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> Supachai Panitchpakdi’s speeches
Following the events that characterized the Cancun meeting and its
aftermath, and in an effort to revive the stalled negotiations, the
Ministers reviewed current efforts being undertaken by the Chairman of the
WTO’s General Council, Ambassador Carlos Perez del Castillo, to create the
necessary consensus to restart the negotiations. In this respect, the
Ministers commended the Chair General council on his efforts, and pledged
their full support and engagement.
With a view to the successful and timely conclusion of the commitments
undertaken at Doha, the Ministers called on the WTO membership, and
particularly the major trading partners, to return to the negotiating table
in the shortest possible delay. Similarly, the Ministers called for all WTO
Members to build on the valuable work undertaken in the run-up to, and the
positive elements achieved at, Cancun.
The Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to the multi-lateral trading
system and to all aspects of the Doha Development Agenda; as the latter
represents a unique opportunity for the African countries to expand their
trade , while reinforcing the system of rules to support their development
and growth. In the view of the Ministers, the multi-lateral trading system
remains the most transparent, predictable, secure and durable conduit to
expand free and fair trade among nations. The Ministers expressed their
determination to ensure that the DDA negotiations regain momentum at the
earliest possible time.
Ministers also reaffirmed that the issues of interest to LDC’s must be
addressed in a spirit of realism to find a solution. The countries agreed
that while the Derbez Text still needed substantial work it would be a good
starting point for future discussions so as to preserve the progress made in
Cancun. This provided ,however, that the gains made in the discussions in
Cancun also be preserved and eventually integrated in the new version
Agriculture, in the view of the Ministers, remains the core market access
issue for Africa in the Round. In this context, many Ministers discussed the
proposals put forward by the G20 prior and during the Cancun ministerial.
They agreed that the two groups had many positions in common, and that the
G20 could be effective advocates for the cause of African countries in
In a related issue Ministers agreed that the Cotton initiative takes on a
particular socio-economic significance for Africa. They agreed that the
issue needed to be treated realistically within a discourse that emphasizes
the willingness of all members to find a solution that addresses the
concerns of African countries. Ministers supported the ongoing consultations
in Geneva in this context aimed at identifying the way ahead.
After a thorough review of the issues and options — both within the DDA and
in the world economy in general — the Ministers recommitted their
negotiating resources and capacities to a timely conclusion of the DDA; the
political momentum for which must not be lost.
Ministers concluded their meeting by expressing their wish that negotiations
be resumed as soon as possible in a climate of good will and constructive
compromise to achieve the high goals of the Doha Ministerial Declaration.