally; not measures taken necessarily in a specific case or dispute. Article XVI:4, though not expanding the material obligations under WTO Agreements, expands the type of measures made subject to these obligations.
(c) Recent WTO panel reports confirm, too, that legislation as such, independently from its application in a specific case, can be inconsistent with WTO rules.
Legislation may thus breach WTO obligations. This must be true, too, in respect of Article 23 of the DSU. This is so, in our view, not only because of the above-mentioned case law and Article XVI:4, but also because of the very nature of obligations under Article 23.”(453)
287. In EC — IT Products, the Panel observed that Article XVI:4 means that “a Member is obliged to ensure that its domestic legislation is consistent with the concessions contained in its Schedule.”(454)
288. In compliance proceedings in US — Zeroing (Japan), the United States argued that liquidation of duty liability in the US retrospective system of duty assessment was outside the scope of US implementation obligations in the underlying dispute, particularly where liquidation is delayed due to domestic judicial proceedings and the timing of liquidation is controlled by an independent judiciary, not an administering authority. The Appellate Body declined to agree:
“We note that a WTO Member ‘bears responsibility for acts of all its departments of government, including its judiciary.’(455) This is supported by Article 18.4 of the Anti-Dumping Agreement, Article XVI:4 of the WTO Agreement, and Article 27 of the Vienna Convention. The judiciary is a state organ and even if an act or omission derives from a WTO Member’s judiciary, it is nevertheless still attributable to that WTO Member. Thus, the United States cannot seek to avoid the obligation to comply with the DSB’s recommendations and rulings within the reasonable period of time, by relying on the timing of liquidation being ‘controlled by the independent judiciary’.”(456)
(iii) Suspension of concessions authorized under DSU Article 22
289. The disputes in Canada — Continued Suspension and US — Continued Suspension concerned the continued suspension of concessions by Canada and the United States after the European Communities had notified the DSB of a measure taken to comply with the DSB’s recommendations and rulings in EC — Hormones. The Panel in these disputes found that a party authorized by the DSB to suspend concessions was obligated “to take appropriate steps to ensure that the suspension of concessions or other obligations is only applied until such time as foreseen in [DSU] Article 22.8”.(457) The Appellate Body reversed the Panel, finding that “a dispute concerning implementation should be subject to multilateral resolution and not be decided on the basis of a unilateral declaration of compliance or noncompliance” (458), and further observed:
“We also note the Panel’s statement that ‘pursuant to Article XVI:4 of the [WTO Agreement], Members must ensure the conformity of their laws, regulations and administrative procedures with their obligations as provided’ in the covered agreements, ‘including the DSU’.(459) Article XVI:4 applies equally to all WTO Members. The European Communities was required to ensure the conformity of its implementing measure, just as it is the obligation of the United States and Canada to ensure the conformity of their continued application of suspension of concessions. We do not see the relevance of this provision in the Panel’s analysis under Article 23.1 of the DSU, as long as the conditions for the cessation of suspension under Article 22.8 have not been established.”(460)
(b) Relationship between Article XVI:4, Articles 18.4 of the Anti-Dumping Agreement and 32.5 of the SCM Agreement, and “as such” violations of the Anti-Dumping or SCM Agreements
290. In US — 1916 Act (Japan), the Panel read the obligation under Article XVI:4 as corresponding to the obligation under Article 18.4 of the Anti-Dumping Agreement that “Each Member shall take all necessary steps, of a general or particular character, to ensure, not later than the entry into force of the WTO Agreement for it, the conformity of its laws, regulations and administrative procedures with the provisions of this Agreement as they may apply for the Member in question”:
“With respect to Article XVI:4 of the Agreement Establishing the WTO, we note that, if some of the terms of Article XVI:4 differ from those of Article 18.4, they are identical and unqualified as far as the basic obligation of ensuring the conformity of laws, regulations and administrative procedures found in both articles is concerned. The same reasoning as for Article 18.4 applies to Article XVI:4 regarding the terms found in both provisions. In other words, if a provision of an ‘annexed Agreement’ is breached, a violation of Article XVI:4 immediately occurs. GATT 1994 is one of the ‘annexed Agreements’ within the meaning of Article XVI:4. Since we found that provisions of Article VI of the GATT 1994 have been breached, we conclude that, by violating this provision, the United States violates Article XVI:4 of the WTO Agreement.”(461)
291. In the dispute on US — Hot-Rolled Steel from Japan, the Appellate Body upheld the Panel’s finding that a statutory provision on calculation of dumping margins was “as such” inconsistent with Article 9.4 of the Anti-Dumping Agreement. The Appellate Body also upheld the Panel’s “consequent findings” that the US acted inconsistently with Article 18.4 of the Anti-Dumping Agreement and Article XVI:4 of the WTO Agreement.(462)
292. In US — Countervailing Measures on Certain EC Products, the Panel concluded that 19 USC § 1677 (5)(F) mandated the United States to act inconsistently with the SCM Agreement, and, as such, was inconsistent with United States’ obligations, and therefore the United States had failed to comply with Article 32.5 of the SCM Agreement (which parallels the provisions of Article 18.4 of the Anti-Dumping Agreement) and Article XVI:4 of the WTO Agreement:
“[T]he aggregate effect of the legislative history, object and purpose of Section 1677(5)(F), the Statement of Administrative Action, and the determinative interpretation of that legislation by the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, is to mandate an application of Section 1677(5)(F) that will be inconsistent with Articles 10, 14, 19, and 21 of the SCM Agreement since it prohibits the relevant authority from adopting a general rule that in all situations of arm’s-length privatizations for fair market value, no benefit from prior financial contributions … continues to accrue to the privatized producer, even though Section 1677(5)(F)’s statutory language alone would not mandate a violation of the SCM Agreement and the WTO Agreement.”(463)
293. However, the Appellate Body disagreed and reversed the Panel’s finding of violation of SCM Article 32.5 and Article XVI:4(464)
“We agree with the Panel that privatization at arm’s length and at fair market price will usually extinguish the remaining part of a benefit bestowed by a prior, non-recurring financial contribution. However, we disagree with the Panel that this result will necessarily and always follow from every privatization at arm’s length and for fair market value … We disagree with the Panel that section 1677(5)(F) is inconsistent per se with the WTO obligations of the United States. The Panel’s basis for this finding is incorrect.”(465)
294. The Appellate Body in US — Offset Act (Byrd Amendment) noted the similarity between the text of Article 18.4 of the Anti-Dumping Agreement and Article 32.5 of the SCM Agreement, and the text of Article XVI:4, and found:
“As a consequence of our finding that the United States has acted inconsistently with Article 18.1 of the Anti-Dumping Agreement and Article 32.1 of the SCM Agreement, we uphold the Panel’s finding that the United States has failed to comply with Article 18.4 of the Anti-Dumping Agreement, Article 32.5 of the SCM Agreement and Article XVI:4 of the WTO Agreement.”(466)
295. In US — Corrosion-Resistant Steel Sunset Review, the Appellate Body found:
“In the absence of any finding that provisions of the Sunset Policy Bulletin, as such, are inconsistent with a specific obligation under the Anti-Dumping Agreement, we can find no inconsistency with Article 18.4 of the Anti-Dumping Agreement or Article XVI:4 of the WTO Agreement.”(467)
(a) “Reservations in respect of any of the provisions of the Multilateral Trade Agreements”
296. In contrast to the default rule in Article 19 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties(468), which permits reservations unless specified otherwise, Article XVI:5 prohibits reservations to the WTO Agreement unless specifically permitted.
297. The agreements negotiated in the Tokyo Round of multilateral rade negotiations each included final provisions including a reservations clause. The Agreement on Government Procurement did not permit reservations, but the other Tokyo Round agreements provided that reservations were permitted only with consent of the other parties to that agreement. When these agreements were attached to the WTO Agreement in the Uruguay Round, their reservation provisions were retained. Thus, the Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (Article 15.1), the Anti-Dumping Agreement (Article 18.2), the Customs Valuation Agreement (Article 21), the Agreement on Import Licensing Procedures (Article 8.1), and the SCM Agreement (Article 32.2) each provide that “Reservations may not be entered in respect of any of the provisions of this Agreement without the consent of the other Members.” A similar provision appears as Article 72 of the TRIPS Agreement.
298. The Protocol to the Customs Valuation Agreement, also negotiated in the Tokyo Round, provided for reservations of standard types and stipulated that if a developing country made such a reservation the parties to the Agreement “shall consent to it”. In the Uruguay Round, the Customs Valuation Protocol was incorporated into the Customs Valuation Agreement as Part III thereof.
299. As of 30 September 2011, 50 Members have made one or more reservations to the Customs Valuation Agreement while accepting the WTO Agreement. Four Members made one or more reservations to the Customs Valuation Agreement when acceding to the WTO Agreement.(469) Concerning the substantive effect of these reservations, see the Chapter on the Customs Valuation Agreement.
(b) “Reservations in respect of a provision of a Plurilateral Trade Agreement”
300. Article XXIV:4 of the Agreement on Government Procurement bars reservations in respect of any of the provisions of that Agreement.
301. Article 9.2.1 of the Agreement on Civil Aircraft provides that reservations may not be entered in respect of any of the provisions of that agreement without the consent of the other signatories.
302. Article VIII:1(b) of the International Dairy Agreement permitted reservations with regard to the application of the Annex (on minimum prices) with respect to any product(s) specified therein, if the other parties consented. The International Bovine Meat Agreement, which was limited to information exchange, did not provide for reservations. Both of these agreements have been terminated and deleted from Annex 4; see under Article X:7 above.
303. As of 30 September 2011, there was no reservation in effect for any of the Plurilateral Agreements.
(a) Registration of the Agreement
304. The WTO Agreement was registered by the United Nations on 1 June 1995(470) in accordance with Article 102 of the United Nations Charter.(471)
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XVIII. Explanatory Notes
The terms “country” or “countries” as used in this Agreement and the Multilateral Trade Agreements are to be understood to include any separate customs territory Member of the WTO.
In the case of a separate customs territory Member of the WTO, where an expression in this Agreement and the Multilateral Trade Agreements is qualified by the term “national”, such expression shall be read as pertaining to that customs territory, unless otherwise specified.
B. Interpretation and Application of the Explanatory Notes
305. The explanatory notes regarding the word “country” and “national” were agreed in the Uruguay Round in response to issues raised by a separate customs territory that was a contracting party to the GATT 1947. See also footnote 1 to Article 1.3 of the TRIPS Agreement, which provides that “When ‘nationals’ are referred to in this Agreement, they shall be deemed, in the case of a separate customs territory Member of the WTO, to mean persons, natural or legal, who are domiciled or who have a real and effective industrial or commercial establishment in that customs territory.”
306. The Panel in EC — Trademarks and Geographical Indications (US) examined the second explanatory note to the WTO Agreement, on “national”, in relation to a national treatment claim under Article 3.1 of the TRIPS Agreement. The Panel observed that “Footnote 1 to the TRIPS Agreement is not within the scope of this explanatory note because it uses the word “national” as a noun and not as a qualifying expression.”(472) The Panel found that the European Communities was not a “separate customs territory Member of the WTO” within the meaning of footnote 1 to the TRIPS Agreement, and that EC nationals, for the purposes of the TRIPS Agreement, are not defined by that footnote; the Panel stressed that its finding was limited solely to footnote 1 to the TRIPS Agreement and was not intended to be a finding of general application for other covered agreements.(473)
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XIX. Ministerial Decisions and Declarations Regarding the WTO as an International Organization
A. Decisions Taken at The Marrakesh Ministerial Meeting of 15 April 1994
1. Declaration on the Contribution of the World Trade Organization to Achieving Greater Coherence in Global Economic Policymaking
1. Ministers recognize that the globalization of the world economy has led to ever-growing interactions between the economic policies pursued by individual countries, including interactions between the structural, macroeconomic, trade, financial and development aspects of economic policymaking. The task of achieving harmony between these policies falls primarily on governments at the national level, but their coherence internationally is an important and valuable element in increasing the effectiveness of these policies at national level. The Agreements reached in the Uruguay Round show that all the participating governments recognize the contribution that liberal trading policies can make to the healthy growth and development of their own economies and of the world economy as a whole.
2. Successful cooperation in each area of economic policy contributes to progress in other areas. Greater exchange rate stability, based on more orderly underlying economic and financial conditions, should contribute towards the expansion of trade, sustainable growth and development, and the correction of external imbalances. There is also a need for an adequate and timely flow of concessional and non-concessional financial and real investment resources to developing countries and for further efforts to address debt problems, to help ensure economic growth and development. Trade liberalization forms an increasingly important component in the success of the adjustment programmes that many countries are undertaking, often involving significant transitional social costs. In this connection, Ministers note the role of the World Bank and the IMF in supporting adjustment to trade liberalization, including support to net food importing developing countries facing short-term costs arising from agricultural trade reforms.
3. The positive outcome of the Uruguay Round is a major contribution towards more coherent and complementary international economic policies. The results of the Uruguay Round ensure an expansion of market access to the benefit of all countries, as well as a framework of strengthened multilateral disciplines for trade. They also guarantee that trade policy will be conducted in a more transparent manner and with greater awareness of the benefits for domestic competitiveness of an open trading environment. The strengthened multilateral trading system emerging from the Uruguay Round has the capacity to provide an improved forum for liberalization, to contribute to more effective surveillance, and to ensure strict observance of multilaterally agreed rules and disciplines. These improvements mean that trade policy can in the future play a more substantial role in ensuring the coherence of global economic policymaking.
4. Ministers recognize, however, that difficulties the origins of which lie outside the trade field cannot be redressed through measures taken in the trade field alone. This underscores the importance of efforts to improve other elements of global economic policymaking to complement the effective implementation of the results achieved in the Uruguay Round.
5. The interlinkages between the different aspects of economic policy require that the international institutions with responsibilities in each of these areas follow consistent and mutually supportive policies. The World Trade Organization should therefore pursue and develop cooperation with the international organizations responsible for monetary and financial matters, while respecting the mandate, the confidentiality requirements and the necessary autonomy in decision making procedures of each institution, and avoiding the imposition on governments of cross-conditionality or additional conditions. Ministers further invite the Director-General of the WTO to review with the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund and the President of the World Bank, the implications of the WTO’s responsibilities for its cooperation with the Bretton Woods institutions, as well as the forms such cooperation might take, with a view to achieving greater coherence in global economic policymaking.
(b) Interpretation and Application of the Declaration
307. In Argentina — Textiles and Apparel, the Appellate Body upheld the Panel’s finding “that there is nothing in the … Declaration on Coherence which justifies a conclusion that a Member’s commitments to the IMF shall prevail over its obligations under Article VIII of the GATT 1994.”(474) See also paragraph 46 above.
2. Declaration on the Relationship of the World Trade Organization with the International Monetary Fund
Noting the close relationship between the CONTRACTING PARTIES to the GATT 1947 and the International Monetary Fund, and the provisions of the GATT 1947 governing that relationship, in particular Article XV of the GATT 1947;
Recognizing the desire of participants to base the relationship of the World Trade Organization with the International Monetary Fund, with regard to the areas covered by the Multilateral Trade Agreements in Annex 1A of the WTO Agreement, on the provisions that have governed the relationship of the CONTRACTING PARTIES to the GATT 1947 with the International Monetary Fund;
Hereby reaffirm that, unless otherwise provided for in the Final Act, the relationship of the WTO with the International Monetary Fund, with regard to the areas covered by the Multilateral Trade Agreements in Annex 1A of the WTO Agreement, will be based on the provisions that have governed the relationship of the CONTRACTING PARTIES to the GATT 1947 with the International Monetary Fund.
(b) Interpretation and Application of the Declaration
308. In Argentina — Textiles and Apparel, the Appellate Body upheld the Panel’s finding “that there is nothing in the Agreement Between the IMF and the WTO, the Declaration on the Relationship of the WTO with the IMF or the Declaration on Coherence which justifies a conclusion that a Member’s commitments to the IMF shall prevail over its obligations under Article VIII of the GATT 1994.”(475) See also paragraph 46 above.
