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Hong Kong, China - 2005

logo for the 6th Ministerial Conference in Hong Kong, China - 2005

WT/MIN(05)/DEC
22 December 2005

DOHA WORK PROGRAMME

Ministerial Declaration

Adopted on 18 December 2005

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Contents:
Agriculture negotiations

Cotton
NAMA negotiations
Balance between Agriculture and NAMA
Services negotiations
Rules negotiations
TRIPS negotiations
Environment negotiations
Trade Facilitation negotiations
DSU negotiations
S&D treatment
Implementation
TRIPS & Public Health
Small Economies
Trade, Debt & Finance
Doha paragraph 19
TRIPS non-violation and situation complaints
E-commerce
LDCs
Integrated Framework
Technical Cooperation
Commodity Issues
Coherence
Aid for Trade
> Recently-acceded Members
Accessions

The Sixth WTO Ministerial Conference

Other WTO Ministerials:
> Cancún 10–14 Sept. 2003
> Doha 9–14 Nov. 2001
> Seattle 30 Nov.–3 Dec. 1999
> Geneva 18 & 20 May 1998
> Singapore 9–13 Dec. 1996


1. We reaffirm the Declarations and Decisions we adopted at Doha, as well as the Decision adopted by the General Council on 1 August 2004, and our full commitment to give effect to them. We renew our resolve to complete the Doha Work Programme fully and to conclude the negotiations launched at Doha successfully in 2006.

2. We emphasize the central importance of the development dimension in every aspect of the Doha Work Programme and recommit ourselves to making it a meaningful reality, in terms both of the results of the negotiations on market access and rule-making and of the specific development-related issues set out below.

3. In pursuance of these objectives, we agree as follows:

Agriculture negotiations

4. We reaffirm our commitment to the mandate on agriculture as set out in paragraph 13 of the Doha Ministerial Declaration and to the Framework adopted by the General Council on 1 August 2004. We take note of the report by the Chairman of the Special Session on his own responsibility (TN/AG/21, contained in Annex A). We welcome the progress made by the Special Session of the Committee on Agriculture since 2004 and recorded therein.

5. On domestic support, there will be three bands for reductions in Final Bound Total AMS and in the overall cut in trade-distorting domestic support, with higher linear cuts in higher bands. In both cases, the Member with the highest level of permitted support will be in the top band, the two Members with the second and third highest levels of support will be in the middle band and all other Members, including all developing country Members, will be in the bottom band. In addition, developed country Members in the lower bands with high relative levels of Final Bound Total AMS will make an additional effort in AMS reduction. We also note that there has been some convergence concerning the reductions in Final Bound Total AMS, the overall cut in trade-distorting domestic support and in both product-specific and non product-specific de minimis limits. Disciplines will be developed to achieve effective cuts in trade-distorting domestic support consistent with the Framework. The overall reduction in trade-distorting domestic support will still need to be made even if the sum of the reductions in Final Bound Total AMS, de minimis and Blue Box payments would otherwise be less than that overall reduction. Developing country Members with no AMS commitments will be exempt from reductions in de minimis and the overall cut in trade-distorting domestic support. Green Box criteria will be reviewed in line with paragraph 16 of the Framework, inter alia, to ensure that programmes of developing country Members that cause not more than minimal trade-distortion are effectively covered.

