Speaking after the meeting, DG Azevêdo said:
“Minister Malcorra's presence here today is a strong sign of Argentina's commitment to our work and to a successful Ministerial Conference in December. I have no doubt that all WTO members will be grateful for this, and that the opportunity for the host of the Conference to be briefed in full by the chairs of the negotiating groups will prove to be an important step in our preparations.
“I will continue to do all I can to facilitate as much convergence as possible before we board the plane to Buenos Aires. Nevertheless, a successful Ministerial Conference will require continued political engagement throughout the process from all members.”
The Director-General will brief the full membership on this and other consultations before the next meeting of the WTO General Council, scheduled for 10-11 May.
The negotiating group chairs attending the meeting were:
- Ambassador Dr Stephen Karau (Kenya) – agriculture
- Ambassador Hector Marcelo Cima (Argentina) – services
- Ambassador Didier Chambovey (Switzerland) – non-agriculture market access
- Ambassador Dacio Castillo (Honduras) – intellectual property
- Ambassador Wayne McCook (Jamaica) – rules
- Ambassador Dr Syed Tauqir Shah (Pakistan) – trade and environment
- Ambassador Tan Yee Woan (Singapore) – development
Ambassador Coly Seck (Senegal), chair of the dispute settlement understanding negotiations, and Ambassador Xavier Carim (South Africa), chairman of the General Council, were both unable to attend the meeting.