last met in informal session, on 22 June, there was a strong reaffirmation
of our collective target: full modalities in Agriculture and
non-agricultural market access negotiations (NAMA) and
commensurate progress in other areas of the negotiations in line with our
mandate. This is the essential step we must take in order to conclude the
DDA successfully and soon.
I emphasized then that the Geneva process is and must remain the core of the negotiation. This is vital to ensure the full participation and informed decision making we all want. Since our June informal meeting, I am pleased to say that the negotiating process here in Geneva has been significantly reinforced and intensified.
I would like to thank delegations for responding to my call to step up their level of substantive engagement in the multilateral process run by the Negotiating Group Chairs. Such engagement remains the key to further progress.
We will shortly be hearing from all the negotiating group Chairs, and I believe that we will be able to conclude from their reports that some good progress has been made across the board over the last few months – in some areas in absolute terms, and in others in terms of clarifying the outstanding issues.
The major development, of course, has been the circulation of draft modalities texts last week by Ambassadors Falconer and Stephenson, the Chairs of the Agriculture and NAMA groups.
I am sure I speak for all of you in thanking them for their untiring efforts and for the excellent job they – and all the Negotiating Group Chairs – continue to do.
As the Chairs have underlined, these are draft texts. They are not negotiated or agreed texts. The negotiation is up to you, the participants. And the virtue of these texts is that they allow you all to negotiate at a more concrete, intense and specific level.
Both Chairs have made it very clear from the start that their draft modality papers are only another step in the process and that they will have to be revised in the light of the views expressed by participants. They identify possible areas of convergence and areas where gaps still need to be bridged. That is up to you, the participants, to undertake in the process that the Chairs are running with my full support.
Both the Agriculture and NAMA negotiating groups have met over the last two days to hear initial reactions to the texts. As the two Chairs informed participants in their fax on 5 July, delegations now have the month of August to reflect fully on the draft texts, and then be in a position to return to the process prepared to engage in an intensive negotiation as from 3 September. I would urge all of you to fully use the month of August to examine the texts in detail, to consult, discuss and engage bilaterally among you.
It is important that everybody be fit and ready on the starting line at that time. We have already come a long way in this Round, and the distance left to go is not so great. But it will require an extra effort. This effort means being open to compromises, while still respecting the mandate and aims of the Round. It means intensive work, knowing that there are no shortcuts. And it means negotiating with each other instead of trying to negotiate with the Chairs.
Let me stress once again that the Round is a Single Undertaking covering a broad agenda with development at its heart. When we come back after the summer break, the focus cannot be exclusively on Agriculture and NAMA. We will need to achieve a commensurate level of progress in other areas of the negotiations, in line with the full Doha mandates, the July 2004 Decision and the Hong Kong Ministerial Declaration. This is the only possible path to an ambitious, balanced and development-oriented outcome to the Round.
Finally, I would like to update you briefly on the issues of Geographical indications (GI) extension and the relationship between the TRIPS Agreement and the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). After the General Council's meeting in February, DDG Yerxa held consultations on my behalf in open-ended and other formats on arrangements for further work on these issues. In the light of these consultations, he encouraged delegations to meet among themselves with a view to finding more common ground. More recently, he has consulted with delegations in various formats, largely to keep in touch with processes of discussion that have taken place between interested delegations. Mr. Yerxa stands ready to pursue these consultations, on my behalf, whenever developments in the negotiations make it appropriate to do so.
To sum up, back to work on 3 September ready to engage in intensive negotiations.
> Report by the Chairman of the Trade Negotiations Committee (27 July 2007): Lamy sees high level of commitment to conclude the Round
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