6. We agree to ensure the parallel elimination of all forms of export subsidies and disciplines on all export measures with equivalent effect to be completed by the end of 2013. This will be achieved in a progressive and parallel manner, to be specified in the modalities, so that a substantial part is realized by the end of the first half of the implementation period. We note emerging convergence on some elements of disciplines with respect to export credits, export credit guarantees or insurance programmes with repayment periods of 180 days and below. We agree that such programmes should be self-financing, reflecting market consistency, and that the period should be of a sufficiently short duration so as not to effectively circumvent real commercially-oriented discipline. As a means of ensuring that trade-distorting practices of STEs are eliminated, disciplines relating to exporting STEs will extend to the future use of monopoly powers so that such powers cannot be exercised in any way that would circumvent the direct disciplines on STEs on export subsidies, government financing and the underwriting of losses. On food aid, we reconfirm our commitment to maintain an adequate level and to take into account the interests of food aid recipient countries. To this end, a “safe box” for bona fide food aid will be provided to ensure that there is no unintended impediment to dealing with emergency situations. Beyond that, we will ensure elimination of commercial displacement. To this end, we will agree effective disciplines on in-kind food aid, monetization and re-exports so that there can be no loop-hole for continuing export subsidization. The disciplines on export credits, export credit guarantees or insurance programmes, exporting state trading enterprises and food aid will be completed by 30 April 2006 as part of the modalities, including appropriate provision in favour of least-developed and net food-importing developing countries as provided for in paragraph 4 of the Marrakesh Decision. The date above for the elimination of all forms of export subsidies, together with the agreed progressivity and parallelism, will be confirmed only upon the completion of the modalities. Developing country Members will continue to benefit from the provisions of Article 9.4 of the Agreement on Agriculture for five years after the end-date for elimination of all forms of export subsidies.

7. On market access, we note the progress made on ad valorem equivalents. We adopt four bands for structuring tariff cuts, recognizing that we need now to agree on the relevant thresholds — including those applicable for developing country Members. We recognize the need to agree on treatment of sensitive products, taking into account all the elements involved. We also note that there have been some recent movements on the designation and treatment of Special Products and elements of the Special Safeguard Mechanism. Developing country Members will have the flexibility to self-designate an appropriate number of tariff lines as Special Products guided by indicators based on the criteria of food security, livelihood security and rural development. Developing country Members will also have the right to have recourse to a Special Safeguard Mechanism based on import quantity and price triggers, with precise arrangements to be further defined. Special Products and the Special Safeguard Mechanism shall be an integral part of the modalities and the outcome of negotiations in agriculture.

8. On other elements of special and differential treatment, we note in particular the consensus that exists in the Framework on several issues in all three pillars of domestic support, export competition and market access and that some progress has been made on other special and differential treatment issues.

9. We reaffirm that nothing we have agreed here compromises the agreement already reflected in the Framework on other issues including tropical products and products of particular importance to the diversification of production from the growing of illicit narcotic crops, long-standing preferences and preference erosion.

10. However, we recognize that much remains to be done in order to establish modalities and to conclude the negotiations. Therefore, we agree to intensify work on all outstanding issues to fulfil the Doha objectives, in particular, we are resolved to establish modalities no later than 30 April 2006 and to submit comprehensive draft Schedules based on these modalities no later than 31 July 2006.

Cotton

11. We recall the mandate given by the Members in the Decision adopted by the General Council on 1 August 2004 to address cotton ambitiously, expeditiously and specifically, within the agriculture negotiations in relation to all trade-distorting policies affecting the sector in all three pillars of market access, domestic support and export competition, as specified in the Doha text and the July 2004 Framework text. We note the work already undertaken in the Sub-Committee on Cotton and the proposals made with regard to this matter. Without prejudice to Members’ current WTO rights and obligations, including those flowing from actions taken by the Dispute Settlement Body, we reaffirm our commitment to ensure having an explicit decision on cotton within the agriculture negotiations and through the Sub-Committee on Cotton ambitiously, expeditiously and specifically as follows:

  • All forms of export subsidies for cotton will be eliminated by developed countries in 2006.
      
  • On market access, developed countries will give duty and quota free access for cotton exports from least-developed countries (LDCs) from the commencement of the implementation period.
      
  • Members agree that the objective is that, as an outcome for the negotiations, trade distorting domestic subsidies for cotton production be reduced more ambitiously than under whatever general formula is agreed and that it should be implemented over a shorter period of time than generally applicable. We commit ourselves to give priority in the negotiations to reach such an outcome.