3. Decision on the Acceptance of and Accession to the Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization
Noting that Articles XI and XIV of the Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization (hereinafter referred to as “WTO Agreement”) provide that only contracting parties to the GATT 1947 as of the entry into force of the WTO Agreement for which schedules of concessions and commitments are annexed to GATT 1994 and for which schedules of specific commitments are annexed to the General Agreement on Trade in Services (hereinafter referred to as “GATS”) may accept the WTO Agreement;
Noting further that paragraph 5 of the Final Act Embodying the Results of the Uruguay Round of Multilateral Trade Negotiations (hereinafter referred to as “Final Act” and “Uruguay Round” respectively) provides that the schedules of participants which are not contracting parties to GATT 1947 as of the date of the Final Act are not definitive and shall be subsequently completed for the purpose of their accession to GATT 1947 and their acceptance of the WTO Agreement;
Having regard to paragraph 1 of the Decision on Measures in Favour of Least-Developed Countries which provides that the least-developed countries shall be given an additional time of one year from 15 April 1994 to submit their schedules as required in Article XI of the WTO Agreement;
Recognizing that certain participants in the Uruguay Round which had applied GATT 1947 on a de facto basis and became contracting parties under Article XXVI:5(c) of the GATT 1947 were not in a position to submit schedules to GATT 1994 and the GATS;
Recognizing further that some States or separate customs territories which were not participants in the Uruguay Round may become contracting parties to GATT 1947 before the entry into force of the WTO Agreement and that States or customs territories should be given the opportunity to negotiate schedules to GATT 1994 and the GATS so as to enable them to accept the WTO Agreement;
Taking into account that some States or separate customs territories which cannot complete the process of accession to GATT 1947 before the entry into force of the WTO Agreement or which do not intend to become contracting parties to GATT 1947 may wish to initiate the process of their accession to the WTO before the entry into force of the WTO Agreement;
Recognizing that the WTO Agreement does not distinguish in any way between WTO Members which accepted that Agreement in accordance with its Articles XI and XIV and WTO Members which acceded to it in accordance with its Article XII and wishing to ensure that the procedures for accession of the States and separate customs territories which have not become contracting parties to the GATT 1947 as of the date of entry into force of the WTO Agreement are such as to avoid any unnecessary disadvantage or delay for these States and separate customs territories;
1. (a) Any Signatory of the Final Act
- to which paragraph 5 of the Final Act applies, or
- to which paragraph 1 of the Decision on Measures in Favour of
Least-Developed Countries applies, or
- which became a contracting party under Article XXVI:5(c) of the GATT 1947 before 15 April 1994 and was not in a position to establish a schedule to GATT 1994 and the GATS for inclusion in the Final Act, and
any State or separate customs territory
- which becomes a contracting party to the GATT 1947 between 15 April 1994 and the date of entry into force of the WTO Agreement
may submit to the Preparatory Committee for its examination and approval a schedule of concessions and commitments to GATT 1994 and a schedule of specific commitments to the GATS.
(b) The WTO Agreement shall be open for acceptance in accordance with Article XIV of that Agreement by contracting parties to GATT 1947 the schedules of which have been so submitted and approved before the entry into force of the WTO Agreement.
(c) The provisions of subparagraphs (a) and (b) of this paragraph shall be without prejudice to the right of the least-developed countries to submit their schedules within one year from 15 April 1994.
2. (a) Any State or separate customs territory may request the Preparatory Committee to propose for approval by the Ministerial Conference of the WTO the terms of its accession to the WTO Agreement in accordance with Article XII of that Agreement. If such a request is made by a State or separate customs territory which is in the process of acceding to GATT 1947, the Preparatory Committee shall, to the extent practicable, examine the request jointly with the Working Party established by the CONTRACTING PARTIES to GATT 1947 to examine the accession of that State or separate customs territory.
(b) The Preparatory Committee shall submit to the Ministerial Conference a report on its examination of the request. The report may include a protocol of accession, including a schedule of concessions and commitments to GATT 1994 and a schedule of specific commitments for the GATS, for approval by the Ministerial Conference. The report of the Preparatory Committee shall be taken into account by the Ministerial Conference in its consideration of any application by the State or separate customs territory concerned to accede to the WTO Agreement.
(b) Interpretation and Application of the Decision
309. See the discussion of this Decision and its implementation under Articles XI and XII in this Chapter.
4. Decision on Measures in Favour of Least-Developed Countries
Recognizing the plight of the least-developed countries and the need to ensure their effective participation in the world trading system, and to take further measures to improve their trading opportunities;
Recognizing the specific needs of the least developed countries in the area of market access where continued preferential access remains an essential means for improving their trading opportunities;
Reaffirming their commitment to implement fully the provisions concerning the least-developed countries contained in paragraphs 2(d), 6 and 8 of the Decision of 28 November 1979 on Differential and More Favourable Treatment, Reciprocity and Fuller Participation of Developing Countries;
Having regard to the commitment of the participants as set out in Section B (vii) of Part I of the Punta del Este Ministerial Declaration;
1. Decide that, if not already provided for in the instruments negotiated in the course of the Uruguay Round, notwithstanding their acceptance of these instruments, the least-developed countries, and for so long as they remain in that category, while complying with the general rules set out in the aforesaid instruments, will only be required to undertake commitments and concessions to the extent consistent with their individual development, financial and trade needs, or their administrative and institutional capabilities. The least-developed countries shall be given additional time of one year from 15 April 1994 to submit their schedules as required in Article XI of the Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization.
2. Agree that:
(i) Decide that, if not already provided for in the instruments negotiated in the course of the Uruguay Round, notwithstanding their acceptance of these instruments, the least-developed countries, and Expeditious implementation of all special and differential measures taken in favour of least developed countries including those taken within the context of the Uruguay Round shall be ensured through, inter alia, regular reviews.
(ii) To the extent possible, MFN concessions on tariff and non-tariff measures agreed in the Uruguay Round on products of export interest to the least-developed countries may be implemented autonomously, in advance and without staging. Consideration shall be given to further improve GSP and other schemes for products of particular export interest to least-developed countries.
(iii) The rules set out in the various agreements and instruments and the transitional provisions in the Uruguay Round should be applied in a flexible and supportive manner for the least-developed countries. To this effect, sympathetic consideration shall be given to specific and motivated concerns raised by the least-developed countries in the appropriate Councils and Committees.
(iv) In the application of import relief measures and other measures referred to in paragraph 3(c) of Article XXXVII of GATT 1947 and the corresponding provision of GATT 1994, special consideration shall be given to the export interests of least-developed countries.
(v) Least-developed countries shall be accorded substantially increased technical assistance in the development, strengthening and diversification of their production and export bases including those of services, as well as in trade promotion, to enable them to maximize the benefits from liberalized access to markets.
3. Agree to keep under review the specific needs of the least-developed countries and to continue to seek the adoption of positive measures which facilitate the expansion of trading opportunities in favour of these countries.
(b) Interpretation and Application of the Decision
310. Regarding the implementation of paragraph 1 of this Decision in respect of acceptance of the WTO Agreement by least-developed countries in 1994–95, see paragraph 237 above under Article XI in this Chapter.
311. The Doha Declaration(476) launched a comprehensive round of negotiations. The Work Programme for the negotiations includes provisions for LDCs.(477) As regards the Sub-Committee on LDCs, see Section V.B.8(a) above. As regards accession of LDCs, see under Article XII above. See also the material on preferences for least developed countries under Article I in the Chapter on the GATT 1994.
B. First Ministerial Meeting, Singapore, 1996
1. Singapore Ministerial Declaration
1. We, the Ministers, have met in Singapore from 9 to 13 December 1996 for the first regular biennial meeting of the WTO at Ministerial level, as called for in Article IV of the Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization, to further strengthen the WTO as a forum for negotiation, the continuing liberalization of trade within a rule-based system, and the multilateral review and assessment of trade policies, and in particular to:
- assess the implementation of our commitments under the WTO
Agreements and decisions;
- review the ongoing negotiations and Work Programme;
- examine developments in world trade; and
- address the challenges of an evolving world economy.
2. For nearly 50 years Members have sought to fulfil, first in the GATT and now in the WTO, the objectives reflected in the preamble to the WTO Agreement of conducting our trade relations with a view to raising standards of living worldwide. The rise in global trade facilitated by trade liberalization within the rules-based system has created more and better-paid jobs in many countries. The achievements of the WTO during its first two years bear witness to our desire to work together to make the most of the possibilities that the multilateral system provides to promote sustainable growth and development while contributing to a more stable and secure climate in international relations.
3. We believe that the scope and pace of change in the international economy, including the growth in trade in services and direct investment, and the increasing integration of economies offer unprecedented opportunities for improved growth, job creation, and development. These developments require adjustment by economies and societies. They also pose challenges to the trading system. We commit ourselves to address these challenges.
4. We renew our commitment to the observance of internationally recognized core labour standards. The International Labour Organization (ILO) is the competent body to set and deal with these standards, and we affirm our support for its work in promoting them. We believe that economic growth and development fostered by increased trade and further trade liberalization contribute to the promotion of these standards. We reject the use of labour standards for protectionist purposes, and agree that the comparative advantage of countries, particularly low-wage developing countries, must in no way be put into question. In this regard, we note that the WTO and ILO Secretariats will continue their existing collaboration.
5. We commit ourselves to address the problem of marginalization for least-developed countries, and the risk of it for certain developing countries. We will also continue to work for greater coherence in international economic policy-making and for improved coordination between the WTO and other agencies in providing technical assistance.
6. In pursuit of the goal of sustainable growth and development for the common good, we envisage a world where trade flows freely. To this end we renew our commitment to:
- a fair, equitable and more open rule-based system;
- progressive liberalization and elimination of tariff and
non-tariff barriers to trade in goods;
- progressive liberalization of trade in services;
- rejection of all forms of protectionism;
- elimination of discriminatory treatment in international
- integration of developing and least-developed countries and
economies in transition into the multilateral system; and
- the maximum possible level of transparency.
7. We note that trade relations of WTO Members are being increasingly influenced by regional trade agreements, which have expanded vastly in number, scope and coverage. Such initiatives can promote further liberalization and may assist least-developed, developing and transition economies in integrating into the international trading system. In this context, we note the importance of existing regional arrangements involving developing and least-developed countries. The expansion and extent of regional trade agreements make it important to analyse whether the system of WTO rights and obligations as it relates to regional trade agreements needs to be further clarified. We reaffirm the primacy of the multilateral trading system, which includes a framework for the development of regional trade agreements, and we renew our commitment to ensure that regional trade agreements are complementary to it and consistent with its rules. In this regard, we welcome the establishment and endorse the work of the new Committee on Regional Trade Agreements. We shall continue to work through progressive liberalization in the WTO as we are committed in the WTO Agreement and Decisions adopted at Marrakesh, and in so doing facilitate mutually supportive processes of global and regional trade liberalization.
8. It is important that the 28 applicants now negotiating accession contribute to completing the accession process by accepting the WTO rules and by offering meaningful market access commitments. We will work to bring these applicants expeditiously into the WTO system.
9. The Dispute Settlement Understanding (DSU) offers a means for the settlement of disputes among Members that is unique in international agreements. We consider its impartial and transparent operation to be of fundamental importance in assuring the resolution of trade disputes, and in fostering the implementation and application of the WTO agreements. The Understanding, with its predictable procedures, including the possibility of appeal of panel decisions to an Appellate Body and provisions on implementation of recommendations, has improved Members’ means of resolving their differences. We believe that the DSU has worked effectively during its first two years. We also note the role that several WTO bodies have played in helping to avoid disputes. We renew our determination to abide by the rules and procedures of the DSU and other WTO agreements in the conduct of our trade relations and the settlement of disputes. We are confident that longer experience with the DSU, including the implementation of panel and appellate recommendations, will further enhance the effectiveness and credibility of the dispute settlement system.
10. We attach high priority to full and effective implementation of the WTO Agreement in a manner consistent with the goal of trade liberalization. Implementation thus far has been generally satisfactory, although some Members have expressed dissatisfaction with certain aspects. It is clear that further effort in this area is required, as indicated by the relevant WTO bodies in their reports. Implementation of the specific commitments scheduled by Members with respect to market access in industrial goods and trade in services appears to be proceeding smoothly. With respect to industrial market access, monitoring of implementation would be enhanced by the timely availability of trade and tariff data. Progress has been made also in advancing the WTO reform programme in agriculture, including in implementation of agreed market access concessions and domestic subsidy and export subsidy commitments.
11. Compliance with notification requirements has not been fully satisfactory. Because the WTO system relies on mutual monitoring as a means to assess implementation, those Members which have not submitted notifications in a timely manner, or whose notifications are not complete, should renew their efforts. At the same time, the relevant bodies should take appropriate steps to promote full compliance while considering practical proposals for simplifying the notification process.
12. Where legislation is needed to implement WTO rules, Members are mindful of their obligations to complete their domestic legislative process without further delay. Those Members entitled to transition periods are urged to take steps as they deem necessary to ensure timely implementation of obligations as they come into effect. Each Member should carefully review all its existing or proposed legislation, programmes and measures to ensure their full compatibility with the WTO obligations, and should carefully consider points made during review in the relevant WTO bodies regarding the WTO consistency of legislation, programmes and measures, and make appropriate changes where necessary.
13. The integration of developing countries in the multilateral trading system is important for their economic development and for global trade expansion. In this connection, we recall that the WTO Agreement embodies provisions conferring differential and more favourable treatment for developing countries, including special attention to the particular situation of least-developed countries. We acknowledge the fact that developing country Members have undertaken significant new commitments, both substantive and procedural, and we recognize the range and complexity of the efforts that they are making to comply with them. In order to assist them in these efforts, including those with respect to notification and legislative requirements, we will improve the availability of technical assistance under the agreed guidelines. We have also agreed to recommendations relative to the decision we took at Marrakesh concerning the possible negative effects of the agricultural reform programme on least-developed and net food-importing developing countries.
14. We remain concerned by the problems of the least developed countries and have agreed to:
- a Plan of Action, including provision for taking positive
measures, for example duty-free access, on an autonomous basis, aimed at
improving their overall capacity to respond to the opportunities offered
by the trading system;
- seek to give operational content to the Plan of Action, for
example, by enhancing conditions for investment and providing
predictable and favourable market access conditions for LLDCs’
products, to foster the expansion and diversification of their exports
to the markets of all developed countries; and in the case of relevant
developing countries in the context of the Global System of Trade
- organize a meeting with UNCTAD and the International Trade Centre as soon as possible in 1997, with the participation of aid agencies, multilateral financial institutions and least-developed countries to foster an integrated approach to assisting these countries in enhancing their trading opportunities.
15. We confirm our commitment to full and faithful implementation of the provisions of the Agreement on Textiles and Clothing (ATC). We stress the importance of the integration of textile products, as provided for in the ATC, into GATT 1994 under its strengthened rules and disciplines because of its systemic significance for the rule-based, non-discriminatory trading system and its contribution to the increase in export earnings of developing countries. We attach importance to the implementation of this Agreement so as to ensure an effective transition to GATT 1994 by way of integration which is progressive in character. The use of safeguard measures in accordance with ATC provisions should be as sparing as possible. We note concerns regarding the use of other trade distortive measures and circumvention. We reiterate the importance of fully implementing the provisions of the ATC relating to small suppliers, new entrants and least-developed country Members, as well as those relating to cotton-producing exporting Members. We recognize the importance of wool products for some developing country Members. We reaffirm that as part of the integration process and with reference to the specific commitments undertaken by the Members as a result of the Uruguay Round, all Members shall take such action as may be necessary to abide by GATT 1994 rules and disciplines so as to achieve improved market access for textiles and clothing products. We agree that, keeping in view its quasi-judicial nature, the Textiles Monitoring Body (TMB) should achieve transparency in providing rationale for its findings and recommendations. We expect that the TMB shall make findings and recommendations whenever called upon to do so under the Agreement. We emphasize the responsibility of the Goods Council in overseeing, in accordance with Article IV:5 of the WTO Agreement and Article 8 of the ATC, the functioning of the ATC, whose implementation is being supervised by the TMB.
