8 November 2002
Fifth Geneva Week concentrates on Doha Development Agenda negotiations
WTO Members and Observers without permanent representation in Geneva gathered at the WTO on 4 November 2002 for a week-long session designed to enhance their participation in the trade negotiations launched at the Doha Ministerial conference.
Delegates from 30 countries and 18 regional trade organizations received full briefings on sectors currently under negotiation in the Doha Development Agenda as well as on other WTO issues. Geneva Week participants also had the opportunity to participate in meetings of different WTO bodies, including the formal meeting of the Negotiating Group on Market Access, a special session of the Committee on Trade and Development dedicated to small economies, a meeting of the Sub-Committee on Least-Developed Countries and a Seminar on the Trade Policy Review. The Seminar focused on how participation in the Trade Policy Review process can contribute to strengthening the capacity of developing countries to formulate and implement trade policy, and to derive benefits from their participation in international trade and the WTO. In addition, non-resident delegates met with Ambassador Sergio Marchi, Chairman of the General Council.
In launching the Geneva Week programme, Director-General Supachai Panitchpakdi stressed his commitment to assist those without representation in Geneva: “I attach the greatest importance to the needs and priorities of the Non-Residents,” he said. “I am committed to finding ways and means to better assist them. Geneva Week is one of the more creative mechanisms that has been established by the Secretariat to respond to the specific needs of WTO Members and Observers”.
This is the second Geneva Week programme this year (the previous meeting was in April). The Geneva Week is now funded directly from the WTO’s core budget rather than through trust fund contributions. It is designed to bring up to date on WTO activities those Members and Observers who are unable to regularly attend WTO meetings in Geneva. The first Geneva Week took place in 1999.
Twenty two WTO Members and 8 Observers attended the Geneva Week: (Members) Antigua & Barbuda; Belize; Burkina Faso; Chad; Fiji; Gambia; Grenada; Guyana; Macao, China; Malawi; Maldives; Mali; Namibia; Niger; Papua New Guinea; Saint Kitts & Nevis; Saint Lucia; Sierra Leone; Solomon Islands; Suriname; Swaziland; Togo; (Observers) Armenia; Bahamas; Lao, PDR; Samoa; Sao Tome & Principe; Seychelles; Tonga; Uzbekistan. The following Secretariats of regional trade organizations also attended: Caribbean Community; Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA); East African Community; Economic Cooperation Organization; Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS); Intergovernmental Authority on Development; Indian Ocean Commission; Organization of East Caribbean States; Pacific Islands Forum; Caribbean Regional Negotiating Machinery; South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC); New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD); Southern African Development Community (SADC); Communauté Economique et Monétaire; Commission de l’Union Economique et Monétaire; Asociación Latinoamericana de Integración; Comunidad Andina; Mercado Común del Sur (MERCOSUR); Secretaría de Integración Económica Centroamericana (SIECA).