implementation and development: the Doha agenda
Doha Declaration explained
Implementation Decision explained
the negotiations are organized
Trade Negotiations Committee
I would like to welcome delegations to the twenty-first meeting of the
Trade Negotiations Committee.
I would like to start by recalling the roadmap to Hong Kong we discussed
during the previous meeting of the TNC. By mid-October we would need to
start approximations for landing, using pilot language, while by
mid-November the chairs of the negotiating groups would have to have
produced texts for the first version of the draft declaration to be
adopted in Hong Kong.
But Hong Kong is only a stop-over before we land in our final
destination end of 2006. To get there and starting January 2006 we would
need to go from the general formulae to specific commitments. Let me
give you an example and briefly run through what will be needed taking
the example of Agriculture, once we achieve the successful results in
First, and before each country starts drafting its own list of detailed
commitments, we need to agree on a format that all countries will
follow; this would take us to the end of January
Second, during around 3 months, each country will draft schedules of
commitments on the basis of the formulae agreed in HK
During this period there will continue to be bilateral negotiations
among members, as well as broader negotiations on a number of leftovers
from Hong Kong, including in the rules area
The following 2 to 3 months will go into verifying the draft schedules
And a further 3 months into legal drafting
this means a total of 10 months in the best case scenario. Just 2 months
of margin of manoeuvre which is very thin if we consider the similar
steps to be taken in parallel in areas such as NAMA, services, rules ...
not to mention the limited capacities in many developing countries
But for all this to start in January 2006, we need to achieve a quantum
of progress by Hong Kong, without which we would have missed the 2006
Where are we today? With developments this week I think the engines of
the negotiation plane have been switched on again. This is no guarantee
that the engines will be able to lift the plane to the necessary
altitude to start the approximation to Hong Kong, since a lot of work
remains, but at least the engines are buzzing.
I will focus very much on Agriculture, because I think we all recognize
that this is the engine that has to lift the bulk of our plane. If that
engine is log-jammed, as it has been, the plane gets stuck on the
The new momentum has come firstly from the important proposal on
domestic support made by the United States. I think all participants,
whatever their positions, recognize this as an important contribution to
advancing the negotiations. The US has now crossed the line of a reform
of its agriculture policy, which is after all what we all agreed should
be the aim of the agriculture negotiations when we subscribed paragraph
13 of the Doha Declaration. This puts the domestic support pillar in a
position more like the export competition, that is, in “negotiating
shape” so to say, even if there are still elements in it which will need
further approximations such as criteria for the blue box, the overall
cap or the de minimis.
On market access, momentum has also come from the proposals which have
been tabled by the G-10, EU, US, G-33 and finally G-20. However,
positions in this pillar are still too far apart for the real
negotiations to commence. Members will need to approximate their
position on the level of ambition needed in this pillar before
negotiations can commence.
It is also essential that the development aspect of the agriculture
negotiations be kept at the centre stage, as it is for the Round as a
whole. It also means working on the Special and Differential treatment
component in an inclusive and effective way, and making every possible
effort to advance the Cotton dossier.
Let me now turn to NAMA, where I believe there is consensus emerging on
the use of a Swiss formula, with a limited number of negotiated
coefficients, even if we are not yet there. For the Mid-November text,
we need a range of numbers (coefficients) for the formula; comparable
detail on flexibilities; and agreement on how to fix the base rate for
unbound tariffs. This is the bare minimum, before we go to issues such
as preference erosion, sectorals and NTBs.
In the negotiations on Services, we must not spend time discussing why
we have not gone further towards that goal. Instead, we must work out
how we will reach it after Hong Kong, by defining in Hong Kong our level
of ambition, which must match the rest of the negotiations, and the
roadmap leading to it.
On rules, we must intensify the on-going text-based negotiating process,
so that by Hong Kong we have undertaken a rigorous consideration of
proposed amendments to the agreements. In Hong Kong we need a clear
commitment to work towards achieving a comprehensive text in all areas
of the Rules mandate.
On development, the greatest gains will stem from each one of the
pillars of the negotiation and it is therefore by advancing in these
pillars that we will start to see the contours of the development
package. The WTO Secretariat has produced a first paper on the
development aspects in each of the areas under negotiation which has
been discussed with you in the Committee on Trade and Development. We
await now your input so that we can have a second discussion on this
paper at a next meeting of the Committee, which I intend to attend
personally as a sign of the importance that I attach to ensuring
development is mainstreamed throughout the entire Doha Agenda.
In the work on Special and Differential Treatment, it is still possible
and necessary, in my view, to harvest a good number of
Agreement-specific proposals, starting with those submitted by the LDCs.
We must also ensure that the issues of Implementation — I will say a
word on this now - and TRIPS and Public Health are taken up in an
appropriate way in the lead-up to Hong Kong. And we must ensure that we
build the necessary base for an Aid for Trade package for the end of the
What are the next steps?
The Chairs of the different negotiating groups, who will now briefly
report on their work, should start working to refine their agenda and
focus on the main items for Hong Kong.
On agriculture, I hope that the meeting of some members ministers
scheduled for Wednesday/Thursday next week will use the momentum created
this week to approximate positions on market access, so that the crux of
the negotiation can take place in the agriculture negotiating group on
all three pillars.
I have made it clear to those involved in this meeting that the aim of
their consultations must be to bring back fresh ideas and opportunities
to the membership as a whole in full transparency and inclusiveness.
Such processes are essential as a catalyst to the progress we urgently
need, but they are of course no substitute for the deliberations of the
For my part I will continue to reach out to the different groupings to
listen, consult and ensure transparency with all members.
A word on the issue of implementation. I would like to inform
delegations that, in line with the mandate given to the Director-General
in the July 2004 Decision which was renewed by the General Council in
July of this year, I am undertaking a 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.
This process will be carried out in my capacity as Director-General and
is without prejudice to the positions of Members. I will be assisted by
a number of the Chairpersons of concerned WTO bodies acting as my
Friends and by two of my Deputy Directors-General — Valentine Rugwabiza
will take up the TRIMs issues and Rufus Yerxa will be taking up the
issues of GIs and TRIPS/CBD. I will, of course, report to the TNC and to
the General Council on progress in this process at their upcoming
Finally, let me recall our shared commitment to a “bottom-up” process,
where text for the Ministers in Hong Kong must grow out of convergence
among negotiators. I see no-one wanting to change that. However, there
is no escaping the severe pressure that process puts on the negotiators
to deliver concrete progress in a very short time. We now have days,
rather than weeks or months.
Let me also mention that over the weekend I will be visiting Hong Kong
China to check the premises of the Ministerial Conference and to engage
in a discussion with non-governmental organisations on the Doha
I believe we should stand by our target of circulating a comprehensive
draft text in mid-November, which is essential for governments to
prepare themselves properly. That is about 30 days from now, counting
every day as a working day. The amount of ground to be covered in this
very short time is very large. But I am convinced it is not impossible.
It can be done, and I believe that a number of issues are ripe for rapid
movement once other sectors unblock.
Highlights from the 13 October 2005 press conference
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Reports by chairpersons of bodies established by the TNC
Special Session of the Committee on Agriculture: (TN/AG/20)
Special Session of the Council for Trade in Services: (TN/S/22)
Special Session of the Committee on Trade and Environment: (TN/TE/13)