16. The Committee on Trade and Environment has made an important contribution towards fulfilling its Work Programme. The Committee has been examining and will continue to examine, inter alia, the scope of the complementarities between trade liberalization, economic development and environmental protection. Full implementation of the WTO Agreements will make an important contribution to achieving the objectives of sustainable development. The work of the Committee has underlined the importance of policy coordination at the national level in the area of trade and environment. In this connection, the work of the Committee has been enriched by the participation of environmental as well as trade experts from Member governments and the further participation of such experts in the Committee’s deliberations would be welcomed. The breadth and complexity of the issues covered by the Committee’s Work Programme shows that further work needs to be undertaken on all items of its agenda, as contained in its report. We intend to build on the work accomplished thus far, and therefore direct the Committee to carry out its work, reporting to the General Council, under its existing terms of reference.
17. The fulfilment of the objectives agreed at Marrakesh for negotiations on the improvement of market access in services — in financial services, movement of natural persons, maritime transport services and basic telecommunications — has proved to be difficult. The results have been below expectations. In three areas, it has been necessary to prolong negotiations beyond the original deadlines. We are determined to obtain a progressively higher level of liberalization in services on a mutually advantageous basis with appropriate flexibility for individual developing country Members, as envisaged in the Agreement, in the continuing negotiations and those scheduled to begin no later than 1 January 2000. In this context, we look forward to full MFN agreements based on improved market access commitments and national treatment. Accordingly, we will:
- achieve a successful conclusion to the negotiations on basic
telecommunications in February 1997; and
- resume financial services negotiations in April 1997 with the aim of achieving significantly improved market access commitments with a broader level of participation in the agreed time frame.
With the same broad objectives in mind, we also look forward to a successful conclusion of the negotiations on Maritime Transport Services in the next round of negotiations on services liberalization.
In professional services, we shall aim at completing the work on the accountancy sector by the end of 1997, and will continue to develop multilateral disciplines and guidelines. In this connection, we encourage the successful completion of international standards in the accountancy sector by IFAC, IASC, and IOSCO. With respect to GATS rules, we shall undertake the necessary work with a view to completing the negotiations on safeguards by the end of 1997. We also note that more analytical work will be needed on emergency safeguards measures, government procurement in services and subsidies.
18. Taking note that a number of Members have agreed on a Declaration on Trade in Information Technology Products, we welcome the initiative taken by a number of WTO Members and other States or separate customs territories which have applied to accede to the WTO, who have agreed to tariff elimination for trade in information technology products on an MFN basis as well as the addition by a number of Members of over 400 products to their lists of tariff-free products in pharmaceuticals.
19. Bearing in mind that an important aspect of WTO activities is a continuous overseeing of the implementation of various agreements, a periodic examination and updating of the WTO Work Programme is a key to enable the WTO to fulfil its objectives. In this context, we endorse the reports of the various WTO bodies. A major share of the Work Programme stems from the WTO Agreement and decisions adopted at Marrakesh. As part of these Agreements and decisions we agreed to a number of provisions calling for future negotiations on Agriculture, Services and aspects of TRIPS, or reviews and other work on Anti-Dumping, Customs Valuation, Dispute Settlement Understanding, Import Licensing, Preshipment Inspection, Rules of Origin, Sanitary and Phyto-Sanitary Measures, Safeguards, Subsidies and Countervailing Measures, Technical Barriers to Trade, Textiles and Clothing, Trade Policy Review Mechanism, Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights and Trade-Related Investment Measures. We agree to a process of analysis and exchange of information, where provided for in the conclusions and recommendations of the relevant WTO bodies, on the Built-in Agenda issues, to allow Members to better understand the issues involved and identify their interests before undertaking the agreed negotiations and reviews. We agree that:
- the time frames established in the Agreements will be
respected in each case;
- the work undertaken shall not prejudge the scope of future
negotiations where such negotiations are called for; and
- the work undertaken shall not prejudice the nature of the activity agreed upon (i.e. negotiation or review).
20. Having regard to the existing WTO provisions on matters related to investment and competition policy and the built-in agenda in these areas, including under the TRIMs Agreement, and on the understanding that the work undertaken shall not prejudge whether negotiations will be initiated in the future, we also agree to:
- establish a working group to examine the relationship between
trade and investment; and
- establish a working group to study issues raised by Members relating to the interaction between trade and competition policy, including anti-competitive practices, in order to identify any areas that may merit further consideration in the WTO framework.
These groups shall draw upon each other’s work if necessary and also draw upon and be without prejudice to the work in UNCTAD and other appropriate intergovernmental fora. As regards UNCTAD, we welcome the work under way as provided for in the Midrand Declaration and the contribution it can make to the understanding of issues. In the conduct of the work of the working groups, we encourage cooperation with the above organizations to make the best use of available resources and to ensure that the development dimension is taken fully into account. The General Council will keep the work of each body under review, and will determine after two years how the work of each body should proceed. It is clearly understood that future negotiations, if any, regarding multilateral disciplines in these areas, will take place only after an explicit consensus decision is taken among WTO Members regarding such negotiations.
- establish a working group to conduct a study on transparency
in government procurement practices, taking into account national
policies, and, based on this study, to develop elements for inclusion in
an appropriate agreement; and
- direct the Council for Trade in Goods to undertake exploratory and analytical work, drawing on the work of other relevant international organizations, on the simplification of trade procedures in order to assess the scope for WTO rules in this area.
22. In the organization of the work referred to in paragraphs 20 and 21, careful attention will be given to minimizing the burdens on delegations, especially those with more limited resources, and to coordinating meetings with those of relevant UNCTAD bodies. The technical cooperation programme of the Secretariat will be available to developing and, in particular, least-developed country Members to facilitate their participation in this work.
23. Noting that the 50th anniversary of the multilateral trading system will occur early in 1998, we instruct the General Council to consider how this historic event can best be commemorated.(478)
2. Ministerial Declaration on Trade in Information Technology Products
312. See the material on this Declaration(479) under Article II in the Chapter on the GATT 1994.
C. Second Ministerial Meeting, Geneva, 1998
1. This Second Session of the Ministerial Conference of the WTO is taking place at a particularly significant time for the multilateral trading system, when the fiftieth anniversary of its establishment is being commemorated. On this occasion we pay tribute to the system’s important contribution over the past half-century to growth, employment and stability by promoting the liberalization and expansion of trade and providing a framework for the conduct of international trade relations, in accordance with the objectives embodied in the Preambles to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade and the World Trade Organization Agreement. We agree, however, that more remains to be done to enable all the world’s peoples to share fully and equitably in these achievements.
2. We underline the crucial importance of the multilateral rule-based trading system. We reaffirm the commitments and assessments we made at Singapore, and we note that the work under existing agreements and decisions has resulted in significant new steps forward since we last met. In particular, we welcome the successful conclusion of the negotiations on basic telecommunications and financial services and we take note of the implementation of the Information Technology Agreement. We renew our commitment to achieve progressive liberalization of trade in goods and services.
3. The fiftieth anniversary comes at a time when the economies of a number of WTO Members are experiencing difficulties as a result of disturbances in financial markets. We take this opportunity to underline that keeping all markets open must be a key element in a durable solution to these difficulties. With this in mind, we reject the use of any protectionist measures and agree to work together in the WTO as in the IMF and the World Bank to improve the coherence of international economic policymaking with a view to maximizing the contribution that an open, rule-based trading system can make to fostering stable growth for economies at all levels of development.
4. We recognize the importance of enhancing public understanding of the benefits of the multilateral trading system in order to build support for it and agree to work towards this end. In this context we will consider how to improve the transparency of WTO operations. We shall also continue to improve our efforts towards the objectives of sustained economic growth and sustainable development.
5. We renew our commitment to ensuring that the benefits of the multilateral trading system are extended as widely as possible. We recognize the need for the system to make its own contribution in response to the particular trade interests and development needs of developing-country Members. We welcome the work already underway in the Committee on Trade and Development for reviewing the application of special provisions in the Multilateral Trade Agreements and related Ministerial Decisions in favour of developing-country Members, and in particular the least-developed among them. We agree on the need for effective implementation of these special provisions.
6. We remain deeply concerned over the marginalization of least-developed countries and certain small economies, and recognize the urgent need to address this issue which has been compounded by the chronic foreign debt problem facing many of them. In this context we welcome the initiatives taken by the WTO in cooperation with other agencies to implement in an integrated manner the Plan of Action for the least-developed countries which we agreed at Singapore, especially through the High-Level Meeting on Least-Developed Countries held in Geneva in October 1997. We also welcome the report of the Director-General on the follow-up of this initiative, to which we attach great importance. We commit ourselves to continue to improve market access conditions for products exported by the least-developed countries on as broad and liberal a basis as possible. We urge Members to implement the market-access commitments that they have undertaken at the High-Level Meeting.
7. We welcome the WTO Members who have joined since we met in Singapore: Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Mongolia, Niger and Panama. We welcome the progress made with 31 applicants currently negotiating their accession and renew our resolution to ensure that the accession processes proceed as rapidly as possible. We recall that accession to the WTO requires full respect of WTO rules and disciplines as well as meaningful market access commitments on the part of acceding candidates.
8. Full and faithful implementation of the WTO Agreement and Ministerial Decisions is imperative for the credibility of the multilateral trading system and indispensable for maintaining the momentum for expanding global trade, fostering job creation and raising standards of living in all parts of the world. When we meet at the Third Session we shall further pursue our evaluation of the implementation of individual agreements and the realization of their objectives. Such evaluation would cover, inter alia, the problems encountered in implementation and the consequent impact on the trade and development prospects of Members. We reaffirm our commitment to respect the existing schedules for reviews, negotiations and other work to which we have already agreed.
9. We recall that the Marrakesh Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization states that the WTO shall provide the forum for negotiations among its Members concerning their multilateral trade relations in matters dealt with under the agreements in the Annexes to the Agreement, and that it may also provide a forum for further negotiations among its Members concerning their multilateral trade relations, and a framework for the implementation of the results of such negotiations, as may be decided by the Ministerial Conference. In the light of paragraphs 1–8 above, we decide that a process will be established under the direction of the General Council to ensure full and faithful implementation of existing agreements, and to prepare for the Third Session of the Ministerial Conference. This process shall enable the General Council to submit recommendations regarding the WTO’s work programme, including further liberalization sufficiently broad-based to respond to the range of interests and concerns of all Members, within the WTO framework, that will enable us to take decisions at the Third Session of the Ministerial Conference. In this regard, the General Council will meet in special session in September 1998 and periodically thereafter to ensure full and timely completion of its work, fully respecting the principle of decision-making by consensus. The General Council’s work programme shall encompass the following:
(a) recommendations concerning:
(i) the issues, including those brought forward by Members, relating to implementation of existing agreements and decisions;
(ii) the negotiations already mandated at Marrakesh, to ensure that such negotiations begin on schedule;
(iii) future work already provided for under other existing agreements and decisions taken at Marrakesh;
(b) recommendations concerning other possible future work on the basis of the work programme initiated at Singapore;
(c) recommendations on the follow-up to the High-Level Meeting on Least-Developed Countries;
(d) recommendations arising from consideration of other matters proposed and agreed to by Members concerning their multilateral trade relations.
10. The General Council will also submit to the Third Session of the Ministerial Conference, on the basis of consensus, recommendations for decision concerning the further organization and management of the work programme arising from the above, including the scope, structure and time-frames, that will ensure that the work programme is begun and concluded expeditiously.
11. The above work programme shall be aimed at achieving overall balance of interests of all Members.(480)
2. Declaration on Global Electronic Commerce
Recognizing that global electronic commerce is growing and creating new opportunities for trade,
The General Council shall, by its next meeting in special session, establish a comprehensive work programme to examine all trade-related issues relating to global electronic commerce, including those issues identified by Members. The work programme will involve the relevant World Trade Organization (“WTO”) bodies, take into account the economic, financial, and development needs of developing countries, and recognize that work is also being undertaken in other international fora. The General Council should produce a report on the progress of the work programme and any recommendations for action to be submitted at our third session. Without prejudice to the outcome of the work programme or the rights and obligations of Members under the WTO Agreements, we also declare that Members will continue their current practice of not imposing customs duties on electronic transmissions. When reporting to our third session, the General Council will review this declaration, the extension of which will be decided by consensus, taking into account the progress of the work programme.(481)
313. See the material on this Declaration and the Work Programme on Electronic Commerce in paragraphs 32–37 of this Chapter.
D. Fourth Ministerial Meeting, Doha, 2001
Adopted on 14 November 2001(482)
1. The multilateral trading system embodied in the World Trade Organization has contributed significantly to economic growth, development and employment throughout the past fifty years. We are determined, particularly in the light of the global economic slowdown, to maintain the process of reform and liberalization of trade policies, thus ensuring that the system plays its full part in promoting recovery, growth and development. We therefore strongly reaffirm the principles and objectives set out in the Marrakesh Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization, and pledge to reject the use of protectionism.
2. International trade can play a major role in the promotion of economic development and the alleviation of poverty. We recognize the need for all our peoples to benefit from the increased opportunities and welfare gains that the multilateral trading system generates. The majority of WTO Members are developing countries. We seek to place their needs and interests at the heart of the Work Programme adopted in this Declaration. Recalling the Preamble to the Marrakesh Agreement, we shall continue to make positive efforts designed to ensure that developing countries, and especially the least developed among them, secure a share in the growth of world trade commensurate with the needs of their economic development. In this context, enhanced market access, balanced rules, and well targeted, sustainably financed technical assistance and capacity-building programmes have important roles to play.
3. We recognize the particular vulnerability of the least developed countries and the special structural difficulties they face in the global economy. We are committed to addressing the marginalization of least-developed countries in international trade and to improving their effective participation in the multilateral trading system. We recall the commitments made by Ministers at our meetings in Marrakesh, Singapore and Geneva, and by the international community at the Third UN Conference on Least-Developed Countries in Brussels, to help least-developed countries secure beneficial and meaningful integration into the multilateral trading system and the global economy. We are determined that the WTO will play its part in building effectively on these commitments under the Work Programme we are establishing.
4. We stress our commitment to the WTO as the unique forum for global trade rule-making and liberalization, while also recognizing that regional trade agreements can play an important role in promoting the liberalization and expansion of trade and in fostering development.
5. We are aware that the challenges Members face in a rapidly changing international environment cannot be addressed through measures taken in the trade field alone. We shall continue to work with the Bretton Woods institutions for greater coherence in global economic policy-making.
6. We strongly reaffirm our commitment to the objective of sustainable development, as stated in the Preamble to the Marrakesh Agreement. We are convinced that the aims of upholding and safeguarding an open and non-discriminatory multilateral trading system, and acting for the protection of the environment and the promotion of sustainable development can and must be mutually supportive. We take note of the efforts by Members to conduct national environmental assessments of trade policies on a voluntary basis. We recognize that under WTO rules no country should be prevented from taking measures for the protection of human, animal or plant life or health, or of the environment at the levels it considers appropriate, subject to the requirement that they are not applied in a manner which would constitute a means of arbitrary or unjustifiable discrimination between countries where the same conditions prevail, or a disguised restriction on international trade, and are otherwise in accordance with the provisions of the WTO Agreements. We welcome the WTO´s continued cooperation with UNEP and other inter-governmental environmental organizations. We encourage efforts to promote cooperation between the WTO and relevant international environmental and developmental organizations, especially in the lead-up to the World Summit on Sustainable Development to be held in Johannesburg, South Africa, in September 2002.
