THIS NEWS ITEM IS DESIGNED TO HELP THE PUBLIC UNDERSTAND DEVELOPMENTS IN THE WTO. WHILE EVERY EFFORT HAS BEEN MADE TO ENSURE THE CONTENTS ARE ACCURATE, IT DOES NOT PREJUDICE MEMBER GOVERNMENTS’ POSITIONS.
Another 17 delegations spoke in the informal Trade Negotiations
Committee meeting, continuing from the 31 who spoke on Monday 21 July.
The themes were similar, reflecting members’ various perspectives on
development and the issues that concern them, several again saying that
the Doha Round is needed to deal with economic uncertainties.
Some called on Mr Lamy to ensure that the talks are transparent, particularly to make sure that delegations not in the “Green Room” are kept fully informed.
In his opening statement Mr Lamy described the smaller-group talks as a “consultative process”. He said its main purpose is to help members build consensus on the remaining issues in the agriculture and non-agricultural market access drafts. The process would be “fully transparent and inclusive”, he assured delegations.
Consultations on Monday
Mr Lamy reported that the consultative meeting on Monday 21 July
explored overall political questions and covered the general
relationship and balance between the agriculture and non-agricultural
market access texts. Participants represented a broad range of the
membership, including regional groups and coalitions, he said.
Members showed a strong sense of collective responsibility to work towards a balanced agreement. “Not surprisingly, balance means different things to different people” and members recognized that in their discussion, he observed.
For Tuesday afternoon’s session with the representative group, Mr Lamy
said he would move to detailed work based on the texts, including
numbers. Another informal meeting of heads of delegations will be held
on Wednesday morning.
Asked who would produce the revised texts that would come out of the next few days’ talks, WTO spokesperson Keith Rockwell said in the end the texts will have to come from the members. “It’s the members who are the ones who will need to do the negotiations.”
He added that some of the more technical questions could be handled in separate “parallel” negotiations among senior officials, working with the chairs of the agriculture and non-agricultural market access talks, ambassadors Crawford Falconer and Don Stephenson.
Today’s meeting of the full membership concluded the round of opening
statements. Speakers over the two days were: the EU, the least-developed
countries (Lesotho speaking), the US, Brazil, China, Japan, Australia,
the African Group (Kenya speaking), Venezuela, Switzerland, Indonesia,
Malaysia, Peru, Norway, the African-Caribbean-Pacific (ACP) group
(Mauritius speaking), Singapore, the Cotton Four (Burkina Faso
speaking), Argentina, Canada, Caricom (Guyana speaking), Rep. of Korea,
New Zealand, Paraguay, Hong Kong China, Costa Rica, Jamaica, Pakistan,
Uruguay, Bangladesh, the Small and Vulnerable Economies Group (Barbados
speaking), India, Oman, Cameroon, Ecuador, the recent new members
(Recently Acceded Members or RAMs, Chinese Taipei speaking, also for
itself), Cuba, Colombia, Israel, Bolivia, Mongolia, Chile, Ghana, South Africa,
Turkey, Nepal, and Sri Lanka.
Texts of some of the statements can be found here.
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