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22 June 2000

Statement by director-general Moore on first general council implementation session

“I warmly welcome the approval today (22 June) by the WTO General Council of a work programme on implementation. For many of our Member Governments the problems related to implementing WTO agreements are the most important issues facing our organization today. By committing themselves to an action-oriented programme for addressing these concerns, WTO Member Governments have taken another important step in building confidence in the WTO and the global trading system. I look forward to assisting these governments in their consultations on implementation in the months to come.”

General Council Special Session on Implementation, 22 June 2000
Organization of Work and Indicative Schedule of Meetings — 2000

In pursuance of the decision on implementation-related issues taken by the General Council on 3 May, which provides that in addressing these issues the General Council is to assess the existing difficulties, identify ways needed to resolve them, and take decisions for appropriate action, Members agree to the following:

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Organization of Work

  • The first Special Session on Implementation on 22 June, continuing on 3 July as necessary, will:

    - adopt a programme and calendar for work in the coming months;
    - provide an opportunity for identifying activities under way that may be of relevance to addressing implementation concerns; and

    - discuss implementation-related issues and concerns, especially those reflected in paragraph 21 of the draft Ministerial text of 19 October 1999 (Job(99)/5868/Rev.1)(1).

  • Following the discussion of the issues referred to in the previous paragraph, the General Council invites the Chairman and the Director-General to hold consultations with a view to identifying ways needed to resolve them in accordance with the decision of 3 May. These consultations will be conducted in a transparent manner. The Chairman and the Director-General will report to Members on the results of their consultations on such issues sufficiently in advance of the second Special Session, scheduled for October.
  • The second Special Session, on October 18 and 19, will begin by acting on the results of the discussions and consultations on the issues referred to above in accordance with the decision of 3 May. Thereafter, the meeting will address other proposals on implementation, especially those reflected in paragraph 22 of the draft Ministerial text of 19 October 1999 as well as others in the compilation of proposals in document Job(99)/4797/Rev.3 of 18 November 1999.1
  • The General Council, in addressing the implementation issues, may refer matters to other WTO bodies with specific mandates and timeframes as necessary, and identify and address any technical assistance needs. The General Council may also invite Chairpersons of other WTO bodies to provide factual status reports on their own responsibility on the implementation-related issues under consideration in their respective bodies, as necessary.
  • Following the October Special Session and that to be held on 18 and 19 December, the Council may invite the Chairman and the Director-General to assist the process through further consultations on specific issues as appropriate.
  • In the light of the progress made until then, the third Special Session in December will take decisions for appropriate action where possible and in accordance with the decision of 3 May, and also decide on the organization of further work so that the process envisaged in the decision of 3 May should be completed no later than the Fourth Session of the Ministerial Conference.

The above schedule of meetings of the Special Sessions of the General Council on Implementation is suggested for the remainder of 2000. Further meetings will be held in 2001. It will be understood that this schedule is flexible and may need to be adjusted and complemented as necessary by informal meetings of the General Council as work progresses. The order of issues for discussion will, of course, be without prejudice to Members' positions on any matter.

Footnotes :

1. In accordance with the decision of 3 May on implementation-related issues, the references to issues in paragraphs 21 or 22 of the 19 October 1999 text or to those in the compilation of proposals of 18 November 1999 does not preclude the possibility for any Member to raise any other implementation-related issues at this meeting or any other meeting, without prejudice to addressing the concerns of developing countries Back to text