7. We reaffirm the right of Members under the General Agreement on Trade in Services to regulate, and to introduce new regulations on, the supply of services.
8. We reaffirm our declaration made at the Singapore Ministerial Conference regarding internationally recognized core labour standards. We take note of work under way in the International Labour Organization (ILO) on the social dimension of globalization.
9. We note with particular satisfaction that this Conference has completed the WTO accession procedures for China and Chinese Taipei. We also welcome the accession as new Members, since our last Session, of Albania, Croatia, Georgia, Jordan, Lithuania, Moldova and Oman, and note the extensive market access commitments already made by these countries on accession. These accessions will greatly strengthen the multilateral trading system, as will those of the 28 countries now negotiating their accession. We therefore attach great importance to concluding accession proceedings as quickly as possible. In particular, we are committed to accelerating the accession of least developed countries.
10. Recognizing the challenges posed by an expanding WTO membership, we confirm our collective responsibility to ensure internal transparency and the effective participation of all Members. While emphasizing the intergovernmental character of the organization, we are committed to making the WTO’s operations more transparent, including through more effective and prompt dissemination of information, and to improve dialogue with the public. We shall therefore at the national and multilateral levels continue to promote a better public understanding of the WTO and to communicate the benefits of a liberal, rules-based multilateral trading system.
11. In view of these considerations, we hereby agree to undertake the broad and balanced Work Programme set out below. This incorporates both an expanded negotiating agenda and other important decisions and activities necessary to address the challenges facing the multilateral trading system.
IMPLEMENTATION-RELATED ISSUES AND CONCERNS
12. We attach the utmost importance to the implementation-related issues and concerns raised by Members and are determined to find appropriate solutions to them. In this connection, and having regard to the General Council Decisions of 3 May and 15 December 2000, we further adopt the Decision on Implementation-Related Issues and Concerns in document WT/MIN(01)/17 to address a number of implementation problems faced by Members. We agree that negotiations on outstanding implementation issues shall be an integral part of the Work Programme we are establishing, and that agreements reached at an early stage in these negotiations shall be treated in accordance with the provisions of paragraph 47 below. In this regard, we shall proceed as follows: (a) where we provide a specific negotiating mandate in this Declaration, the relevant implementation issues shall be addressed under that mandate; (b) the other outstanding implementation issues shall be addressed as a matter of priority by the relevant WTO bodies, which shall report to the Trade Negotiations Committee, established under paragraph 46 below, by the end of 2002 for appropriate action.
13. We recognize the work already undertaken in the negotiations initiated in early 2000 under Article 20 of the Agreement on Agriculture, including the large number of negotiating proposals submitted on behalf of a total of 121 Members. We recall the long-term objective referred to in the Agreement to establish a fair and market oriented trading system through a programme of fundamental reform encompassing strengthened rules and specific commitments on support and protection in order to correct and prevent restrictions and distortions in world agricultural markets. We reconfirm our commitment to this programme. Building on the work carried out to date and without prejudging the outcome of the negotiations we commit ourselves to comprehensive negotiations aimed at: substantial improvements in market access; reductions of, with a view to phasing out, all forms of export subsidies; and substantial reductions in trade-distorting domestic support. We agree that special and differential treatment for developing countries shall be an integral part of all elements of the negotiations and shall be embodied in the Schedules of concessions and commitments and as appropriate in the rules and disciplines to be negotiated, so as to be operationally effective and to enable developing countries to effectively take account of their development needs, including food security and rural development. We take note of the non-trade concerns reflected in the negotiating proposals submitted by Members and confirm that non-trade concerns will be taken into account in the negotiations as provided for in the Agreement on Agriculture.
14. Modalities for the further commitments, including provisions for special and differential treatment, shall be established no later than 31 March 2003. Participants shall submit their comprehensive draft Schedules based on these modalities no later than the date of the Fifth Session of the Ministerial Conference. The negotiations, including with respect to rules and disciplines and related legal texts, shall be concluded as part and at the date of conclusion of the negotiating agenda as a whole.
15. The negotiations on trade in services shall be conducted with a view to promoting the economic growth of all trading partners and the development of developing and least-developed countries. We recognize the work already undertaken in the negotiations, initiated in January 2000 under Article XIX of the General Agreement on Trade in Services, and the large number of proposals submitted by Members on a wide range of sectors and several horizontal issues, as well as on movement of natural persons. We reaffirm the Guidelines and Procedures for the Negotiations adopted by the Council for Trade in Services on 28 March 2001 as the basis for continuing the negotiations, with a view to achieving the objectives of the General Agreement on Trade in Services, as stipulated in the Preamble, Article IV and Article XIX of that Agreement. Participants shall submit initial requests for specific commitments by 30 June 2002 and initial offers by 31 March 2003.
MARKET ACCESS FOR NON-AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS
16. We agree to negotiations which shall aim, by modalities to be agreed, to reduce or as appropriate eliminate tariffs, including the reduction or elimination of tariff peaks, high tariffs, and tariff escalation, as well as non-tariff barriers, in particular on products of export interest to developing countries. Product coverage shall be comprehensive and without a priori exclusions. The negotiations shall take fully into account the special needs and interests of developing and least-developed country participants, including through less than full reciprocity in reduction commitments, in accordance with the relevant provisions of Article XXVIII bis of GATT 1994 and the provisions cited in paragraph 50 below. To this end, the modalities to be agreed will include appropriate studies and capacity-building measures to assist least-developed countries to participate effectively in the negotiations.
TRADE-RELATED ASPECTS OF INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS
17. We stress the importance we attach to implementation and interpretation of the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS Agreement) in a manner supportive of public health, by promoting both access to existing medicines and research and development into new medicines and, in this connection, are adopting a separate Declaration.
18. With a view to completing the work started in the Council for Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (Council for TRIPS) on the implementation of Article 23.4, we agree to negotiate the establishment of a multilateral system of notification and registration of geographical indications for wines and spirits by the Fifth Session of the Ministerial Conference. We note that issues related to the extension of the protection of geographical indications provided for in Article 23 to products other than wines and spirits will be addressed in the Council for TRIPS pursuant to paragraph 12 of this Declaration.
19. We instruct the Council for TRIPS, in pursuing its work programme including under the review of Article 27.3(b), the review of the implementation of the TRIPS Agreement under Article 71.1 and the work foreseen pursuant to paragraph 12 of this Declaration, to examine, inter alia, the relationship between the TRIPS Agreement and the Convention on Biological Diversity, the protection of traditional knowledge and folklore, and other relevant new developments raised by Members pursuant to Article 71.1. In undertaking this work, the TRIPS Council shall be guided by the objectives and principles set out in Articles 7 and 8 of the TRIPS Agreement and shall take fully into account the development dimension.
RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN TRADE AND INVESTMENT
20. Recognizing the case for a multilateral framework to secure transparent, stable and predictable conditions for long-term cross-border investment, particularly foreign direct investment, that will contribute to the expansion of trade, and the need for enhanced technical assistance and capacity-building in this area as referred to in paragraph 21, we agree that negotiations will take place after the Fifth Session of the Ministerial Conference on the basis of a decision to be taken, by explicit consensus, at that Session on modalities of negotiations.
21. We recognize the needs of developing and least developed countries for enhanced support for technical assistance and capacity building in this area, including policy analysis and development so that they may better evaluate the implications of closer multilateral cooperation for their development policies and objectives, and human and institutional development. To this end, we shall work in cooperation with other relevant intergovernmental organisations, including UNCTAD, and through appropriate regional and bilateral channels, to provide strengthened and adequately resourced assistance to respond to these needs.
22. In the period until the Fifth Session, further work in the Working Group on the Relationship Between Trade and Investment will focus on the clarification of: scope and definition; transparency; non-discrimination; modalities for pre-establishment commitments based on a GATS-type, positive list approach; development provisions; exceptions and balance-of-payments safeguards; consultation and the settlement of disputes between Members. Any framework should reflect in a balanced manner the interests of home and host countries, and take due account of the development policies and objectives of host governments as well as their right to regulate in the public interest. The special development, trade and financial needs of developing and least developed countries should be taken into account as an integral part of any framework, which should enable Members to undertake obligations and commitments commensurate with their individual needs and circumstances. Due regard should be paid to other relevant WTO provisions. Account should be taken, as appropriate, of existing bilateral and regional arrangements on investment.
INTERACTION BETWEEN TRADE AND COMPETITION POLICY
23. Recognizing the case for a multilateral framework to enhance the contribution of competition policy to international trade and development, and the need for enhanced technical assistance and capacity-building in this area as referred to in paragraph 24, we agree that negotiations will take place after the Fifth Session of the Ministerial Conference on the basis of a decision to be taken, by explicit consensus, at that Session on modalities of negotiations.
24. We recognize the needs of developing and least developed countries for enhanced support for technical assistance and capacity building in this area, including policy analysis and development so that they may better evaluate the implications of closer multilateral cooperation for their development policies and objectives, and human and institutional development. To this end, we shall work in cooperation with other relevant intergovernmental organisations, including UNCTAD, and through appropriate regional and bilateral channels, to provide strengthened and adequately resourced assistance to respond to these needs.
25. In the period until the Fifth Session, further work in the Working Group on the Interaction between Trade and Competition Policy will focus on the clarification of: core principles, including transparency, non-discrimination and procedural fairness, and provisions on hardcore cartels; modalities for voluntary cooperation; and support for progressive reinforcement of competition institutions in developing countries through capacity building. Full account shall be taken of the needs of developing and least developed country participants and appropriate flexibility provided to address them.
TRANSPARENCY IN GOVERNMENT PROCUREMENT
26. Recognizing the case for a multilateral agreement on transparency in government procurement and the need for enhanced technical assistance and capacity building in this area, we agree that negotiations will take place after the Fifth Session of the Ministerial Conference on the basis of a decision to be taken, by explicit consensus, at that Session on modalities of negotiations. These negotiations will build on the progress made in the Working Group on Transparency in Government Procurement by that time and take into account participants’ development priorities, especially those of least-developed country participants. Negotiations shall be limited to the transparency aspects and therefore will not restrict the scope for countries to give preferences to domestic supplies and suppliers. We commit ourselves to ensuring adequate technical assistance and support for capacity building both during the negotiations and after their conclusion.
27. Recognizing the case for further expediting the movement, release and clearance of goods, including goods in transit, and the need for enhanced technical assistance and capacity building in this area, we agree that negotiations will take place after the Fifth Session of the Ministerial Conference on the basis of a decision to be taken, by explicit consensus, at that Session on modalities of negotiations. In the period until the Fifth Session, the Council for Trade in Goods shall review and as appropriate, clarify and improve relevant aspects of Articles V, VIII and X of the GATT 1994 and identify the trade facilitation needs and priorities of Members, in particular developing and least-developed countries. We commit ourselves to ensuring adequate technical assistance and support for capacity building in this area.
28. In the light of experience and of the increasing application of these instruments by Members, we agree to negotiations aimed at clarifying and improving disciplines under the Agreements on Implementation of Article VI of the GATT 1994 and on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures, while preserving the basic concepts, principles and effectiveness of these Agreements and their instruments and objectives, and taking into account the needs of developing and least-developed participants. In the initial phase of the negotiations, participants will indicate the provisions, including disciplines on trade distorting practices, that they seek to clarify and improve in the subsequent phase. In the context of these negotiations, participants shall also aim to clarify and improve WTO disciplines on fisheries subsidies, taking into account the importance of this sector to developing countries. We note that fisheries subsidies are also referred to in paragraph 31.
29. We also agree to negotiations aimed at clarifying and improving disciplines and procedures under the existing WTO provisions applying to regional trade agreements. The negotiations shall take into account the developmental aspects of regional trade agreements.
DISPUTE SETTLEMENT UNDERSTANDING
30. We agree to negotiations on improvements and clarifications of the Dispute Settlement Understanding. The negotiations should be based on the work done thus far as well as any additional proposals by Members, and aim to agree on improvements and clarifications not later than May 2003, at which time we will take steps to ensure that the results enter into force as soon as possible thereafter.
TRADE AND ENVIRONMENT
31. With a view to enhancing the mutual supportiveness of trade and environment, we agree to negotiations, without prejudging their outcome, on:
(i) the relationship between existing WTO rules and specific trade obligations set out in multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs). The negotiations shall be limited in scope to the applicability of such existing WTO rules as among parties to the MEA in question. The negotiations shall not prejudice the WTO rights of any Member that is not a party to the MEA in question;
(ii) procedures for regular information exchange between MEA Secretariats and the relevant WTO committees, and the criteria for the granting of observer status;
(iii) the reduction or, as appropriate, elimination of tariff and non-tariff barriers to environmental goods and services.
We note that fisheries subsidies form part of the negotiations provided for in paragraph 28.
32. We instruct the Committee on Trade and Environment, in pursuing work on all items on its agenda within its current terms of reference, to give particular attention to:
(i) the effect of environmental measures on market access, especially in relation to developing countries, in particular the least-developed among them, and those situations in which the elimination or reduction of trade restrictions and distortions would benefit trade, the environment and development;
(ii) the relevant provisions of the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights; and
(iii) labelling requirements for environmental purposes.
Work on these issues should include the identification of any need to clarify relevant WTO rules. The Committee shall report to the Fifth Session of the Ministerial Conference, and make recommendations, where appropriate, with respect to future action, including the desirability of negotiations. The outcome of this work as well as the negotiations carried out under paragraph 31(i) and (ii) shall be compatible with the open and nondiscriminatory nature of the multilateral trading system, shall not add to or diminish the rights and obligations of Members under existing WTO agreements, in particular the Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures, nor alter the balance of these rights and obligations, and will take into account the needs of developing and least-developed countries.
33. We recognize the importance of technical assistance and capacity building in the field of trade and environment to developing countries, in particular the least-developed among them. We also encourage that expertise and experience be shared with Members wishing to perform environmental reviews at the national level. A report shall be prepared on these activities for the Fifth Session.
34. We take note of the work which has been done in the General Council and other relevant bodies since the Ministerial Declaration of 20 May 1998 and agree to continue the Work Programme on Electronic Commerce. The work to date demonstrates that electronic commerce creates new challenges and opportunities for trade for Members at all stages of development, and we recognize the importance of creating and maintaining an environment which is favourable to the future development of electronic commerce. We instruct the General Council to consider the most appropriate institutional arrangements for handling the Work Programme, and to report on further progress to the Fifth Session of the Ministerial Conference. We declare that Members will maintain their current practice of not imposing customs duties on electronic transmissions until the Fifth Session.
35. We agree to a work programme, under the auspices of the General Council, to examine issues relating to the trade of small economies. The objective of this work is to frame responses to the trade-related issues identified for the fuller integration of small, vulnerable economies into the multilateral trading system, and not to create a sub-category of WTO Members. The General Council shall review the work programme and make recommendations for action to the Fifth Session of the Ministerial Conference.
TRADE, DEBT AND FINANCE
36. We agree to an examination, in a Working Group under the auspices of the General Council, of the relationship between trade, debt and finance, and of any possible recommendations on steps that might be taken within the mandate and competence of the WTO to enhance the capacity of the multilateral trading system to contribute to a durable solution to the problem of external indebtedness of developing and least-developed countries, and to strengthen the coherence of international trade and financial policies, with a view to safeguarding the multilateral trading system from the effects of financial and monetary instability. The General Council shall report to the Fifth Session of the Ministerial Conference on progress in the examination.
TRADE AND TRANSFER OF TECHNOLOGY
37. We agree to an examination, in a Working Group under the auspices of the General Council, of the relationship between trade and transfer of technology, and of any possible recommendations on steps that might be taken within the mandate of the WTO to increase flows of technology to developing countries. The General Council shall report to the Fifth Session of the Ministerial Conference on progress in the examination.
