WTO: 2015 NEWS ITEMS

GENERAL COUNCIL

Summary of General Council meeting of 30 November 2015


MORE:

MINUTES:

    1. Report by the Chairman of the Trade Negotiations Committee

    The Council suspended consideration of this item and will revert back to it in due course.

    2. Implementation of the Bali outcomes (G/RO/77) — Statement by the Chairman

    The Chairman reported that Members agreed that a work programme on Aid for Trade for 2016-2017 would be developed after MC10. Discussions on the relationship between trade and transfer of technology continued. Following the Bali mandates, the CTD and CRO conducted their annual reviews on DFQF and preferential rules of origin applicable to imports from LDCs (G/RO/77) respectively. A total of 19 notifications of preferences on the LDC Services Waiver, and 75 category A notifications and almost half of the instruments required for the TFA to enter into force have been received by the CTS and the PCTF respectively. The full statement can be found in JOB/GC/88. The Director-General also spoke under this item regarding the Pledging Conference for Phase II of the EIF on 14 December in Nairobi.

    3. Work Programme on Small Economies — Report by the Chairman of the Dedicated Session of the Committee on Trade and Development (WT/COMTD/SE/9)

    The CTD Chairperson said that Members continued to discuss the WTO Secretariat paper in WT/COMTD/SE/W/31 and a revised compilation paper of proposals by the SVEs in WT/COMTD/SE/W/22/Rev.7. A report on the work programme was circulated in WT/COMTD/SE/9. The General Council agreed to forward to MC10 the recommendations in paragraphs 3.2 and 3.3 of the report for Ministers' Decision. Guatemala (SVEs) intervened.

    4. The development assistance aspects of cotton — Periodic Report by the Director-General (WT/GC/175 — WT/CFMC/DG/7 — WT/MIN(15)/8)

    Deputy Dreictor-General Shark, on behalf of the Director-General, introduced the Seventh Periodic Report in WT/GC/175 — WT/CFMC/DG/7 — WT/MIN(15)/8. He noted the acceleration in the implementation of projects and programmes in this area. He thanked Australia, Canada, the European Union and several of its Members States, Japan, Switzerland and the United States for their engagement in the consultative process, and commended Brazil, China and India for their contributions on South-South Cooperation for Cotton Development Assistance.

    5. Fostering Participation of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMES) in Regional and Global Markets — Communication from Brunei Darussalam, Lao PDR, Malaysia, the Philippines and Singapore (WT/GC/W/708 and WT/GC/W/708/Add.1)

    The Philippines drew attention to its revised proposal on MSMEs, co-sponsored by Malaysia, Brunei Darussalam, Lao PDR and Singapore in documents WT/GC/W/708 and Add.1 calling for the inclusion in the outcome documents of MC10 in Nairobi of a statement on Fostering the Participation of MSMEs in Regional and Global Markets. Twenty-two delegations intervened. The General Council took note of the statements.

    6. Tenth Session of the Ministerial Conference

    The General Council agreed to grant Palestine Observer Status at MC10 on an ad hoc basis. The Chairman reported on his consultations on the Attendance of IGOs at MC10 and reported that there was no consensus on the matter. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (Arab Group), the Russian Federation and the Plurinational State of Bolivia intervened. The General Council agreed to elect H.E. Mr Alexander Mora, Minister of Foreign Trade of Costa Rica, as one of the three Vice-Chairs for the Conference.

    The General Council then agreed to forward the draft text decisions on TRIPS non-violation and situation complaints (IP/C/71/Add.2 and Corr.1) and on the Work Programme on Electronic Commerce (WT/GC/W/712) to the Ministerial Conference.

    7. Review of the exemption provided under Paragraph 3 of GATT 1994 (WT/L/948)

    The General Council again considered the exemption under paragraph 3 of GATT 1994 for review. The next review will be held in 2017. Nine delegations and the United States intervened.

    8. TRIPS Council matters:

    The General Council took note of the reports of the TRIPS Council in IP/C/72 and adopted the draft decision in document IP/C/70 extending the time-period for acceptance by Members of the Protocol amending the TRIPS Agreement to 31 December 2017.

    9. WTO Accessions: 2015 Annual Report by the Director-General (WT/ACC/25 — WT/GC/174 — WT/MIN(15)/7) — Statement by Director-General

    DDG Shark, on behalf of the Director-General, introduced the 2015 Annual Report on WTO Accessions in WT/ACC/25 — WT/GC/174 — WT/MIN(15)/7. The report highlighted the positive effects of WTO accessions and the need for a “WTO Post-accession Implementation Support Strategy” for new Article 12 Members. Four delegations intervened.

    10. Derestriction of Historical Bilateral Negotiating Documents of the Tokyo Round — Draft Decision (G/MA/W/115/Rev.1)

    The General Council adopted the draft Decision in G/MA/W/115/Rev.1.

    11. Waivers under Article IX of the WTO Agreement

    The General Council adopted 5 waivers: (i) Introduction of Harmonized System 2002 changes into WTO Schedules of Tariff Concessions; (ii) Introduction of Harmonized System 2007 changes into WTO Schedules of Tariff Concessions; (iii) Introduction of Harmonized System 2012 changes into WTO Schedules of Tariff Concessions; (iv) United States – African Growth Opportunity Act; (v) Least-Developed Country Members – Obligations under Article 70.8 and Article 70.9 of the TRIPS Agreement with respect to Pharmaceutical Products. The Council also conducted the review of five waivers pursuant to Article IX:4 of the WTO Agreement. 

    12. Committee on Budget, Finance and Administration — Report on Meetings of October and November 2015 (WT/BFA/151)

    The General Council adopted the CBFA's report in WT/BFA/151 and approved recommendations in paragraphs 1.6-1.12(b), 2.4, 3.3, 3.4, 4.5, 4.6 and 7.3(b) of the report.

    13. WTO Pension Plan

    The General Council elected Mr Christopher Wilson (United States) as a new Alternate of the WTO Pension Plan Management Board. Turkey intervened. The Council also approved the amendment to the WTO Pension Plan Regulations in WT/GC/W/706.

    14. International Trade Centre UNCTAD/WTO — Report of the joint Advisory Group on its 49th session (ITC/AG(XLIX)/260)

    Following a statement by the Chairman of the CTD on that body's consideration of the report at its meeting on 13 November, the General Council adopted the JAG's report. The Chairman commended Ms Arancha González, the Executive-Director of the ITC, for her valuable efforts.

    15. Review of WTO activities

    The General Council conducted its annual review of WTO activities, in line with the Decision concerning procedures for an annual overview of WTO activities and for reporting under the WTO (WT/L/105). 

    16. Appointment of officers to WTO bodies — Announcement by the Chairman pursuant to paragraph 7.1(a) of the guidelines (WT/L/510)

    In line with the Guidelines for the Appointment of Officers to WTO bodies (WT/L/510), the Chair announced that he would be starting the selection process assisted by the serving Chair of the Dispute Settlement Body.

Under “Other Business”, the Chairman made an announcement regarding Members and Observers in arrears.

 

RSS news feeds

> Problems viewing this page?
Please contact webmaster@wto.org giving details of the operating system and web browser you are using.