Council 10 October 2000
The General Council of the WTO met on 10 October 2000. The following topics were tackled:
Accession of Oman
General Council approved Oman's accession to the WTO.
Since Oman ratified its protocol of accession on the same
day, it will become WTO's 139th member on 9 November
Agreement with the International Telecommunications Union (DSU)
General Council approved the Agreement between the ITU
and the WTO. The Agreement provides that the two
organizations will cooperate on matters relating to trade
Work Programme on Electronic Commerce
Chairman of the General Council, Ambassador Bryn, will
continue his consultations with the Chairpersons of the
Councils for Trade in Goods, Services, TRIPS and the
Committee on Trade and Development on how to organize the
work on e-commerce, including the question of a
horizontal ad hoc task force. The General
Council will revert to this matter at its meeting in
Amendment of the Dispute Settlement Understanding (DSU)
Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Japan, Korea, New Zealand,
Norway, Peru, Switzerland and Venezuela circulated a
proposal to amend certain provisions of the DSU. The
General Council agreed that its Chairman hold informal
consultations on how to move forward on this proposal and
to revert to the matter at the December meeting.
Negotiation reports by the Committee on Agriculture and the Services Council
General Council received reports from the Agriculture
Committee (G/AG/NG/3) and the Services Council (S/CSS/M4)
concerning their negotiation sessions (also called
special sessions). The agriculture report is available on
the WTO website under Documents.
Date and venue of the Fourth Ministerial Conference
General Council will seek to take a decision on the date
and venue of the next Ministerial Conference at its next
meeting. The General Council took note with appreciation
of the invitation of the Government of Qatar to host the
Conference and invited any other Member Government
wishing to host the Conference to inform the General
Council. The Secretariat will have to prepare a factual
report to the General Council on the conference
facilities which are available in each proposed venue.
Improvement and transparency
Under other business, the General Council heard presentations by the European Communities and the United States on their respective submissions: Improving the Functioning of the WTO System (WT/GC/W/412) and External Transparency (WT/GC/W/413). Both proposals are available on the WTO website under Documents.
The next meeting of the General Council will take place on 7 and 8 December 2000.