12. With regard to the development assistance aspects of cotton, we welcome the Consultative Framework process initiated by the Director-General to implement the decisions on these aspects pursuant to paragraph 1.b of the Decision adopted by the General Council on 1 August 2004. We take note of his Periodic Reports and the positive evolution of development assistance noted therein. We urge the Director-General to further intensify his consultative efforts with bilateral donors and with multilateral and regional institutions, with emphasis on improved coherence, coordination and enhanced implementation and to explore the possibility of establishing through such institutions a mechanism to deal with income declines in the cotton sector until the end of subsidies. Noting the importance of achieving enhanced efficiency and competitiveness in the cotton producing process, we urge the development community to further scale up its cotton-specific assistance and to support the efforts of the Director-General. In this context, we urge Members to promote and support South-South cooperation, including transfer of technology. We welcome the domestic reform efforts by African cotton producers aimed at enhancing productivity and efficiency, and encourage them to deepen this process. We reaffirm the complementarity of the trade policy and development assistance aspects of cotton. We invite the Director-General to furnish a third Periodic Report to our next Session with updates, at appropriate intervals in the meantime, to the General Council, while keeping the Sub-Committee on Cotton fully informed of progress. Finally, as regards follow up and monitoring, we request the Director-General to set up an appropriate follow-up and monitoring mechanism.

NAMA negotiations

13. We reaffirm our commitment to the mandate for negotiations on market access for non-agricultural products as set out in paragraph 16 of the Doha Ministerial Declaration. We also reaffirm all the elements of the NAMA Framework adopted by the General Council on 1 August 2004. We take note of the report by the Chairman of the Negotiating Group on Market Access on his own responsibility (TN/MA/16, contained in Annex B). We welcome the progress made by the Negotiating Group on Market Access since 2004 and recorded therein.

14. We adopt a Swiss Formula with coefficients at levels which shall inter alia:

  • Reduce or as appropriate eliminate tariffs, including the reduction or elimination of tariff peaks, high tariffs and tariff escalation, in particular on products of export interest to developing countries; and
      
  • Take fully into account the special needs and interests of developing countries, including through less than full reciprocity in reduction commitments.
We instruct the Negotiating Group to finalize its structure and details as soon as possible.

15. We reaffirm the importance of special and differential treatment and less than full reciprocity in reduction commitments, including paragraph 8 of the NAMA Framework, as integral parts of the modalities. We instruct the Negotiating Group to finalize its details as soon as possible.

16. In furtherance of paragraph 7 of the NAMA Framework, we recognize that Members are pursuing sectoral initiatives. To this end, we instruct the Negotiating Group to review proposals with a view to identifying those which could garner sufficient participation to be realized. Participation should be on a non-mandatory basis.

17. For the purpose of the second indent of paragraph 5 of the NAMA Framework, we adopt a non-linear mark-up approach to establish base rates for commencing tariff reductions. We instruct the Negotiating Group to finalize its details as soon as possible.

18. We take note of the progress made to convert non ad valorem duties to ad valorem equivalents on the basis of an agreed methodology as contained in JOB(05)/166/Rev.1.

19. We take note of the level of common understanding reached on the issue of product coverage and direct the Negotiating Group to resolve differences on the limited issues that remain as quickly as possible.

20. As a supplement to paragraph 16 of the NAMA Framework, we recognize the challenges that may be faced by non-reciprocal preference beneficiary Members as a consequence of the MFN liberalization that will result from these negotiations. We instruct the Negotiating Group to intensify work on the assessment of the scope of the problem with a view to finding possible solutions.

21. We note the concerns raised by small, vulnerable economies, and instruct the Negotiating Group to establish ways to provide flexibilities for these Members without creating a sub-category of WTO Members.

