1 September 2005

Statement to the media by Pascal Lamy upon taking office on 1 September 2005

I won't say much on the substance today. It's my day back to school. On the first of September, like many people in this country, we are starting our work, knowing there is a lot of work ahead of us. Following both what happened and what did not happen last July when the General Council met and a few ministers were here.

I am pretty aware that there is a lot of work to do. I will be starting this right now, in starting internal and external consultations. Internally, of course, with all the members of the Secretariat, who have received an email from me this morning, and with the chairs of the various negotiating groups, of course. With the ambassadors, the regional groupings and so on. And I will be back to you in a fortnight from now with more precise views on the substance and the way ahead to Hong Kong — which obviously is and remains the number one priority for myself, my team and the Secretariat.

Last thing: as we all know, and I think I have to remember this everyday, including when reading today's press, the WTO Director-General has no magic wand. Things don't work this way in the WTO. Members have the decision-making power. We can catalyze, we can broker. Sometimes, sometimes we can lead, but at the end of the day they take the decision, and that's why I have to start this series of contacts.