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> Summary of the General Council meeting



DG statement on launch of MC10 logo

I am delighted to be launching this logo for the 10th Ministerial Conference — which is being launched simultaneously in Nairobi this morning.

You will recall that when we agreed Nairobi as the venue for MC10 in December last year, our good friend Minister Amina Mohamed was with us. 

In her remarks she emphasized that she was accepting this honour not just on behalf of Kenya but on behalf of Africa as a whole. 

We developed the logo in close cooperation with our Kenyan colleagues, and so, as you can see, it reflects this important dimension.

It is my hope that each time we see this logo it will remind us of the many people in Africa, and all over the world, who are counting on us to deliver substantive outcomes in Nairobi which will support much-needed global growth and development.

I think this is appropriate for the first WTO Ministerial Conference held in Africa — and for a Ministerial Conference which must deliver for Africa.

Statement by DG Azevêdo as TNC Chair

Since the General Council in February, the TNC held its 36th formal meeting on 27 April. I also convened a Room W meeting on 18 March. At both of these meetings, members reviewed their progress in developing a work programme on the remaining DDA issues by July this year.

At last week's TNC, we had the opportunity to hear directly from all the chairs on their recent consultations. The full texts of their reports, together with my assessment were immediately made available to delegations in document JOB/TNC/47.

I said at the TNC that I thought we should seek to avoid a repetition today of last week's discussion.

Therefore I think that it makes sense to add all of the statements that were made at the TNC to the record of this meeting as a matter of course. Unless anybody requests otherwise, that means my statement, statements from the chairs, and statements from members — all of them will be reflected in the minutes of the TNC which will be added to the record of today's General Council.

Members had the opportunity to express their views on the way forward at the TNC. Overall, I believe that we had a useful exchange of views on the progress we are making and on the challenges we still face.  

Mr Chairman, I drew three main conclusions from what I heard from chairs at the TNC, but also from my own consultations. I would like to briefly reiterate my assessment, this morning.

My first conclusion was that a lot of good work has been done in the past few weeks, in particular in the three core areas.  

This positive engagement is essential, but we cannot escape the fact that there are “gateway” issues that we need to tackle very quickly.

However, also at the TNC, many delegations noted that we have to be aware of the damaging consequences that any kind of de-facto sequencing may have.

My second conclusion was that development and LDC issues must continue to remain central to our work. I think this was a clear message from many delegations and groups at the TNC.

The Global Review of Aid for Trade in June will provide an important focus to the development component of our work.

The Global Review will also mark the re-launch of the Enhanced Integrated Framework for the LDCs. In addition, I will remain closely engaged with broader efforts such as the UN's work on Financing for Development and discussions on the post-2015 development agenda.

On a related point, I would like to raise the issue of the operationalization of the LDC Services Waiver. As you all know there was a very successful high-level meeting on this issue in February. Over 25 members indicated LDC services sectors and modes of supply to which they will give preferential treatment. However, so far, only one member has followed through and submitted a notification.

I think it is very important that we deliver on these commitments — keeping in mind the agreed indicative timeline of the end of July.

My third conclusion was that while progress has been difficult, this was clearly to be expected, and there are reasons to be positive.

Engagement levels have been very high. Delegations have been constructive and have moved to a solution-finding mode. A number of new ideas and papers have emerged. I believe we now have a number of areas where potential outcomes exist that could be acceptable to everyone.

What I believe is important now is to begin to seek an overall balance. The key potential trade-offs between the different areas are not clearly on the table as yet.

This is why I announced at the TNC that I would increasingly look at ways to facilitate a discussion on the horizontal trade-offs, including through the wider Room W process.

And the importance of this horizontal process underlines how vital it is that we make substantive movement in all areas to facilitate these trade-offs.

Mr Chairman, many members and groups emphasized at the TNC that we must not only bear in mind our mandate from ministers but crucially we must deliver on it — and do so with an appropriate level of ambition. I wish to re-emphasize what I said at the TNC. Whatever the nature of the work programme that members will deliver in July, it has to be credible.

In my view, the work programme must fulfil three criteria:

  • It must be substantive and meaningful.
  • It must provide clear guidance on how to conclude the negotiations.
  • And it must be a springboard to a successful MC10.

Following the realistic assessment of our progress at last week's meeting, I believe members all share the same sense of urgency. 

Together with the negotiating group chairs and the Chairman of the General Council, I will intensify my consultations in the coming weeks. But progress will be up to you.

We can provide the pitch, the ball and the kit — but you are the players.

So I urge you to redouble your efforts: to stay engaged, to keep being creative, to keep bringing fresh ideas to the table, and to stay focused on what is doable.

This concludes my report.


> President Kenyatta kicks off preparations for WTO Conference

> Statement by Amina Mohamed

Azevêdo launches 10th WTO Ministerial Conference logo





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