TECHNICAL COOPERATION AND CAPACITY BUILDING
38. We confirm that technical cooperation and capacity building are core elements of the development dimension of the multilateral trading system, and we welcome and endorse the New Strategy for WTO Technical Cooperation for Capacity Building, Growth and Integration. We instruct the Secretariat, in coordination with other relevant agencies, to support domestic efforts for mainstreaming trade into national plans for economic development and strategies for poverty reduction. The delivery of WTO technical assistance shall be designed to assist developing and least-developed countries and low-income countries in transition to adjust to WTO rules and disciplines, implement obligations and exercise the rights of membership, including drawing on the benefits of an open, rules-based multilateral trading system. Priority shall also be accorded to small, vulnerable, and transition economies, as well as to Members and Observers without representation in Geneva. We reaffirm our support for the valuable work of the International Trade Centre, which should be enhanced.
39. We underscore the urgent necessity for the effective coordinated delivery of technical assistance with bilateral donors, in the OECD Development Assistance Committee and relevant international and regional intergovernmental institutions, within a coherent policy framework and timetable. In the coordinated delivery of technical assistance, we instruct the Director-General to consult with the relevant agencies, bilateral donors and beneficiaries, to identify ways of enhancing and rationalizing the Integrated Framework for Trade-Related Technical Assistance to Least-Developed Countries and the Joint Integrated Technical Assistance Programme (JITAP).
40. We agree that there is a need for technical assistance to benefit from secure and predictable funding. We therefore instruct the Committee on Budget, Finance and Administration to develop a plan for adoption by the General Council in December 2001 that will ensure longterm funding for WTO technical assistance at an overall level no lower than that of the current year and commensurate with the activities outlined above.
41. We have established firm commitments on technical cooperation and capacity building in various paragraphs in this Ministerial Declaration. We reaffirm these specific commitments contained in paragraphs 16, 21, 24, 26, 27, 33, 38–40, 42 and 43, and also reaffirm the understanding in paragraph 2 on the important role of sustainably financed technical assistance and capacity building programmes. We instruct the Director-General to report to the Fifth Session of the Ministerial Conference, with an interim report to the General Council in December 2002 on the implementation and adequacy of these commitments in the identified paragraphs.
42. We acknowledge the seriousness of the concerns expressed by the least-developed countries (LDCs) in the Zanzibar Declaration adopted by their Ministers in July 2001. We recognize that the integration of the LDCs into the multilateral trading system requires meaningful market access, support for the diversification of their production and export base, and trade-related technical assistance and capacity building. We agree that the meaningful integration of LDCs into the trading system and the global economy will involve efforts by all WTO Members. We commit ourselves to the objective of duty-free, quota-free market access for products originating from LDCs. In this regard, we welcome the significant market access improvements by WTO Members in advance of the Third UN Conference on LDCs (LDC-III), in Brussels, May 2001. We further commit ourselves to consider additional measures for progressive improvements in market access for LDCs. Accession of LDCs remains a priority for the Membership.We agree to work to facilitate and accelerate negotiations with acceding LDCs. We instruct the Secretariat to reflect the priority we attach to LDCs’ accessions in the annual plans for technical assistance. We reaffirm the commitments we undertook at LDC-III, and agree that the WTO should take into account, in designing its work programme for LDCs, the trade-related elements of the Brussels Declaration and Programme of Action, consistent with the WTO’s mandate, adopted at LDC-III. We instruct the Sub-Committee for Least-Developed Countries to design such a work programme and to report on the agreed work programme to the General Council at its first meeting in 2002.
43. We endorse the Integrated Framework for Trade-Related Technical Assistance to Least-Developed Countries (IF) as a viable model for LDCs’ trade development. We urge development partners to significantly increase contributions to the IF Trust Fund and WTO extra-budgetary trust funds in favour of LDCs. We urge the core agencies, in coordination with development partners, to explore the enhancement of the IF with a view to addressing the supply-side constraints of LDCs and the extension of the model to all LDCs, following the review of the IF and the appraisal of the ongoing Pilot Scheme in selected LDCs. We request the Director-General, following coordination with heads of the other agencies, to provide an interim report to the General Council in December 2002 and a full report to the Fifth Session of the Ministerial Conference on all issues affecting LDCs.
SPECIAL AND DIFFERENTIAL TREATMENT
44. We reaffirm that provisions for special and differential treatment are an integral part of the WTO Agreements. We note the concerns expressed regarding their operation in addressing specific constraints faced by developing countries, particularly least-developed countries. In that connection, we also note that some Members have proposed a Framework Agreement on Special and Differential Treatment (WT/GC/W/442). We therefore agree that all special and differential treatment provisions shall be reviewed with a view to strengthening them and making them more precise, effective and operational. In this connection, we endorse the work programme on special and differential treatment set out in the Decision on Implementation-Related Issues and Concerns.
ORGANIZATION AND MANAGEMENT OF THE WORK PROGRAMME
45. The negotiations to be pursued under the terms of this Declaration shall be concluded not later than 1 January 2005. The Fifth Session of the Ministerial Conference will take stock of progress in the negotiations, provide any necessary political guidance, and take decisions as necessary. When the results of the negotiations in all areas have been established, a Special Session of the Ministerial Conference will be held to take decisions regarding the adoption and implementation of those results.
46. The overall conduct of the negotiations shall be supervised by a Trade Negotiations Committee under the authority of the General Council. The Trade Negotiations Committee shall hold its first meeting not later than 31 January 2002. It shall establish appropriate negotiating mechanisms as required and supervise the progress of the negotiations.
47. With the exception of the improvements and clarifications of the Dispute Settlement Understanding, the conduct, conclusion and entry into force of the outcome of the negotiations shall be treated as parts of a single undertaking. However, agreements reached at an early stage may be implemented on a provisional or a definitive basis. Early agreements shall be taken into account in assessing the overall balance of the negotiations.
48. Negotiations shall be open to:
(i) all Members of the WTO; and
(ii) States and separate customs territories currently in the process of accession and those that inform Members, at a regular meeting of the General Council, of their intention to negotiate the terms of their membership and for whom an accession working party is established.
Decisions on the outcomes of the negotiations shall be taken only by WTO Members.
49. The negotiations shall be conducted in a transparent manner among participants, in order to facilitate the effective participation of all. They shall be conducted with a view to ensuring benefits to all participants and to achieving an overall balance in the outcome of the negotiations.
50. The negotiations and the other aspects of the Work Programme shall take fully into account the principle of special and differential treatment for developing and least developed countries embodied in: Part IV of the GATT 1994; the Decision of 28 November 1979 on Differential and More Favourable Treatment, Reciprocity and Fuller Participation of Developing Countries; the Uruguay Round Decision on Measures in Favour of Least-Developed Countries; and all other relevant WTO provisions.
51. The Committee on Trade and Development and the Committee on Trade and Environment shall, within their respective mandates, each act as a forum to identify and debate developmental and environmental aspects of the negotiations, in order to help achieve the objective of having sustainable development appropriately reflected.
52. Those elements of the Work Programme which do not involve negotiations are also accorded a high priority. They shall be pursued under the overall supervision of the General Council, which shall report on progress to the Fifth Session of the Ministerial Conference.
2. Declaration on the TRIPS Agreement and Public Health
314. The text of the Declaration on the TRIPS Agreement and Public Health(483) appears in the Chapter on the TRIPS Agreement.
3. Decision on Implementation-Related Issues and Concerns
315. This Decision(484), adopted on 14 December 2001, included a number of provisions concerning the implementation of specific Multilateral Trade Agreements annexed to the WTO Agreement. Those provisions are dealt with in the appropriate Chapters of this work.
4. Procedures for Extensions under Article 27.4 of the SCM Agreement for Certain Developing Country Members
316. These Procedures(485), which were adopted at Doha, are covered in the Chapter on the SCM Agreement.
5. EC–ACP Partnership Agreement
317. This waiver decision(486), adopted on 14 November 2001 at Doha, has expired.
6. EC — Transitional Regime for the EC Autonomous Tariff Rate Quotas on Imports of Bananas
318. This waiver decision(487), adopted on 14 November at Doha, has expired.
E. Follow-up to Fifth Ministerial Meeting — General Council Decision, 2004
Doha Work Programme
Decision Adopted by the General Council on 1 August 2004(488)
1. The General Council reaffirms the Ministerial Declarations and Decisions adopted at Doha and the full commitment of all Members to give effect to them. The Council emphasizes Members’ resolve to complete the Doha Work Programme fully and to conclude successfully the negotiations launched at Doha. Taking into account the Ministerial Statement adopted at Cancu´n on 14 September 2003, and the statements by the Council Chairman and the Director-General at the Council meeting of 15–16 December 2003, the Council takes note of the report by the Chairman of the Trade Negotiations Committee (TNC) and agrees to take action as follows:
a. Agriculture: the General Council adopts the framework set out in Annex A to this document.
b. Cotton: the General Council reaffirms the importance of the Sectoral Initiative on Cotton and takes note of the parameters set out in Annex A within which the trade-related aspects of this issue will be pursued in the agriculture negotiations. The General Council also attaches importance to the development aspects of the Cotton Initiative and wishes to stress the complementarity between the trade and development aspects. The Council takes note of the recent Workshop on Cotton in Cotonou on 23–24 March 2004 organized by the WTO Secretariat, and other bilateral and multilateral efforts to make progress on the development assistance aspects and instructs the Secretariat to continue to work with the development community and to provide the Council with periodic reports on relevant developments.
Members should work on related issues of development multilaterally with the international financial institutions, continue their bilateral programmes, and all developed countries are urged to participate. In this regard, the General Council instructs the Director-General to consult with the relevant international organizations, including the Bretton Woods Institutions, the Food and Agriculture Organization and the International Trade Centre to direct effectively existing programmes and any additional resources towards development of the economies where cotton has vital importance.
c. Non-agricultural Market Access: the General Council adopts the framework set out in Annex B to this document.
Principles: development concerns form an integral part of the Doha Ministerial Declaration. The General Council rededicates and recommits Members to fulfilling the development dimension of the Doha Development Agenda, which places the needs and interests of developing and least-developed countries at the heart of the Doha Work Programme. The Council reiterates the important role that enhanced market access, balanced rules, and well targeted, sustainably financed technical assistance and capacity building programmes can play in the economic development of these countries.
Special and Differential Treatment: the General Council reaffirms that provisions for special and differential (S&D) treatment are an integral part of the WTO Agreements. The Council recalls Ministers’ decision in Doha to review all S&D treatment provisions with a view to strengthening them and making them more precise, effective and operational. The Council recognizes the progress that has been made so far. The Council instructs the Committee on Trade and Development in Special Session to expeditiously complete the review of all the outstanding Agreement specific proposals and report to the General Council, with clear recommendations for a decision, by July 2005. The Council further instructs the Committee, within the parameters of the Doha mandate, to address all other outstanding work, including on the cross-cutting issues, the monitoring mechanism and the incorporation of S&D treatment into the architecture of WTO rules, as referred to in TN/CTD/7 and report, as appropriate, to the General Council.
The Council also instructs all WTO bodies to which proposals in Category II have been referred to expeditiously complete the consideration of these proposals and report to the General Council, with clear recommendations for a decision, as soon as possible and no later than July 2005. In doing so these bodies will ensure that, as far as possible, their meetings do not overlap so as to enable full and effective participation of developing countries in these discussions.
Technical Assistance: the General Council recognizes the progress that has been made since the Doha Ministerial Conference in expanding Trade-Related Technical Assistance (TRTA) to developing countries and low-income countries in transition. In furthering this effort the Council affirms that such countries, and in particular least-developed countries, should be provided with enhanced TRTA and capacity building, to increase their effective participation in the negotiations, to facilitate their implementation of WTO rules, and to enable them to adjust and diversify their economies. In this context the Council welcomes and further encourages the improved coordination with other agencies, including under the Integrated Framework for TRTA for the LDCs (IF) and the Joint Integrated Technical Assistance Programme (JITAP).
Implementation: concerning implementation-related issues, the General Council reaffirms the mandates Ministers gave in paragraph 12 of the Doha Ministerial Declaration and the Doha Decision on Implementation-Related Issues and Concerns, and renews Members’ determination to find appropriate solutions to outstanding issues. The Council instructs the Trade Negotiations Committee, negotiating bodies and other WTO bodies concerned to redouble their efforts to find appropriate solutions as a priority. Without prejudice to the positions of Members, the Council requests the Director-General to continue with his consultative process on all outstanding implementation issues under paragraph 12(b) of the Doha Ministerial Declaration, including on issues related to the extension of the protection of geographical indications provided for in Article 23 of the TRIPS Agreement to products other than wines and spirits, if need be by appointing Chairpersons of concerned WTO bodies as his Friends and/or by holding dedicated consultations. The Director-General shall report to the TNC and the General Council no later than May 2005. The Council shall review progress and take any appropriate action no later than July 2005.
Other Development Issues: in the ongoing market access negotiations, recognising the fundamental principles of the WTO and relevant provisions of GATT 1994, special attention shall be given to the specific trade and development related needs and concerns of developing countries, including capacity constraints. These particular concerns of developing countries, including relating to food security, rural development, livelihood, preferences, commodities and net food imports, as well as prior unilateral liberalisation, should be taken into consideration, as appropriate, in the course of the Agriculture and NAMA negotiations. The trade-related issues identified for the fuller integration of small, vulnerable economies into the multilateral trading system, should also be addressed, without creating a sub-category of Members, as part of a work programme, as mandated in paragraph 35 of the Doha Ministerial Declaration.
Least-Developed Countries: the General Council reaffirms the commitments made at Doha concerning least-developed countries and renews its determination to fulfil these commitments. Members will continue to take due account of the concerns of least developed countries in the negotiations. The Council confirms that nothing in this Decision shall detract in any way from the special provisions agreed by Members in respect of these countries.
e. Services: the General Council takes note of the report to the TNC by the Special Session of the Council for Trade in Services(1) and reaffirms Members’ commitment to progress in this area of the negotiations in line with the Doha mandate. The Council adopts the recommendations agreed by the Special Session, set out in Annex C to this document, on the basis of which further progress in the services negotiations will be pursued. Revised offers should be tabled by May 2005.
(footnote original) 1 This report is contained in document TN/S/16.
f. Other negotiating bodies:
Rules, Trade & Environment and TRIPS: the General Council takes note of the reports to the TNC by the Negotiating Group on Rules and by the Special Sessions of the Committee on Trade and Environment and the TRIPS Council.(2) The Council reaffirms Members’ commitment to progress in all of these areas of the negotiations in line with the Doha mandates.
(footnote original) 2 The reports to the TNC referenced in this paragraph are contained in the following documents: Negotiating Group on Rules — TN/RL/9; Special Session of the Committee on Trade and Environment — TN/TE/9; Special Session of the Council for TRIPS — TN/IP/10.
Dispute Settlement: the General Council takes note of the report to the TNC by the Special Session of the Dispute Settlement Body(3) and reaffirms Members’ commitment to progress in this area of the negotiations in line with the Doha mandate. The Council adopts the TNC’s recommendation that work in the Special Session should continue on the basis set out by the Chairman of that body in his report to the TNC.
(footnote original) 3 This report is contained in document TN/DS/10.
g. Trade Facilitation: taking note of the work done on trade facilitation by the Council for Trade in Goods under the mandate in paragraph 27 of the Doha Ministerial Declaration and the work carried out under the auspices of the General Council both prior to the Fifth Ministerial Conference and after its conclusion, the General Council decides by explicit consensus to commence negotiations on the basis of the modalities set out in Annex D to this document.
Relationship between Trade and Investment, Interaction between Trade and Competition Policy and Transparency in Government Procurement: the Council agrees that these issues, mentioned in the Doha Ministerial Declaration in paragraphs 20–22, 23–25 and 26 respectively, will not form part of the Work Programme set out in that Declaration and therefore no work towards negotiations on any of these issues will take place within the WTO during the Doha Round.
h. Other elements of the Work Programme: the General Council reaffirms the high priority Ministers at Doha gave to those elements of the Work Programme which do not involve negotiations. Noting that a number of these issues are of particular interest to developing-country Members, the Council emphasizes its commitment to fulfil the mandates given by Ministers in all these areas. To this end, the General Council and other relevant bodies shall report in line with their Doha mandates to the Sixth Session of the Ministerial Conference. The moratoria covered by paragraph 11.1 of the Doha Ministerial Decision on Implementation-related Issues and Concerns and paragraph 34 of the Doha Ministerial Declaration are extended up to the Sixth Ministerial Conference.
