WTO: 2015 NEWS ITEMS

HEADS OF DELEGATIONS


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The Director-General said:

“While members have identified some important potential deliverables for Nairobi, they should not be taken for granted. I have always said that we need to work hard and show both flexibility and a willingness to contribute if we are going to make progress. But those elements have not materialised, and so the reality is that we are not moving forward.

“We need two things for success at the Ministerial Conference. First we need serious engagement on substance in the Negotiating Groups. Second, members need to rethink the red lines that they have been drawing. We must see more flexibility and pragmatism in the handful of days and weeks remaining if we want to have positive outcomes in Nairobi.”

The meeting was also an opportunity to review progress on work to develop a Ministerial Declaration for the Ministerial Conference. A new process was established to gather members’ views on this document on 12 October, when the Director-General appointed three facilitators to consult with members. The three facilitators were: Ambassador Gabriel Duque of Colombia, Ambassador Harald Neple of Norway and Ambassador Stephen Karau of Kenya (the host country of the 10th Ministerial Conference).

The facilitators’ consultations took place from 16 to 27 October 2015 and they met with a total of 58 delegations, some of which represented groups of members. Their conversations covered three broad questions: the potential structure of the Ministerial Declaration, what elements it could contain, and what process would lead to a consensual text. In the meeting of all members today the three facilitators gave a detailed report of their consultations and some members took the floor in response.

In concluding the meeting the Director-General said:

“I listened carefully to the facilitators’ report. There are clearly some common threads in all of this — but also some very significant differences. Therefore, I think it is important that we take a moment to absorb the facilitators’ reports in full and reflect on what we heard today, before reconvening next week to discuss the next steps and define a way forward. We have faced difficulties before. I think we can do it — but there is a long way still to travel and much work to do. I urge members to be constructive.”

The Director-General announced that another meeting of all members will be held on Tuesday 3 November.

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