22. We note that the Negotiating Group has made progress in the identification, categorization and examination of notified NTBs. We also take note that Members are developing bilateral, vertical and horizontal approaches to the NTB negotiations, and that some of the NTBs are being addressed in other fora including other Negotiating Groups. We recognize the need for specific negotiating proposals and encourage participants to make such submissions as quickly as possible.

23. However, we recognize that much remains to be done in order to establish modalities and to conclude the negotiations. Therefore, we agree to intensify work on all outstanding issues to fulfil the Doha objectives, in particular, we are resolved to establish modalities no later than 30 April 2006 and to submit comprehensive draft Schedules based on these modalities no later than 31 July 2006.

Balance between Agriculture and NAMA

24. We recognize that it is important to advance the development objectives of this Round through enhanced market access for developing countries in both Agriculture and NAMA. To that end, we instruct our negotiators to ensure that there is a comparably high level of ambition in market access for Agriculture and NAMA. This ambition is to be achieved in a balanced and proportionate manner consistent with the principle of special and differential treatment.

Services negotiations

 

25. The negotiations on trade in services shall proceed to their conclusion with a view to promoting the economic growth of all trading partners and the development of developing and least-developed countries, and with due respect for the right of Members to regulate. In this regard, we recall and reaffirm the objectives and principles stipulated in the GATS, the Doha Ministerial Declaration, the Guidelines and Procedures for the Negotiations on Trade in Services adopted by the Special Session of the Council for Trade in Services on 28 March 2001 and the Modalities for the Special Treatment for Least-Developed Country Members in the Negotiations on Trade in Services adopted on 3 September 2003, as well as Annex C of the Decision adopted by the General Council on 1 August 2004.

26. We urge all Members to participate actively in these negotiations towards achieving a progressively higher level of liberalization of trade in services, with appropriate flexibility for individual developing countries as provided for in Article XIX of the GATS. Negotiations shall have regard to the size of economies of individual Members, both overall and in individual sectors. We recognize the particular economic situation of LDCs, including the difficulties they face, and acknowledge that they are not expected to undertake new commitments.

27. We are determined to intensify the negotiations in accordance with the above principles and the Objectives, Approaches and Timelines set out in Annex C to this document with a view to expanding the sectoral and modal coverage of commitments and improving their quality. In this regard, particular attention will be given to sectors and modes of supply of export interest to developing countries.

Rules negotiations

 

28. We recall the mandates in paragraphs 28 and 29 of the Doha Ministerial Declaration and reaffirm our commitment to the negotiations on rules, as we set forth in Annex D to this document.

TRIPS negotiations

 

29. We take note of the report of the Chairman of the Special Session of the Council for TRIPS setting out the progress in the negotiations on the establishment of a multilateral system of notification and registration of geographical indications for wines and spirits, as mandated in Article 23.4 of the TRIPS Agreement and paragraph 18 of the Doha Ministerial Declaration, contained in document TN/IP/14, and agree to intensify these negotiations in order to complete them within the overall time-frame for the conclusion of the negotiations that were foreseen in the Doha Ministerial Declaration.

Environment negotiations

 

30. We reaffirm the mandate in paragraph 31 of the Doha Ministerial Declaration aimed at enhancing the mutual supportiveness of trade and environment and welcome the significant work undertaken in the Committee on Trade and Environment (CTE) in Special Session. We instruct Members to intensify the negotiations, without prejudging their outcome, on all parts of paragraph 31 to fulfil the mandate.

31. We recognize the progress in the work under paragraph 31(i) based on Members’ submissions on the relationship between existing WTO rules and specific trade obligations set out in multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs). We further recognize the work undertaken under paragraph 31(ii) towards developing effective procedures for regular information exchange between MEA Secretariats and the relevant WTO committees, and criteria for the granting of observer status.

32. We recognize that recently more work has been carried out under paragraph 31(iii) through numerous submissions by Members and discussions in the CTE in Special Session, including technical discussions, which were also held in informal information exchange sessions without prejudice to Members’ positions. We instruct Members to complete the work expeditiously under paragraph 31(iii).

