The meeting was attended by ministers and representatives from around 30 WTO members, including developed, developing and least-developed members. It was organized by Australia and co-chaired by Australia’s Minister Steven Ciobo and Minister Susana Malcorra of Argentina in her role as Chair of MC11.
DG Azevêdo said:
“We need continued engagement at ministerial level from now until Buenos Aires. I ask ministers to instruct their Geneva delegations to remain ready to work constructively, and with a willingness to engage with greater specificity. More importantly, given the lack of specificity in most discussions, and how tough all of them are, it is essential that ministers instruct their delegations to show open-mindedness and pragmatism.
“With the outcomes of Bali and Nairobi we re-established momentum in the WTO. We found, in both instances, that the key for success was flexibility – both in substance and process. So let’s keep that in mind. Whatever the scenario in December, MC11 should provide a strong platform for future work. This is vital for the future of global trade, and therefore for all economies represented here today.
“I will continue my own consultations to facilitate convergence wherever I can, but proponents have a particular responsibility to build momentum behind their ideas.I think that, by early October, we should be in a position to tell what is achievable by MC11, and then we can plan accordingly. Of course, it is vital that the process is inclusive and transparent throughout.”