Opening remarks by the General Council Chairman


I want to start by welcoming all delegations, and also by extending a very warm welcome to our guests at todayĺs General Council meeting, Mr. Rodrigo de Rato, the newly-appointed Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, and Mr. James Wolfensohn, President of the World Bank. We are very grateful to you both for travelling to Geneva to exchange views with the WTO Membership on the important issue of coherence in global economic policymaking.

Your presence today alongside the Director-General, Dr. Supachai, is evidence of the strong relationship that exists between the WTO, the IMF and the World Bank. It also underscores, I believe, our collective commitment to the success of the multilateral trading system, and an understanding that our shared objectives of economic growth, financial stability, poverty reduction, and sustainable development cannot be advanced in isolation, but are, in fact, pieces of an interconnected whole.

I know that Mr. de Rato and Mr. Wolfensohn personally attach high priority to a successful outcome to the Doha Round, and view it as having the potential to make a valuable contribution to meeting their own institutional objectives, and to promoting more growth and less poverty throughout the world. I also know that we as WTO Members have a shared stake in their continued commitment, leadership and support.