Trade Facilitation negotiations

33. We recall and reaffirm the mandate and modalities for negotiations on Trade Facilitation contained in Annex D of the Decision adopted by the General Council on 1 August 2004. We note with appreciation the report of the Negotiating Group, attached in Annex E to this document, and the comments made by our delegations on that report as reflected in document TN/TF/M/11. We endorse the recommendations contained in paragraphs 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 of the report.

DSU negotiations

34. We take note of the progress made in the Dispute Settlement Understanding negotiations as reflected in the report by the Chairman of the Special Session of the Dispute Settlement Body to the Trade Negotiations Committee (TNC) and direct the Special Session to continue to work towards a rapid conclusion of the negotiations.

S&D treatment

35. We reaffirm that provisions for special and differential (S&D) treatment are an integral part of the WTO Agreements. We renew our determination to fulfil the mandate contained in paragraph 44 of the Doha Ministerial Declaration and in the Decision adopted by the General Council on 1 August 2004, that all S&D treatment provisions be reviewed with a view to strengthening them and making them more precise, effective and operational.

36. We take note of the work done on the Agreement-specific proposals, especially the five LDC proposals. We agree to adopt the decisions contained in Annex F to this document. However, we also recognize that substantial work still remains to be done. We commit ourselves to address the development interests and concerns of developing countries, especially the LDCs, in the multilateral trading system, and we recommit ourselves to complete the task we set ourselves at Doha . We accordingly instruct the Committee on Trade and Development in Special Session to expeditiously complete the review of all the outstanding Agreement-specific proposals and report to the General Council, with clear recommendations for a decision, by December 2006.

37. We are concerned at the lack of progress on the Category II proposals that had been referred to other WTO bodies and negotiating groups. We instruct these bodies to expeditiously complete the consideration of these proposals and report periodically to the General Council, with the objective of ensuring that clear recommendations for a decision are made no later than December 2006. We also instruct the Special Session to continue to coordinate its efforts with these bodies, so as to ensure that this work is completed on time.

38. We further instruct the Special Session, within the parameters of the Doha mandate, to resume work on all other outstanding issues, including on the cross-cutting issues, the monitoring mechanism, and the incorporation of S&D treatment into the architecture of WTO rules, and report on a regular basis to the General Council.

Implementation

39. We reiterate the instruction in the Decision adopted by the General Council on 1 August 2004 to the TNC, negotiating bodies and other WTO bodies concerned to redouble their efforts to find appropriate solutions as a priority to outstanding implementation-related issues. We take note of the work undertaken by the Director-General in his consultative process on all outstanding implementation issues under paragraph 12(b) of the Doha Ministerial Declaration, including on issues related to the extension of the protection of geographical indications provided for in Article 23 of the TRIPS Agreement to products other than wines and spirits and those related to the relationship between the TRIPS Agreement and the Convention on Biological Diversity. We request the Director-General, without prejudice to the positions of Members, to intensify his consultative process on all outstanding implementation issues under paragraph 12(b), if need be by appointing Chairpersons of concerned WTO bodies as his Friends and/or by holding dedicated consultations. The Director-General shall report to each regular meeting of the TNC and the General Council. The Council shall review progress and take any appropriate action no later than 31 July 2006.

TRIPS & Public Health

 

40. We reaffirm the importance we attach to the General Council Decision of 30 August 2003 on the Implementation of Paragraph 6 of the Doha Declaration on the TRIPS Agreement and Public Health, and to an amendment to the TRIPS Agreement replacing its provisions. In this regard, we welcome the work that has taken place in the Council for TRIPS and the Decision of the General Council of 6 December 2005 on an Amendment of the TRIPS Agreement.