2. The General Council agrees that this Decision and its Annexes shall not be used in any dispute settlement proceeding under the DSU and shall not be used for interpreting the existing WTO Agreements.
3. The General Council calls on all Members to redouble their efforts towards the conclusion of a balanced overall outcome of the Doha Development Agenda in fulfilment of the commitments Ministers took at Doha. The Council agrees to continue the negotiations launched at Doha beyond the timeframe set out in paragraph 45 of the Doha Declaration, leading to the Sixth Session of the Ministerial Conference. Recalling its decision of 21 October 2003 to accept the generous offer of the Government of Hong Kong, China to host the Sixth Session, the Council further agrees that this Session will be held in December 2005.
Annex A — Framework for Establishing Modalities in Agriculture [omitted]
Annex B — Framework for Establishing Modalities in Market Access for Non-Agricultural Products [omitted]
Annex C — Recommendations of the Special Session of the Council for Trade in Services [omitted]
Annex D — Modalities for Negotiations on Trade Facilitation [omitted]
F. Sixth Ministerial Meeting — Hong Kong, 2005
Adopted on 18 December 2005(489)
1. We reaffirm the Declarations and Decisions we adopted at Doha, as well as the Decision adopted by the General Council on 1 August 2004, and our full commitment to give effect to them. We renew our resolve to complete the Doha Work Programme fully and to conclude the negotiations launched at Doha successfully in 2006.
2. We emphasize the central importance of the development dimension in every aspect of the Doha Work Programme and recommit ourselves to making it a meaningful reality, in terms both of the results of the negotiations on market access and rule-making and of the specific development-related issues set out below.
3. In pursuance of these objectives, we agree as follows:
4. We reaffirm our commitment to the mandate on agriculture as set out in paragraph 13 of the Doha Ministerial Declaration and to the Framework adopted by the General Council on 1 August 2004. We take note of the report by the Chairman of the Special Session on his own responsibility (TN/AG/21, contained in Annex A).We welcome the progress made by the Special Session of the Committee on Agriculture since 2004 and recorded therein.
5. On domestic support, there will be three bands for reductions in Final Bound Total AMS and in the overall cut in trade-distorting domestic support, with higher linear cuts in higher bands. In both cases, the Member with the highest level of permitted support will be in the top band, the two Members with the second and third highest levels of support will be in the middle band and all other Members, including all developing country Members, will be in the bottom band. In addition, developed country Members in the lower bands with high relative levels of Final Bound Total AMS will make an additional effort in AMS reduction. We also note that there has been some convergence concerning the reductions in Final Bound Total AMS, the overall cut in trade-distorting domestic support and in both product-specific and non product specific de minimis limits. Disciplines will be developed to achieve effective cuts in trade-distorting domestic support consistent with the Framework. The overall reduction in trade-distorting domestic support will still need to be made even if the sum of the reductions in Final Bound Total AMS, de minimis and Blue Box payments would otherwise be less than that overall reduction. Developing country Members with no AMS commitments will be exempt from reductions in de minimis and the overall cut in trade-distorting domestic support. Green Box criteria will be reviewed in line with paragraph 16 of the Framework, inter alia, to ensure that programmes of developing country Members that cause not more than minimal trade distortion are effectively covered.
6. We agree to ensure the parallel elimination of all forms of export subsidies and disciplines on all export measures with equivalent effect to be completed by the end of 2013. This will be achieved in a progressive and parallel manner, to be specified in the modalities, so that a substantial part is realized by the end of the first half of the implementation period. We note emerging convergence on some elements of disciplines with respect to export credits, export credit guarantees or insurance programmes with repayment periods of 180 days and below. We agree that such programmes should be self financing, reflecting market consistency, and that the period should be of a sufficiently short duration so as not to effectively circumvent real commercially-oriented discipline. As a means of ensuring that trade-distorting practices of STEs are eliminated, disciplines relating to exporting STEs will extend to the future use of monopoly powers so that such powers cannot be exercised in any way that would circumvent the direct disciplines on STEs on export subsidies, government financing and the underwriting of losses. On food aid, we reconfirm our commitment to maintain an adequate level and to take into account the interests of food aid recipient countries. To this end, a “safe box” for bona fide food aid will be provided to ensure that there is no unintended impediment to dealing with emergency situations. Beyond that, we will ensure elimination of commercial displacement. To this end, we will agree effective disciplines on in-kind food aid, monetization and re-exports so that there can be no loop-hole for continuing export subsidization. The disciplines on export credits, export credit guarantees or insurance programmes, exporting state trading enterprises and food aid will be completed by 30 April 2006 as part of the modalities, including appropriate provision in favour of least-developed and net food-importing developing countries as provided for in paragraph 4 of the Marrakesh Decision. The date above for the elimination of all forms of export subsidies, together with the agreed progressivity and parallelism, will be confirmed only upon the completion of the modalities. Developing country Members will continue to benefit from the provisions of Article 9.4 of the Agreement on Agriculture for five years after the end-date for elimination of all forms of export subsidies.
7. On market access, we note the progress made on ad valorem equivalents. We adopt four bands for structuring tariff cuts, recognizing that we need now to agree on the relevant thresholds — including those applicable for developing country Members. We recognize the need to agree on treatment of sensitive products, taking into account all the elements involved. We also note that there have been some recent movements on the designation and treatment of Special Products and elements of the Special Safeguard Mechanism. Developing country Members will have the flexibility to self-designate an appropriate number of tariff lines as Special Products guided by indicators based on the criteria of food security, livelihood security and rural development. Developing country Members will also have the right to have recourse to a Special Safeguard Mechanism based on import quantity and price triggers, with precise arrangements to be further defined. Special Products and the Special Safeguard Mechanism shall be an integral part of the modalities and the outcome of negotiations in agriculture.
8. On other elements of special and differential treatment, we note in particular the consensus that exists in the Framework on several issues in all three pillars of domestic support, export competition and market access and that some progress has been made on other special and differential treatment issues.
9. We reaffirm that nothing we have agreed here compromises the agreement already reflected in the Framework on other issues including tropical products and products of particular importance to the diversification of production from the growing of illicit narcotic crops, long-standing preferences and preference erosion.
10. However, we recognize that much remains to be done in order to establish modalities and to conclude the negotiations. Therefore, we agree to intensify work on all outstanding issues to fulfil the Doha objectives, in particular, we are resolved to establish modalities no later than 30 April 2006 and to submit comprehensive draft Schedules based on these modalities no later than 31 July 2006.
11. We recall the mandate given by the Members in the Decision adopted by the General Council on 1 August 2004 to address cotton ambitiously, expeditiously and specifically, within the agriculture negotiations in relation to all trade-distorting policies affecting the sector in all three pillars of market access, domestic support and export competition, as specified in the Doha text and the July 2004 Framework text. We note the work already undertaken in the Sub-Committee on Cotton and the proposals made with regard to this matter. Without prejudice to Members’ current WTO rights and obligations, including those flowing from actions taken by the Dispute Settlement Body, we reaffirm our commitment to ensure having an explicit decision on cotton within the agriculture negotiations and through the Sub-Committee on Cotton ambitiously, expeditiously and specifically as follows:
- All forms of export subsidies for cotton will be eliminated by
developed countries in 2006.
- On market access, developed countries will give duty and quota
free access for cotton exports from least developed countries (LDCs) from
the commencement of the implementation period.
- Members agree that the objective is that, as an outcome for the negotiations, trade-distorting domestic subsidies for cotton production be reduced more ambitiously than under whatever general formula is agreed and that it should be implemented over a shorter period of time than generally applicable. We commit ourselves to give priority in the negotiations to reach such an outcome.
12. With regard to the development assistance aspects of cotton, we welcome the Consultative Framework process initiated by the Director-General to implement the decisions on these aspects pursuant to paragraph 1.b of the Decision adopted by the General Council on 1 August 2004. We take note of his Periodic Reports and the positive evolution of development assistance noted therein. We urge the Director-General to further intensify his consultative efforts with bilateral donors and with multilateral and regional institutions, with emphasis on improved coherence, coordination and enhanced implementation and to explore the possibility of establishing through such institutions a mechanism to deal with income declines in the cotton sector until the end of subsidies. Noting the importance of achieving enhanced efficiency and competitiveness in the cotton-producing process, we urge the development community to further scale up its cotton-specific assistance and to support the efforts of the Director-General. In this context, we urge Members to promote and support South–South cooperation, including transfer of technology. We welcome the domestic reform efforts by African cotton producers aimed at enhancing productivity and efficiency, and encourage them to deepen this process. We reaffirm the complementarity of the trade policy and development assistance aspects of cotton. We invite the Director-General to furnish a third Periodic Report to our next Session with updates, at appropriate intervals in the meantime, to the General Council, while keeping the Sub-Committee on Cotton fully informed of progress. Finally, as regards follow-up and monitoring, we request the Director-General to set up an appropriate follow-up and monitoring mechanism.
13. We reaffirm our commitment to the mandate for negotiations on market access for non-agricultural products as set out in paragraph 16 of the Doha Ministerial Declaration. We also reaffirm all the elements of the NAMA Framework adopted by the General Council on 1 August 2004. We take note of the report by the Chairman of the Negotiating Group on Market Access on his own responsibility (TN/MA/16, contained in Annex B). We welcome the progress made by the Negotiating Group on Market Access since 2004 and recorded therein.
14. We adopt a Swiss Formula with coefficients at levels which shall inter alia:
- Reduce or as appropriate eliminate tariffs, including the
reduction or elimination of tariff peaks, high tariffs and tariff
escalation, in particular on products of export interest to developing
- Take fully into account the special needs and interests of developing countries, including through less than full reciprocity in reduction commitments.
We instruct the Negotiating Group to finalize its structure and details as soon as possible.
15. We reaffirm the importance of special and differential treatment and less than full reciprocity in reduction commitments, including paragraph 8 of the NAMA Framework, as integral parts of the modalities. We instruct the Negotiating Group to finalize its details as soon as possible.
16. In furtherance of paragraph 7 of the NAMA Framework, we recognize that Members are pursuing sectoral initiatives. To this end, we instruct the Negotiating Group to review proposals with a view to identifying those which could garner sufficient participation to be realized. Participation should be on a nonmandatory basis.
17. For the purpose of the second indent of paragraph 5 of the NAMA Framework, we adopt a non-linear markup approach to establish base rates for commencing tariff reductions. We instruct the Negotiating Group to finalize its details as soon as possible.
18. We take note of the progress made to convert non ad valorem duties to ad valorem equivalents on the basis of an agreed methodology as contained in JOB(05)/166/Rev.1.
19. We take note of the level of common understanding reached on the issue of product coverage and direct the Negotiating Group to resolve differences on the limited issues that remain as quickly as possible.
20. As a supplement to paragraph 16 of the NAMA Framework, we recognize the challenges that may be faced by non-reciprocal preference beneficiary Members as a consequence of the MFN liberalization that will result from these negotiations. We instruct the Negotiating Group to intensify work on the assessment of the scope of the problem with a view to finding possible solutions.
21. We note the concerns raised by small, vulnerable economies, and instruct the Negotiating Group to establish ways to provide flexibilities for these Members without creating a sub-category of WTO Members.
22. We note that the Negotiating Group has made progress in the identification, categorization and examination of notified NTBs.We also take note thatMembers are developing bilateral, vertical and horizontal approaches to the NTB negotiations, and that some of the NTBs are being addressed in other fora including other Negotiating Groups. We recognize the need for specific negotiating proposals and encourage participants to make such submissions as quickly as possible.
23. However, we recognize that much remains to be done in order to establish modalities and to conclude the negotiations. Therefore, we agree to intensify work on all outstanding issues to fulfil the Doha objectives, in particular, we are resolved to establish modalities no later than 30 April 2006 and to submit comprehensive draft Schedules based on these modalities no later than 31 July 2006.
24. We recognize that it is important to advance the development objectives of this Round through enhanced market access for developing countries in both Agriculture and NAMA. To that end, we instruct our negotiators to ensure that there is a comparably high level of ambition in market access for Agriculture and NAMA. This ambition is to be achieved in a balanced and proportionate manner consistent with the principle of special and differential treatment.
25. The negotiations on trade in services shall proceed to their conclusion with a view to promoting the economic growth of all trading partners and the development of developing and least-developed countries, and with due respect for the right of Members to regulate. In this regard, we recall and reaffirm the objectives and principles stipulated in the GATS, the Doha Ministerial Declaration, the Guidelines and Procedures for the Negotiations on Trade in Services adopted by the Special Session of the Council for Trade in Services on 28 March 2001 and the Modalities for the Special Treatment for Least-Developed Country Members in the Negotiations on Trade in Services adopted on 3 September 2003, as well as Annex C of the Decision adopted by the General Council on 1 August 2004.
26. We urge all Members to participate actively in these negotiations towards achieving a progressively higher level of liberalization of trade in services, with appropriate flexibility for individual developing countries as provided for in Article XIX of the GATS. Negotiations shall have regard to the size of economies of individual Members, both overall and in individual sectors. We recognize the particular economic situation of LDCs, including the difficulties they face, and acknowledge that they are not expected to undertake new commitments.
27. We are determined to intensify the negotiations in accordance with the above principles and the Objectives, Approaches and Timelines set out in Annex C to this document with a view to expanding the sectoral and modal coverage of commitments and improving their quality. In this regard, particular attention will be given to sectors and modes of supply of export interest to developing countries.
28. We recall the mandates in paragraphs 28 and 29 of the Doha Ministerial Declaration and reaffirm our commitment to the negotiations on rules, as we set forth in Annex D to this document.
29. We take note of the report of the Chairman of the Special Session of the Council for TRIPS setting out the progress in the negotiations on the establishment of a multilateral system of notification and registration of geographical indications for wines and spirits, as mandated in Article 23.4 of the TRIPS Agreement and paragraph 18 of the Doha Ministerial Declaration, contained in document TN/IP/14, and agree to intensify these negotiations in order to complete them within the overall time-frame for the conclusion of the negotiations that were foreseen in the Doha Ministerial Declaration.
30. We reaffirm the mandate in paragraph 31 of the Doha Ministerial Declaration aimed at enhancing the mutual supportiveness of trade and environment and welcome the significant work undertaken in the Committee on Trade and Environment (CTE) in Special Session. We instruct Members to intensify the negotiations, without prejudging their outcome, on all parts of paragraph 31 to fulfil the mandate.
31. We recognize the progress in the work under paragraph 31(i) based on Members’ submissions on the relationship between existing WTO rules and specific trade obligations set out in multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs). We further recognize the work undertaken under paragraph 31(ii) towards developing effective procedures for regular information exchange between MEA Secretariats and the relevant WTO committees, and criteria for the granting of observer status.
32. We recognize that recently more work has been carried out under paragraph 31(iii) through numerous submissions by Members and discussions in the CTE in Special Session, including technical discussions, which were also held in informal information exchange sessions without prejudice to Members’ positions. We instruct Members to complete the work expeditiously under paragraph 31(iii).
33. We recall and reaffirm the mandate and modalities for negotiations on Trade Facilitation contained in Annex D of the Decision adopted by the General Council on 1 August 2004. We note with appreciation the report of the Negotiating Group, attached in Annex E to this document, and the comments made by our delegations on that report as reflected in document TN/TF/M/11. We endorse the recommendations contained in paragraphs 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 of the report.
