The Working Party on Vanuatu's accession was reconvened informally on 4 April 2011 to discuss Vanuatu's future WTO membership. Members reviewed Vanuatu's updated accession package and agreed to resolve the few remaining issues in the coming weeks.

In October 2001, the Working Party adopted the accession package but Vanuatu requested more time to consider its accession terms. In 2008, Vanuatu indicated its interest to resume and conclude its WTO accession. Vanuatu's accession package was technically updated to take into account new developments in its trade regime.

At the meeting, Vanuatu's Deputy Prime Minister Ham Lini Vanuaroroa said that his country had needed time to evaluate the package, build ownership and enact necessary legislation. He added that Vanuatu had played its part and asked the WTO members to open the doors of membership. He said that Vanuatu's objective was to conclude its accession before the UN LDC (Least Developed Country) Conference which will take place in Istanbul from 9 to 13 May 2011. Members agreed that Vanuatu's accession would be a great contribution of the WTO to the UN LDC Conference.


Next steps

The re-convened Working Party is expected to meet on 2 May 2011 to consider the accession package for adoption.

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