> Pascal Lamy’s speeches
I would like to extend a warm welcome to Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov, Minister Elvira Nabiullina and the entire Delegation of the Russian Federation.
This is a historic moment for the Russian Federation and the rules-based Multilateral Trading System. After an 18-year marathon, and I know something about marathons, the finish line has been crossed.
The last sprint is a very tough moment, but crossing the finishing line is the best moment. The “finish” is celebrated by several parties: the runner, the team, the competitors and the audience. And as the finish line is crossed, the attention needs to turn to the future. To implementing step by step the commitments undertaken.
The package we have just adopted is the result of hard technical work, led by modernizing political leadership. It is the most recent evidence of the ability of members to converge and preserve a basic principle of the WTO: decision making by consensus.
The accession of Russia to the WTO is a win-win deal. It will cement the integration of the Russian Federation into the global economy. It will bring greater certainty and stability to business operators and trading partners. It is a contribution to the rule of trade law.
It strengthens and opens new trade opportunities. It accords the WTO “quality label” to the Russian Federation.
The Russian accession is also good for the Multilateral System as a whole. With the accession of the Russian Federation, the WTO will cover 97 per cent of world trade. The WTO is rapidly approaching universality in the coverage of global trade.
I would like to pay tribute to Minister Nabiullina and her team of accession negotiators, led by Mr. Maxim Medvedkov, for their commitment to successfully concluding the process of WTO accession. They have worked together with members and proved that sustained technical work, with committed political leadership, yield tangible results.
Congratulations to all for a job well done!
The accession of the Russian Federation is a concrete sign of confidence in the Organization and the Multilateral Trading System.
This is why, as Director-General, I take this opportunity to express my appreciation to our entire membership for its ability to work together, build consensus, and “deliver” on the accession of the Russian Federation. Particular thanks go to Swiss president Micheline Calmy-Rey for her mediation efforts between Russia and Georgia which brought us to this point.
To the Russian Federation I say: we count on you to exercise leadership. To become an active player of the WTO.
Let me in closing thank the Chair of the Working Party Stefan Johansson, without whose perseverance, patience and able steer this would not have happened. Let me also thank the Secretariat team led by Chiedu Osakwe and the very large team of staff who worked literally day and night to make this come true.
To the Government and the People of the Russian Federation, a warm welcome to the WTO, now your house too.Dobra Pajalavat!