34. We take note of the progress made in the Dispute Settlement Understanding negotiations as reflected in the report by the Chairman of the Special Session of the Dispute Settlement Body to the Trade Negotiations Committee (TNC) and direct the Special Session to continue to work towards a rapid conclusion of the negotiations.
35. We reaffirm that provisions for special and differential (S&D) treatment are an integral part of the WTO Agreements. We renew our determination to fulfil the mandate contained in paragraph 44 of the Doha Ministerial Declaration and in the Decision adopted by the General Council on 1 August 2004, that all S&D treatment provisions be reviewed with a view to strengthening them and making them more precise, effective and operational.
36. We take note of the work done on the Agreement specific proposals, especially the five LDC proposals. We agree to adopt the decisions contained in Annex F to this document. However, we also recognize that substantial work still remains to be done. We commit ourselves to address the development interests and concerns of developing countries, especially the LDCs, in the multilateral trading system, and we recommit ourselves to complete the task we set ourselves at Doha. We accordingly instruct the Committee on Trade and Development in Special Session to expeditiously complete the review of all the outstanding Agreement-specific proposals and report to the General Council, with clear recommendations for a decision, by December 2006.
37. We are concerned at the lack of progress on the Category II proposals that had been referred to other WTO bodies and negotiating groups. We instruct these bodies to expeditiously complete the consideration of these proposals and report periodically to the General Council, with the objective of ensuring that clear recommendations for a decision are made no later than December 2006. We also instruct the Special Session to continue to coordinate its efforts with these bodies, so as to ensure that this work is completed on time.
38. We further instruct the Special Session, within the parameters of the Doha mandate, to resume work on all other outstanding issues, including on the cross-cutting issues, the monitoring mechanism, and the incorporation of S&D treatment into the architecture of WTO rules, and report on a regular basis to the General Council.
39. We reiterate the instruction in the Decision adopted by the General Council on 1 August 2004 to the TNC, negotiating bodies and other WTO bodies concerned to redouble their efforts to find appropriate solutions as a priority to outstanding implementation-related issues. We take note of the work undertaken by the Director-General in his consultative process on all outstanding implementation issues under paragraph 12(b) of the Doha Ministerial Declaration, including on issues related to the extension of the protection of geographical indications provided for in Article 23 of the TRIPS Agreement to products other than wines and spirits and those related to the relationship between the TRIPS Agreement and the Convention on Biological Diversity. We request the Director-General, without prejudice to the positions of Members, to intensify his consultative process on all outstanding implementation issues under paragraph 12(b), if need be by appointing Chairpersons of concerned WTO bodies as his Friends and/or by holding dedicated consultations. The Director-General shall report to each regular meeting of the TNC and the General Council. The Council shall review progress and take any appropriate action no later than 31 July 2006.
40. We reaffirm the importance we attach to the General Council Decision of 30 August 2003 on the Implementation of Paragraph 6 of the Doha Declaration on the TRIPS Agreement and Public Health, and to an amendment to the TRIPS Agreement replacing its provisions. In this regard, we welcome the work that has taken place in the Council for TRIPS and the Decision of the General Council of 6 December 2005 on an Amendment of the TRIPS Agreement.
41. We reaffirm our commitment to the Work Programme on Small Economies and urge Members to adopt specific measures that would facilitate the fuller integration of small, vulnerable economies into the multilateral trading system, without creating a sub-category of WTO Members. We take note of the report of the Committee on Trade and Development in Dedicated Session on the Work Programme on Small Economies to the General Council and agree to the recommendations on future work. We instruct the Committee on Trade and Development, under the overall responsibility of the General Council, to continue the work in the Dedicated Session and to monitor progress of the small economies’ proposals in the negotiating and other bodies, with the aim of providing responses to the trade-related issues of small economies as soon as possible but no later than 31 December 2006.We instruct the General Council to report on progress and action taken, together with any further recommendations as appropriate, to our next Session.
42. We take note of the report transmitted by the General Council on the work undertaken and progress made in the examination of the relationship between trade, debt and finance and on the consideration of any possible recommendations on steps that might be taken within the mandate and competence of the WTO as provided in paragraph 36 of the Doha Ministerial Declaration and agree that, building on the work carried out to date, this work shall continue on the basis of the Doha mandate. We instruct the General Council to report further to our next Session.
43. We take note of the report transmitted by the General Council on the work undertaken and progress made in the examination of the relationship between trade and transfer of technology and on the consideration of any possible recommendations on steps that might be taken within the mandate of the WTOto increase flows of technology to developing countries. Recognizing the relevance of the relationship between trade and transfer of technology to the development dimension of the Doha Work Programme and building on the work carried out to date, we agree that this work shall continue on the basis of the mandate contained in paragraph 37 of the Doha Ministerial Declaration. We instruct the General Council to report further to our next Session.
44. We take note of the work undertaken by the Council for TRIPS pursuant to paragraph 19 of the Doha Ministerial Declaration and agree that this work shall continue on the basis of paragraph 19 of the Doha Ministerial Declaration and the progress made in the Council for TRIPS to date. The General Council shall report on its work in this regard to our next Session.
45. We take note of the work done by the Council for Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights pursuant to paragraph 11.1 of the Doha Decision on Implementation-Related Issues and Concerns and paragraph 1.h of the Decision adopted by the General Council on 1 August 2004, and direct it to continue its examination of the scope and modalities for complaints of the types provided for under subparagraphs 1(b) and 1(c) of Article XXIII of GATT 1994 and make recommendations to our next Session. It is agreed that, in the meantime, Members will not initiate such complaints under the TRIPS Agreement.
46. We take note of the reports from the General Council and subsidiary bodies on the Work Programme on Electronic Commerce, and that the examination of issues under the Work Programme is not yet complete. We agree to reinvigorate that work, including the development-related issues under the Work Programme and discussions on the trade treatment, inter alia, of electronically delivered software. We agree to maintain the current institutional arrangements for the Work Programme. We declare that Members will maintain their current practice of not imposing customs duties on electronic transmissions until our next Session.
47. We reaffirm our commitment to effectively and meaningfully integrate LDCs into the multilateral trading system and shall continue to implement the WTO Work Programme for LDCs adopted in February 2002. We acknowledge the seriousness of the concerns and interests of the LDCs in the negotiations as expressed in the Living stone Declaration, adopted by their Ministers in June 2005. We take note that issues of interest to LDCs are being addressed in all areas of negotiations and we welcome the progress made since the Doha Ministerial Declaration as reflected in the Decision adopted by the General Council on 1 August 2004. Building upon the commitment in the Doha Ministerial Declaration, developed-country Members, and developing-country Members declaring themselves in a position to do so, agree to implement duty-free and quota-free market access for products originating from LDCs as provided for in Annex F to this document. Furthermore, in accordance with our commitment in the Doha Ministerial Declaration, Members shall take additional measures to provide effective market access, both at the border and otherwise, including simplified and transparent rules of origin so as to facilitate exports from LDCs. In the services negotiations, Members shall implement the LDC modalities and give priority to the sectors and modes of supply of export interest to LDCs, particularly with regard to movement of service providers under Mode 4.We agree to facilitate and accelerate negotiations with acceding LDCs based on the accession guidelines adopted by the General Council in December 2002.We commit to continue giving our attention and priority to concluding the ongoing accession proceedings as rapidly as possible. We welcome the Decision by the TRIPS Council to extend the transition period under Article 66.1 of the TRIPS Agreement. We reaffirm our commitment to enhance effective trade related technical assistance and capacity building to LDCs on a priority basis in helping to overcome their limited human and institutional trade-related capacity to enable LDCs to maximize the benefits resulting from the Doha Development Agenda (DDA).
48. We continue to attach high priority to the effective implementation of the Integrated Framework (IF) and reiterate our endorsement of the IF as a viable instrument for LDCs’ trade development, building on its principles of country ownership and partnership. We highlight the importance of contributing to reducing their supply side constraints. We reaffirm our commitment made at Doha, and recognize the urgent need to make the IF more effective and timely in addressing the trade-related development needs of LDCs.
49. In this regard, we are encouraged by the endorsement by the Development Committee of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) at its autumn 2005 meeting of an enhanced IF. We welcome the establishment of a Task Force by the Integrated Framework Working Group as endorsed by the IF Steering Committee (IFSC) as well as an agreement on the three elements which together constitute an enhanced IF. The Task Force, composed of donor and LDC members, will provide recommendations to the IFSC by April 2006. The enhanced IF shall enter into force no later than 31 December 2006.
50. We agree that the Task Force, in line with its Mandate and based on the three elements agreed to, shall provide recommendations on how the implementation of the IF can be improved, inter alia, by considering ways to:
1. provide increased, predictable, and additional funding on a multi-year basis;
2. strengthen the IF in-country, including through mainstreaming trade into national development plans and poverty reduction strategies; more effective follow-up to diagnostic trade integration studies and implementation of action matrices; and achieving greater and more effective coordination amongst donors and IF stakeholders, including beneficiaries;
3. improve the IF decision-making and management structure to ensure an effective and timely delivery of the increased financial resources and programmes.
51. We welcome the increased commitment already expressed by some Members in the run-up to, and during, this Session. We urge other development partners to significantly increase their contribution to the IF Trust Fund. We also urge the six IF core agencies to continue to cooperate closely in the implementation of the IF, to increase their investments in this initiative and to intensify their assistance in trade-related infrastructure, private sector development and institution building to help LDCs expand and diversify their export base.
52. We note with appreciation the substantial increase in trade-related technical assistance since our Fourth Session, which reflects the enhanced commitment of Members to address the increased demand for technical assistance, through both bilateral and multilateral programmes. We note the progress made in the current approach to planning and implementation of WTO’s programmes, as embodied in the Technical Assistance and Training Plans adopted by Members, as well as the improved quality of those programmes. We note that a strategic review of WTO’s technical assistance is to be carried out by Members, and expect that in future planning and implementation of training and technical assistance, the conclusions and recommendations of the review will be taken into account, as appropriate.
53. We reaffirm the priorities established in paragraph 38 of the Doha Ministerial Declaration for the delivery of technical assistance and urge the Director-General to ensure that programmes focus accordingly on the needs of beneficiary countries and reflect the priorities and mandates adopted by Members. We endorse the application of appropriate needs assessment mechanisms and support the efforts to enhance ownership by beneficiaries, in order to ensure the sustainability of traderelated capacity building. We invite the Director-General to reinforce the partnerships and coordination with other agencies and regional bodies in the design and implementation of technical assistance programmes, so that all dimensions of trade-related capacity building are addressed, in a manner coherent with the programmes of other providers. In particular, we encourage all Members to cooperate with the International Trade Centre, which complements WTO work by providing a platform for business to interact with trade negotiators, and practical advice for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to benefit from the multilateral trading system. In this connection, we note the role of the Joint Integrated Technical Assistance Programme (JITAP) in building the capacity of participating countries.
54. In order to continue progress in the effective and timely delivery of trade-related capacity building, in line with the priority Members attach to it, the relevant structures of the Secretariat should be strengthened and its resources enhanced. We reaffirm our commitment to ensure secure and adequate levels of funding for trade related capacity building, including in the Doha Development Agenda Global Trust Fund, to conclude the Doha Work Programme and implement its results.
55. We recognize the dependence of several developing and least-developed countries on the export of commodities and the problems they face because of the adverse impact of the long-term decline and sharp fluctuation in the prices of these commodities. We take note of the work undertaken in the Committee on Trade and Development on commodity issues, and instruct the Committee, within its mandate, to intensify its work in cooperation with other relevant international organizations and report regularly to the General Council with possible recommendations. We agree that the particular trade-related concerns of developing and least developed countries related to commodities shall also be addressed in the course of the agriculture and NAMA negotiations. We further acknowledge that these countries may need support and technical assistance to overcome the particular problems they face, and urge Members and relevant international organizations to consider favourably requests by these countries for support and assistance.
56. We welcome the Director-General’s actions to strengthen the WTO’s cooperation with the IMF and the World Bank in the context of the WTO’s Marrakesh mandate on Coherence, and invite him to continue to work closely with the General Council in this area. We value the General Council meetings that are held with the participation of the heads of the IMF and the World Bank to advance our Coherence mandate. We agree to continue building on that experience and expand the debate on international trade and development policymaking and inter-agency cooperation with the participation of relevant UN agencies. In that regard, we note the discussions taking place in the Working Group on Trade, Debt and Finance on, inter alia, the issue of Coherence, and look forward to any possible recommendations it may make on steps that might be taken within the mandate and competence of the WTO on this issue.
57. We welcome the discussions of Finance and Development Ministers in various fora, including the Development Committee of the World Bank and IMF, that have taken place this year on expanding Aid for Trade. Aid for Trade should aim to help developing countries, particularly LDCs, to build the supply-side capacity and trade-related infrastructure that they need to assist them to implement and benefit from WTO Agreements and more broadly to expand their trade. Aid for Trade cannot be a substitute for the development benefits that will result from a successful conclusion to the DDA, particularly on market access. However, it can be a valuable complement to the DDA. We invite the Director-General to create a task force that shall provide recommendations on how to operationalize Aid for Trade. The Task Force will provide recommendations to the General Council by July 2006 on how Aid for Trade might contribute most effectively to the development dimension of the DDA. We also invite the Director-General to consult with Members as well as with the IMF and World Bank, relevant international organisations and the regional development banks with a view to reporting to the General Council on appropriate mechanisms to secure additional financial resources for Aid for Trade, where appropriate through grants and concessional loans.
58. We recognize the special situation of recently acceded Members who have undertaken extensive market access commitments at the time of accession. This situation will be taken into account in the negotiations.
59. We reaffirm our strong commitment to making the WTO truly global in scope and membership. We welcome those new Members who have completed their accession processes since our last Session, namely Nepal, Cambodia and Saudi Arabia. We note with satisfaction that Tonga has completed its accession negotiations to the WTO. These accessions further strengthen the rules-based multilateral trading system. We continue to attach priority to the 29 ongoing accessions with a view to concluding them as rapidly and smoothly as possible. We stress the importance of facilitating and accelerating the accession negotiations of least-developed countries, taking due account of the guidelines on LDC accession adopted by the General Council in December 2002.