Small Economies

41. We reaffirm our commitment to the Work Programme on Small Economies and urge Members to adopt specific measures that would facilitate the fuller integration of small, vulnerable economies into the multilateral trading system, without creating a sub-category of WTO Members. We take note of the report of the Committee on Trade and Development in Dedicated Session on the Work Programme on Small Economies to the General Council and agree to the recommendations on future work. We instruct the Committee on Trade and Development, under the overall responsibility of the General Council, to continue the work in the Dedicated Session and to monitor progress of the small economies’ proposals in the negotiating and other bodies, with the aim of providing responses to the trade-related issues of small economies as soon as possible but no later than 31 December 2006. We instruct the General Council to report on progress and action taken, together with any further recommendations as appropriate, to our next Session.

Trade, Debt & Finance

42. We take note of the report transmitted by the General Council on the work undertaken and progress made in the examination of the relationship between trade, debt and finance and on the consideration of any possible recommendations on steps that might be taken within the mandate and competence of the WTO as provided in paragraph 36 of the Doha Ministerial Declaration and agree that, building on the work carried out to date, this work shall continue on the basis of the Doha mandate. We instruct the General Council to report further to our next Session.

Trade & Transfer of Technology

43. We take note of the report transmitted by the General Council on the work undertaken and progress made in the examination of the relationship between trade and transfer of technology and on the consideration of any possible recommendations on steps that might be taken within the mandate of the WTO to increase flows of technology to developing countries. Recognizing the relevance of the relationship between trade and transfer of technology to the development dimension of the Doha Work Programme and building on the work carried out to date, we agree that this work shall continue on the basis of the mandate contained in paragraph 37 of the Doha Ministerial Declaration. We instruct the General Council to report further to our next Session.

Doha paragraph 19

44. We take note of the work undertaken by the Council for TRIPS pursuant to paragraph 19 of the Doha Ministerial Declaration and agree that this work shall continue on the basis of paragraph 19 of the Doha Ministerial Declaration and the progress made in the Council for TRIPS to date. The General Council shall report on its work in this regard to our next Session.

TRIPS non-violation and situation complaints

45. We take note of the work done by the Council for Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights pursuant to paragraph 11.1 of the Doha Decision on Implementation-Related Issues and Concerns and paragraph 1.h of the Decision adopted by the General Council on 1 August 2004, and direct it to continue its examination of the scope and modalities for complaints of the types provided for under subparagraphs 1(b) and 1(c) of Article XXIII of GATT 1994 and make recommendations to our next Session. It is agreed that, in the meantime, Members will not initiate such complaints under the TRIPS Agreement.

E-commerce

46. We take note of the reports from the General Council and subsidiary bodies on the Work Programme on Electronic Commerce, and that the examination of issues under the Work Programme is not yet complete. We agree to reinvigorate that work, including the development-related issues under the Work Programme and discussions on the trade treatment, inter alia, of electronically delivered software. We agree to maintain the current institutional arrangements for the Work Programme. We declare that Members will maintain their current practice of not imposing customs duties on electronic transmissions until our next Session.

LDCs

47. We reaffirm our commitment to effectively and meaningfully integrate LDCs into the multilateral trading system and shall continue to implement the WTO Work Programme for LDCs adopted in February 2002. We acknowledge the seriousness of the concerns and interests of the LDCs in the negotiations as expressed in the Livingstone Declaration, adopted by their Ministers in June 2005. We take note that issues of interest to LDCs are being addressed in all areas of negotiations and we welcome the progress made since the Doha Ministerial Declaration as reflected in the Decision adopted by the General Council on 1 August 2004. Building upon the commitment in the Doha Ministerial Declaration, developed-country Members, and developing-country Members declaring themselves in a position to do so, agree to implement duty-free and quota-free market access for products originating from LDCs as provided for in Annex F to this document. Furthermore, in accordance with our commitment in the Doha Ministerial Declaration, Members shall take additional measures to provide effective market access, both at the border and otherwise, including simplified and transparent rules of origin so as to facilitate exports from LDCs. In the services negotiations, Members shall implement the LDC modalities and give priority to the sectors and modes of supply of export interest to LDCs, particularly with regard to movement of service providers under Mode 4. We agree to facilitate and accelerate negotiations with acceding LDCs based on the accession guidelines adopted by the General Council in December 2002. We commit to continue giving our attention and priority to concluding the ongoing accession proceedings as rapidly as possible. We welcome the decision by the TRIPS Council to extend the transition period under Article 66.1 of the TRIPS Agreement. We reaffirm our commitment to enhance effective trade-related technical assistance and capacity building to LDCs on a priority basis in helping to overcome their limited human and institutional trade-related capacity to enable LDCs to maximize the benefits resulting from the Doha Development Agenda (DDA).

