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7 December 2001: chairperson’s report to General Council

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G/AG/NG/9  back to top
7 December 2001

Committee on Agriculture
Special Session

Ninth Special Session of the Committee on Agriculture

Report by the Chairperson, Ambassador Apiradi Tantraporn, to the General Council

1.   The Special Session of the Committee on Agriculture, which was established by the General Council to conduct the negotiations for continuing the reform process under Article 20 of the Agreement on Agriculture (WT/GC/M/53, paragraph 39 refers), held its ninth meeting on 7 December 2001 on the basis of the agenda as set out in WTO/AIR/1682.

2.   The meeting provided an opportunity for reviewing and organizing the work being carried out under the programme for the second phase of the negotiations. Under this programme in-depth work is being carried out in informal Special Sessions on all issues and options for policy reform set out in Members' proposals, with further elaboration as appropriate (G/AG/NG/7, dated 29 March 2001, refers). An overview presented by the Chairperson summarized the discussions at the informal Special Session held on 3-4 December on the following trade and non-trade issues: (i) environment; (ii) trade preferences; (iii) food aid; (iv) consumer information and labelling; and (v) sectoral initiatives. This overview will be included in the Secretariat summary report on the meeting (to be issued as G/AG/NG/R/9). The elaborated proposals and other informal papers submitted at the 3-4 December informal Special Session are listed in the attachment to this report.

3.   The following trade or non-trade issues are to be taken up at the next informal Special Session meeting on 4-6 February 2002: development box; single commodity producers; small island developing countries; and special and differential treatment. Provision will be made in the annotated agenda for additional issues to be addressed at this informal Special Session. 

4.   It was noted that the Secretariat background notes on domestic support commitments (G/AG/NG/S/1) and on Members' usage of domestic support categories, export subsidies and export credits (G/AG/NG/S/12/Rev.1) would be updated taking into account suggestions made in this regard, and that a request for a background paper on commercial and non-commercial transactions would be clarified in consultation with the Secretariat. 

5.   The next formal Special Session is scheduled to be held on 7 February 2002 and will provide an opportunity for participants to review progress made in the negotiations and to conclude the work of the second phase.


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Elaborated Proposals and Other Informal Papers *
3-4 December 2001 Informal Special Session

I.    Environment

Cairns Group: Environment
Japan: Elaboration of Japan's Negotiating Proposal: The role of agriculture to provide environmental benefits
Japan: Questions on Environment
Norway: Environment

II.    Trade Preferences

African Group: Trade Preferences
EC: Tariff Preferences for Developing Countries
Japan: Questions on Trade Preferences
Namibia: Trade Preferences
Paraguay: Trade Preferences
Swaziland: Trade Preferences — A Proposal for Small Developing Countries

III.    Food Aid

Cuba, Egypt, Grenada, Mauritius, Nigeria, Sri Lanka, and Uganda: Food Aid
EC: Food Aid
Japan: A Possible Framework of International Food Stockholding
Japan: Questions on Food Aid
Namibia: Food Aid: Elaboration of Namibia's Negotiating Proposal
Norway: Food Aid

IV.    Consumer Information and Labelling

EC: Mandatory Labelling for Agricultural Products
Japan: Questions on Consumer Information and Labelling
Switzerland: Consumer Information and Labelling
Switzerland: Welfare of Breeding Cattle: Example of a Non-Trade Concern

V.    Sectoral Initiatives

Canada: Sectoral Initiatives — Contribution by Canada
* Copies of these informal papers will be available, in the working languages, in the informal document series: SS(INF)AG/4.

EDITOR’S NOTE: These informal documents are restricted. To see an unofficial summary of the proposals and discussion go to the backgrounder on the negotiations and look for “Phase 2”.   > back to text