The Director-General reported to members on his recent consultations, arising from discussions in Geneva and from various bilateral visits to capitals around the world. He said:
“The message I am receiving loud and clear from capitals — and from delegations in Geneva — is that, after our successes in Bali and Nairobi, we must keep delivering. And I continue to hear a lot of ideas being floated regarding process and substance. There is a very wide range of issues here — and in each case, we need a much greater degree of specificity. We will need more clarity in order to make progress. Some issues already have MC11 as a deadline for outcomes, such as public stockholding. This is not the case for most other issues however.
“So we have to keep an eye on the calendar. Five months have passed since our 10th Ministerial Conference in Nairobi. Soon it will be time to roll up our sleeves and move towards identifying concrete outcomes for our 11th Ministerial Conference. This means that the current period of reflection must soon be over. In short, we need to be ready to move to the next stage of our work, and to provide more specifics about both the ‘what’ and the ‘how’ — we need to transition from reflection to action.”
The meeting also heard reports of the negotiating group chairs on the recent discussions which they convened, and numerous members took the floor. Many members reiterated the importance of continuing to move forward and deliver outcomes, and many reiterated the centrality of development and, particularly, the importance of agriculture. Others recalled that agriculture is not the only priority and that we need to look at the full range of issues before us. A number of suggestions were made of potential issues to be discussed and processes which could be followed. The Director-General stressed that he remains, along with the General Council Chair and the negotiating group chairs, at members’ disposal in defining a credible path forward.