Integrated Framework

48. We continue to attach high priority to the effective implementation of the Integrated Framework (IF) and reiterate our endorsement of the IF as a viable instrument for LDCs’ trade development, building on its principles of country ownership and partnership. We highlight the importance of contributing to reducing their supply side constraints. We reaffirm our commitment made at Doha, and recognize the urgent need to make the IF more effective and timely in addressing the trade-related development needs of LDCs.

49. In this regard, we are encouraged by the endorsement by the Development Committee of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) at its autumn 2005 meeting of an enhanced IF. We welcome the establishment of a Task Force by the Integrated Framework Working Group as endorsed by the IF Steering Committee (IFSC) as well as an agreement on the three elements which together constitute an enhanced IF. The Task Force, composed of donor and LDC members, will provide recommendations to the IFSC by April 2006. The enhanced IF shall enter into force no later than 31 December 2006.

50. We agree that the Task Force, in line with its Mandate and based on the three elements agreed to, shall provide recommendations on how the implementation of the IF can be improved, inter alia, by considering ways to:

  1. provide increased, predictable, and additional funding on a multi-year basis;
      
  2. strengthen the IF in-country, including through mainstreaming trade into national development plans and poverty reduction strategies; more effective follow-up to diagnostic trade integration studies and implementation of action matrices; and achieving greater and more effective coordination amongst donors and IF stakeholders, including beneficiaries;
      
  3. improve the IF decision-making and management structure to ensure an effective and timely delivery of the increased financial resources and programmes.

51. We welcome the increased commitment already expressed by some Members in the run-up to, and during, this Session. We urge other development partners to significantly increase their contribution to the IF Trust Fund. We also urge the six IF core agencies to continue to cooperate closely in the implementation of the IF, to increase their investments in this initiative and to intensify their assistance in trade-related infrastructure, private sector development and institution building to help LDCs expand and diversify their export base.

Technical Cooperation

52. We note with appreciation the substantial increase in trade-related technical assistance since our Fourth Session, which reflects the enhanced commitment of Members to address the increased demand for technical assistance, through both bilateral and multilateral programmes. We note the progress made in the current approach to planning and implementation of WTO’s programmes, as embodied in the Technical Assistance and Training Plans adopted by Members, as well as the improved quality of those programmes. We note that a strategic review of WTO’s technical assistance is to be carried out by Members, and expect that in future planning and implementation of training and technical assistance, the conclusions and recommendations of the review will be taken into account, as appropriate.

53. We reaffirm the priorities established in paragraph 38 of the Doha Ministerial Declaration for the delivery of technical assistance and urge the Director-General to ensure that programmes focus accordingly on the needs of beneficiary countries and reflect the priorities and mandates adopted by Members. We endorse the application of appropriate needs assessment mechanisms and support the efforts to enhance ownership by beneficiaries, in order to ensure the sustainability of trade-related capacity building. We invite the Director-General to reinforce the partnerships and coordination with other agencies and regional bodies in the design and implementation of technical assistance programmes, so that all dimensions of trade-related capacity building are addressed, in a manner coherent with the programmes of other providers. In particular, we encourage all Members to cooperate with the International Trade Centre, which complements WTO work by providing a platform for business to interact with trade negotiators, and practical advice for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to benefit from the multilateral trading system. In this connection, we note the role of the Joint Integrated Technical Assistance Programme (JITAP) in building the capacity of participating countries.

