Mike Moore's speeches
Renato Ruggiero's speeches,
As I have
said many times, this is a vitally important negotiation, not only in terms of the
economic benefits that liberalization of telecoms services will confer on the rest of the
world economy. It will also be important for the preparation of the Singapore Ministerial
that this negotiation, which, together with those in Financial Services, Movement of
Natural Persons and Maritime Services, make up four important steps for the multilateral
system, is concluded on time and in a satisfactory way.
With the stakes as high
as they are, and given the strong demand of telecoms users that the negotiation should
succeed, to let it fail would be simply unacceptable. I want to make it clear I am ready
to do anything I can to help you bring it to success.
review what I am told is the current situation:
- According to
the agreed timetable for these negotiations, participants should have begun submitting
offers in July of last year. You have also agreed that revised offers would be submitted
on 8 January and that on 25 March - next Monday - final schedules on basic
telecommunications would be tabled.
- As of today,
we have 37 full participants in the negotiations. This includes the European Union as 1,
and the full participants account for a very large share of world trade in
telecommunications. But of that 37 only 24 have so far submitted initial offers. Only 7 of
these have so far submitted revised or improved offers.
of course for each government involved to decide whether it will take commitments in this
negotiation, and what those commitments should be. But I am concerned that although, as I
understand it, many of you are in a position to make significant improvements in your
offers, and that others who have so far made no offers are likely to be able to do so,
governments appear to be holding back. If I am right, it is lack of time, not lack of
will, that should concern us most. If everybody waits for others to move first there is a
real danger of missing the deadline.
second issue I want to raise with you concerns the regulatory principles and
the "Reference Paper" which has been under discussion. Reports I received
following last month's discussions on this matter were encouraging; it seemed that a good
deal of progress had been made. But in the meeting held earlier this week no further
progress was made, although I think all of you would agree that this text really needs to
be finished during this week. It is an important element of the negotiations, since some
such principles will be essential to give real substance to market access commitments.
Looking at the text, it seems to me that the remaining differences ought to be capable of
resolution; some of them are mere drafting points. May I urge you to make your very best
efforts today to get this element of the work finished, so that the text can be taken into
account in your remaining bilateral negotiations.
convinced that you can produce a good result by the agreed April deadline. I also believe
that a good result will make a real important and valuable contribution to growth and to
confidence in the world economy. I now want to hear your views on what we must all do to
ensure that this happens.
encouraged by this debate. It has shown that all the delegations are dedicated to a
successful conclusion. The utmost importance of these negotiations has been recognized -
indeed, it is one of the most important negotiations for the multilateral trading system.
very clear from the comments we have heard that the deadline of 30 April is a target which
will not be moved. We now need to increase the momentum of negotiation.