G. Seventh Ministerial Meeting — Geneva, 2009
1. Decision on the Work Programme on E-commerce
319. Concerning this Decision(490), see paragraph 37 above.
2. Decision on TRIPS Non-Violation and Situation Complaints
320. Concerning this Decision(491), see the Chapter on the TRIPS Agreement.
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A. Table of WTO Members as of 30 September 2011
|Member||Date of Membership|
|Albania||8 September 2000|
|Angola||23 November 1996|
|Antigua and Barbuda||1 January 1995|
|Argentina||1 January 1995|
|Armenia||5 February 2003|
|Australia||1 January 1995|
|Austria||1 January 1995|
|Bahrain||1 January 1995|
|Bangladesh||1 January 1995|
|Barbados||1 January 1995|
|Belgium||1 January 1995|
|Belize||1 January 1995|
|Benin||22 February 1996|
|Bolivia||12 September 1995|
|Botswana||31 May 1995|
|Brazil||1 January 1995|
|Brunei Darussalam||1 January 1995|
|Bulgaria||1 December 1996|
|Burkina Faso||3 June 1995|
|Burundi||23 July 1995|
|Cambodia||13 October 2004|
|Cameroon||13 December 1995|
|Canada||1 January 1995|
|Cape Verde||23 July 2008|
|Central African Republic||31 May 1995|
|Chad||19 October 1996|
|Chile||1 January 1995|
|China||11 December 2001|
|Colombia||30 April 1995|
|Congo||27 March 1997|
|Costa Rica||1 January 1995|
|Côte d’Ivoire||1 January 1995|
|Croatia||30 November 2000|
|Cuba||20 April 1995|
|Cyprus||30 July 1995|
|Czech Republic||1 January 1995|
|Democratic Republic of the Congo||1 January 1997|
|Denmark||1 January 1995|
|Djibouti||31 May 1995|
|Dominica||1 January 1995|
|Dominican Republic||9 March 1995|
|Ecuador||21 January 1996|
|Egypt||30 June 1995|
|El Salvador||7 May 1995|
|Estonia||13 November 1999|
|European Union||1 January 1995|
|Fiji||14 January 1996|
|Finland||1 January 1995|
|Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia||4 April 2003|
|France||1 January 1995|
|Gabon||1 January 1995|
|Gambia||23 October 1996|
|Georgia||14 June 2000|
|Germany||1 January 1995|
|Ghana||1 January 1995|
|Greece||1 January 1995|
|Grenada||22 February 1996|
|Guatemala||21 July 1995|
|Guinea||25 October 1995|
|Guinea Bissau||31 May 1995|
|Guyana||1 January 1995|
|Haiti||30 January 1996|
|Honduras||1 January 1995|
|Hong Kong, China||1 January 1995|
|Hungary||1 January 1995|
|Iceland||1 January 1995|
|India||1 January 1995|
|Indonesia||1 January 1995|
|Ireland||1 January 1995|
|Israel||21 April 1995|
|Italy||1 January 1995|
|Jamaica||9 March 1995|
|Japan||1 January 1995|
|Jordan||11 April 2000|
|Kenya||1 January 1995|
|Korea, Republic of||1 January 1995|
|Kuwait||1 January 1995|
|Kyrgyz Republic||20 December 1998|
|Latvia||10 February 1999|
|Lesotho||31 May 1995|
|Liechtenstein||1 September 1995|
|Lithuania||31 May 2001|
|Luxembourg||1 January 1995|
|Macao, China||1 January 1995|
|Madagascar||17 November 1995|
|Malawi||31 May 1995|
|Malaysia||1 January 1995|
|Maldives||31 May 1995|
|Mali||31 May 1995|
|Malta||1 January 1995|
|Mauritania||31 May 1995|
|Mauritius||1 January 1995|
|Mexico||1 January 1995|
|Moldova||26 July 2001|
|Mongolia||29 January 1997|
|Morocco||1 January 1995|
|Mozambique||26 August 1995|
|Myanmar||1 January 1995|
|Namibia||1 January 1995|
|Nepal||23 April 2004|
|Netherlands For the Kingdom in Europe and for the Netherlands Antilles||1 January 1995|
|New Zealand||1 January 1995|
|Nicaragua||3 September 1995|
|Niger||13 December 1996|
|Nigeria||1 January 1995|
|Norway||1 January 1995|
|Oman||9 November 2000|
|Pakistan||1 January 1995|
|Panama||6 September 1997|
|Papua New Guinea||9 June 1996|
|Paraguay||1 January 1995|
|Peru||1 January 1995|
|Philippines||1 January 1995|
|Poland||1 July 1995|
|Portugal||1 January 1995|
|Qatar||13 January 1996|
|Romania||1 January 1995|
|Rwanda||22 May 1996|
|Saint Kitts and Nevis||21 February 1996|
|Saint Lucia||1 January 1995|
|Saint Vincent and the Grenadines||1 January 1995|
|Saudi Arabia||11 December 2005|
|Senegal||1 January 1995|
|Sierra Leone||23 July 1995|
|Singapore||1 January 1995|
|Slovak Republic||1 January 1995|
|Slovenia||30 July 1995|
|Solomon Islands||26 July 1996|
|South Africa||1 January 1995|
|Spain||1 January 1995|
|Sri Lanka||1 January 1995|
|Suriname||1 January 1995|
|Swaziland||1 January 1995|
|Sweden||1 January 1995|
|Switzerland||1 July 1995|
|Chinese Taipei||1 January 2002|
|Tanzania||1 January 1995|
|Thailand||1 January 1995|
|Togo||31 May 1995|
|Tonga||27 July 2007|
|Trinidad and Tobago||1 March 1995|
|Tunisia||29 March 1995|
|Turkey||26 March 1995|
|Uganda||1 January 1995|
|Ukraine||16 May 2008|
|United Arab Emirates||10 April 1996|
|United Kingdom||1 January 1995|
|United States of America||1 January 1995|
|Uruguay||1 January 1995|
|Venezuela||1 January 1995|
|Viet Nam||11 January 2007|
|Zambia||1 January 1995|
|Zimbabwe||5 March 1995|
B. Observer Governments as of 30 September 2011
|Algeria||Liberia, Republic of|
|Bhutan||Sao Tomé and Principe|
|Bosnia and Herzegovina||Serbia|
|Ethiopia||Syrian Arab Republic|
|Holy See (Vatican)||Tajikistan|
|Lao People’s Democratic Republic|
C. Table of Accessions under Article XII of the WTO Agreement as of 30 September 2011
D. Table of WTO Waivers Granted(492)
|1 Cameroon||Cameroon — Implementation of Article VII of the GATT 1994||CVA — phased implementation||08-May-01||01-Jul-01||WT/L/396|
|2 Canada||Canada — CARIBCAN||GATT I:1||14-Oct-96||31-Dec-06||WT/L/185|
|Canada||Canada — CARIBCAN||GATT I:1||15-Dec-06||31-Dec-11||WT/L/677|
|3 Cape Verde||Cape Verde — Implementation of the Schedule of Concessions||Accession Protocol, GATT II:1||28-Jul-09||01-Jan-10||WT/L/768|
|4 Cape Verde||Cape Verde — Implementation of Article VII of GATT 1994 and of the Agreement on Customs Valuation||GATT VII, CVA, Accession Protocol||03-May-11||01-Jan-12||WT/L/812|
|5 Cuba||Cuba — Article XV:6 of GATT 1994||GATT XV:6||14-Oct-96||31-Dec-01||WT/L/182|
|Cuba||Cuba — Article XV:6 of GATT 1994||GATT XV:6||20-Dec-01||31-Dec-06||WT/L/440|
|Cuba||Cuba — Article XV:6 of GATT 1994||GATT XV:6||15-Dec-06||31-Dec-11||WT/L/678|
|6 Dominican Republic||Dominican Republic — Minimum Values under the Agreement on Implementation of Article VII of the GATT 1994||CVA 7 (minimum values)||20-Dec-01||01-Jul-03||WT/L/442|
|7 El Salvador||El Salvador — Agreement on Implementation of Article VII of the GATT 1994||CVA (phased implementation)||13-May-02||07-Mar-02||WT/L/453|
|8 EC||EC/France — Trading Arrangements with Morocco||GATT I:1||14-Oct-96||31-Dec-97||WT/L/187|
|EC||EC/France — Trading Arrangements with Morocco||GATT I:1||01-Dec-97||31-Dec-98||WT/L/250|
|EC||EC/France — Trading Arrangements with Morocco||GATT I:1||11-Dec-98||31-Dec-99||WT/L/294|
|EC||EC/France — Trading Arrangements with Morocco||GATT I:1||17-Jul-00||Until entry into force of EU-Morocco RTA||WT/L/361|
|9 EC||EC — Fourth ACP–EC Convention of Lomé||GATT I:1||14-Oct-96||29-Feb-00||WT/L/186|
|10 EC||EC — The ACP–EC Partnership Agreement||GATT I:1||14-Nov-01||31-Dec-07 or upon entry into force of new EU tariff regime||WT/L/436|
|11 EC||EC — Transitional Regime for the EC Autonomous Tariff Rate Quotas on Imports of Bananas||GATT XIII||14-Nov-01||31-Dec-05||WT/L/437|
|12 EC||EC — Autonomous Preferential Treatment to the Countries of the Western Balkans||GATT I:1||08-Dec-00||31-Dec-06||WT/L/380|
|EC||EC Preferences for Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Serbia and Montenegro, and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia||GATT I:1||28-Jul-06||31-Dec-11||WT/L/654|
|13 EC||EC — Application of Autonomous Preferential Treatment to Moldova||GATT I:1, GATT XIII||07-May-08||31-Dec-13||WT/L/722|
|14 Haiti||Haiti — Implementation of Article VII of the GATT 1994||CVA (phased implementation)||20-Dec-01||30-Jan-03||WT/L/439|
|15 Hungary||Hungary — Agreement on Agriculture||AoA 3.3, 8, 9.2||22-Oct-97||31-Dec-01||WT/L/238|
|16 Madagascar||Madagascar — Agreement on Minimum Values in Regard of the Implementation of Article VII of the GATT 1994||CVA 7 (minimum values)||18-Jul-01||17-Nov-03||WT/L/408|
|17 Mongolia||Mongolia — Export Duties on Raw Cashmere||Accession Protocol of Mongolia, para. 2||27-Jul-07||29-Jan-12||WT/L/695|
|18 Peru||Peru — Agreement on Implementation of Article VII of the GATT 1994||CVA (phased implementation)||15-Jul-99||01-Apr-00||WT/L/307|
|19 Senegal||Senegal — Minimum Values in Regard to the Agreement on the Implementation of Article VII of the GATT 1994||CVA (minimum values)||17-May-04||30-Jun-05||WT/L/571|
|Senegal||Senegal — Minimum Values in Regard to the Agreement on the Implementation of Article VII of the GATT 1994||CVA (minimum values)||28-Jul-06||30-Jun-07||WT/L/655|
|Senegal||Senegal — Minimum Values in Regard to the Agreement on the Implementation of Article VII of the GATT 1994||CVA (minimum values)||31-Jul-08||30-Jun-09||WT/L/735|
|20 South Africa||South Africa — Paragraph 4 of Article I of the GATT 1994||GATT I:4||14-Oct-96||31-Dec-97||WT/L/188|
|21 Switzerland||Switzerland — Preferences for Albania and Bosnia-Herzegovina||GATT I:1||18-Jul-01||31-Mar-04||WT/L/406|
|22 Thailand||Thailand — Extension of the Transition Period for TRIMs Notified under Article 5.1 of the TRIMs Agreement||TRIMs 5.2||31-Jul-01||31-Dec-01||WT/L/410|
|23 Turkey||Turkey — Preferential Treatment for Bosnia-Herzegovina||GATT Art. I:1||08-Dec-00||31-Dec-06||WT/L/381|
|24 US||US — Andean Trade Preference Act||GATT I:1||14-Oct-96||04-Dec-01||WT/L/184|
|US||US — Andean Trade Preference Act||GATT I:1, GATT XIII:1, GATT XIII:2||27-May-09||31-Dec-14||WT/L/755|
|25 US||US — Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act||GATT I:1||15-Nov-95||31-Dec-05||WT/L/104|
|US||US — Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act||GATT I:1, GATT XIII:1, GATT XIII:2||27-May-09||31-Dec-14||WT/L/753|
|26 US||US — Former Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands||GATT I:1||14-Oct-96||31-Dec-06||WT/L/183|
|US||US — Former Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands||GATT I:1||27-Jul-07||31-Dec-16||WT/L/694|
|27 Uruguay||Uruguay — Request for a Derogation on Minimum Values||CVA 7||03-May-00||01-Jan-01||WT/L/354|
|Waivers for measures of more than one Member|
|28 Certain exporting Members and importing Members||Implementation of Paragraph 6 of the Doha Declaration on the TRIPS Agreement and Public Health||TRIPS 31(f), TRIPS 31(h)||30-Aug-03||Terminates for each Member on date when an amendment to TRIPS Agreement replacing the waiver takes effect for that Member||WT/L/540 and Corr.1|
|29 All developing country Members||Preferential Tariff Treatment for Least-Developed Countries||GATT I:1||15-Jun-99||30-Jun-09||WT/L/304|
|All developing country Members||Preferential Tariff Treatment for Least-Developed Countries||GATT I:1||27-May-09||30-Jun-19||WT/L/759|
|30 All least-developed country Members||Least-Developed Country Members — Obligations under Article 70.9 of the TRIPS Agreement With Respect To Pharmaceutical Products||TRIPS 70.9||08-Jul-02||01-Jan-16||WT/L/478|
|31 Australia, Brazil, Canada, Israel, Japan, Korea, Philippines, Sierra Leone, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, US; also Botswana, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, EC, Hungary, India, Mauritius, Mexico, Norway, Romania, Singapore, Slovenia, Switzerland, Chinese Taipei, Venezuela||Kimberley Process Certification Scheme for Rough Diamonds||GATT I:1, GATT XI:1, GATT XIII:1||15-May-03||31-Dec-06||WT/L/518|
|Australia, Botswana, Brazil, Canada, Croatia, India, Israel, Japan, Korea, Mauritius, Mexico, Norway, Philippines, Sierra Leone, Chinese Taipei, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, US, Venezuela||Kimberley Process Certification Scheme for Rough Diamonds||GATT I:1, GATT XI:1, GATT XIII:1||15-Dec-06||31-Dec-12||WT/L/676|
E. Table of Waivers Granted under Article XXV:5 of the Gatt 1947 and in Force as of 1 January 1995(493)
|Argentina||Establishment of a new Schedule LXIV||30.6.1995||L/7592|
|Australia||Base dates under Article I:4||No time limit||BISD 9S/46|
|Australia||Treatment of products of Papua New Guinea||No time limit||BISD 8S/28|
|Australia||Tariff preferences for less developed countries||No time limit||BISD 14S/23|
|Bangladesh||Establishment of a new Schedule LXX||30.6.1995||L/7593|
|Bolivia||Establishment of a new Schedule LXXXIV||30.6.1995||L/7594|
|Cuba||Provisions of Article XV:6||No time limit||BISD 13S/23|
|El Salvador||Establishment of a new Schedule LXXXVII||30.6.1995||L/7595|
|Member states of ECSC||Waiver granted in connection with the ECSC||No time limit||BISD 1S/17|
|EC||Fourth ACP–EEC Convention of Lomé||31.12.1996||L/7604|
|EC||Transitional measures to take account of the external economic impact of German unification||31.12.1995||L/7605|
|France||Trading arrangements with Morocco||No time limit||BISD 9S/39|
|Guatemala||Establishment of a new Schedule LXXXVIII||30.6.1995||L/7596|
|Israel||Establishment of a new Schedule XLII||30.6.1995||L/7597|
|Jamaica||Margins of preference||No time limit||BISD 18S/33|
|Jamaica||Establishment of a new Schedule LXVI||30.6.1995||L/7598|
|Malawi||Base dates under Article I:4||No time limit||BISD 9S/46|
|Malawi||Renegotiation of Schedule LVIII||30.6.1995||L/7589|
|Morocco||Establishment of a new Schedule LXXXI||30.6.1995||L/7599|
|Nicaragua||Establishment of a new Schedule XXIX||30.6.1995||L/7600|
|Pakistan||Establishment of a new Schedule XV||30.6.1995||L/7601|
|Senegal||Renegotiation of Schedule XLIX||30.6.1995||L/7590|
|South Africa||Base dates under Article I:4||No time limit||BISD 9S/46|
|Sri Lanka||Establishment of a new Schedule VI||30.6.1995||L/7602|
|Trinidad & Tobago||Establishment of a new Schedule LXVII||30.6.1995||L/7603|
|Tunisia||Temporary suspension of bound duties||31.12.1996||L/7380|
|United Kingdom||Items traditionally admitted free of duty from countries of the Commonwealth||No time limit||BISD 3S/25|
|United Kingdom||Special problems of dependent overseas territories||No time limit||BISD 3S/21|
|United States||Waiver in respect of products of the Trust Territory of Pacific Islands||No time limit||BISD Vol. II, p. 9|
|United States||Imports of automotive products||No time limit||BISD 14S/37|
|United States||Caribbean Economic Recovery Act||30.9.1995||BISD 31S/20|
|United States||Andean Trade Preference Act||4.12.2001||L/6991|
|Zaire||Renegotiation of Schedule LXVIII||30.6.1995||L/7591|
|Zambia||Renegotiation of Schedule LXXVIII||30.11.1995||L/7329|
|Zimbabwe||Customs treatment for products of United Kingdom territories||No time limit||BISD 9S/47|
|Zimbabwe||Base dates under Article I:4||No time limit||BISD 9S/46|