54. In order to continue progress in the effective and timely delivery of trade-related capacity building, in line with the priority Members attach to it, the relevant structures of the Secretariat should be strengthened and its resources enhanced. We reaffirm our commitment to ensure secure and adequate levels of funding for trade-related capacity building, including in the Doha Development Agenda Global Trust Fund, to conclude the Doha Work Programme and implement its results.

Commodity Issues

 

55. We recognize the dependence of several developing and least-developed countries on the export of commodities and the problems they face because of the adverse impact of the long-term decline and sharp fluctuation in the prices of these commodities. We take note of the work undertaken in the Committee on Trade and Development on commodity issues, and instruct the Committee, within its mandate, to intensify its work in cooperation with other relevant international organizations and report regularly to the General Council with possible recommendations. We agree that the particular trade-related concerns of developing and least-developed countries related to commodities shall also be addressed in the course of the agriculture and NAMA negotiations. We further acknowledge that these countries may need support and technical assistance to overcome the particular problems they face, and urge Members and relevant international organizations to consider favourably requests by these countries for support and assistance.

Coherence

56. We welcome the Director-General’s actions to strengthen the WTO’s cooperation with the IMF and the World Bank in the context of the WTO’s Marrakesh mandate on Coherence, and invite him to continue to work closely with the General Council in this area. We value the General Council meetings that are held with the participation of the heads of the IMF and the World Bank to advance our Coherence mandate. We agree to continue building on that experience and expand the debate on international trade and development policymaking and inter-agency cooperation with the participation of relevant UN agencies. In that regard, we note the discussions taking place in the Working Group on Trade, Debt and Finance on, inter alia, the issue of Coherence, and look forward to any possible recommendations it may make on steps that might be taken within the mandate and competence of the WTO on this issue.

Aid for Trade

57. We welcome the discussions of Finance and Development Ministers in various fora, including the Development Committee of the World Bank and IMF, that have taken place this year on expanding Aid for Trade. Aid for Trade should aim to help developing countries, particularly LDCs, to build the supply-side capacity and trade-related infrastructure that they need to assist them to implement and benefit from WTO Agreements and more broadly to expand their trade. Aid for Trade cannot be a substitute for the development benefits that will result from a successful conclusion to the DDA, particularly on market access. However, it can be a valuable complement to the DDA. We invite the Director-General to create a task force that shall provide recommendations on how to operationalize Aid for Trade. The Task Force will provide recommendations to the General Council by July 2006 on how Aid for Trade might contribute most effectively to the development dimension of the DDA. We also invite the Director-General to consult with Members as well as with the IMF and World Bank, relevant international organisations and the regional development banks with a view to reporting to the General Council on appropriate mechanisms to secure additional financial resources for Aid for Trade, where appropriate through grants and concessional loans.

Recently-acceded Members

58. We recognize the special situation of recently-acceded Members who have undertaken extensive market access commitments at the time of accession. This situation will be taken into account in the negotiations.

Accessions

59. We reaffirm our strong commitment to making the WTO truly global in scope and membership. We welcome those new Members who have completed their accession processes since our last Session, namely Nepal, Cambodia and Saudi Arabia. We note with satisfaction that Tonga has completed its accession negotiations to the WTO. These accessions further strengthen the rules-based multilateral trading system. We continue to attach priority to the 29 ongoing accessions with a view to concluding them as rapidly and smoothly as possible. We stress the importance of facilitating and accelerating the accession negotiations of least-developed countries, taking due account of the guidelines on LDC accession adopted by the General Council in December 2002.

Continued in Annexes to this text

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