WTO: 2013 NEWS ITEMS

ACCESSIONS

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THIS NEWS STORY 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.

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> Statements by Members and observers at the accession of the Republic of Yemen

Trade Ministers of WTO member countries welcomed Yemen as a new member to the Organization and called this accession a historic achievement. Yemen’s accession to the WTO will strengthen the multilateral trading system, making the WTO a more universal organization, Ministers stressed.

In his address to Ministers, WTO Director-General Roberto Azevêdo paid special tribute to the government of Yemen for “having guided Yemen through the accession process” and for having undertaken “far-reaching domestic reforms, in challenging circumstances”. Yemen is the 35th least-developed country (LDC) WTO member. DG Azevêdo called on Yemen to “use the WTO platform to make its voice heard.” (see full statement)

Deputy Director-General David Shark paid tribute, on behalf of Mr Hartmut Röben (Germany), Working Party Chairperson for the Accession of Yemen to all members for having contributed to Yemen’s accession by building the necessary consensus to conclude the accession process. The documents before the Ministerial Conference, constituting Yemen’s terms and conditions of entry into the WTO, resulted from a tough and successful engagement between Yemen and WTO members.

Yemen’s Minister of Industry and Trade, H.E. Dr Saadaldeen Talib, said: “Sometimes, countries experience changing fortunes. But the very essence of a country and the history and civilization of trade remain. Our country has been trading for at least five or six hundred years — in fact, since the Spice Route. As a member of the WTO, we aim to strengthen that role and to connect with everybody in the world. We want to share our history, our products and our culture, as we have done with Indonesia — the host of this Ministerial Conference — for so many centuries.”  

Ministers congratulated Yemen for this considerable achievement. They acknowledged that the accession process was long and challenging for an LDC like Yemen.

The Protocol of Accession was officially signed by DG Azevêdo and H.E. Dr Saadaldeen Talib at the end of the ceremony.

Yemen originally applied for WTO membership in 2000 and the Working Party concluded the negotiations on 26 September 2013.

The list of Yemen’s commitments is available here.

More information available here.

 Photos

> Yemen accession

 Jargon buster 

• accession

• binding

• sanitary and phytosanitary measures (SPS)

• technical barriers to trade (TBT)

• working party (accession)

• working party report (accession)

> More jargon: glossary

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