Issues covered by the WTO’s committees and agreements

Work programme for the ‘modalities’ stage

March 2002 to 31 March 2003

> Original mandate: Article 20 (opens in pop-up window)
> The Doha mandate (opens in pop-up window)
> The Doha mandate explained

See also: press release

More documents on the negotations
> backgrounder


31 March 2003: formulas and other “modalities” for countries’ commitments

5th Ministerial Conference, 2003 (in Mexico): countries’ comprehensive draft commitments; stock taking

1 January 2005: end of negotiation

Programme March 2002–March 2003 under Paragraphs 13 and 14 of the Doha Development Agenda

Special Session, Committee on Agriculture
26 March 2002

The negotiations under this programme shall build on the negotiating proposals and submissions worked on by participants over the last two years and shall be based on paragraphs 13, 14 and the other relevant provisions of the Doha Ministerial Declaration.

The negotiations shall be conducted in accordance with the following schedule:

(* = Meetings held in the same week
 as regular meetings of the Committee on Agriculture.)

  1. Informal Special Session 17-19 June 2002, Formal Special Session 20 June 2002 *: Export Competition (including export restrictions) — Technical elaboration of detailed possible modalities, including rules-related elements.
  2. Informal Special Session 2-3 September 2002, Formal Special Session 4 September 2002: Market Access — Technical elaboration of detailed possible modalities, including rules-related elements.
  3. Informal Special Session 23-25 September 2002, Formal Special Session 27 September 2002 *: Domestic Support — Technical elaboration of detailed possible modalities, including rules-related elements.
  4. Informal Special Session 18-20 November 2002, Formal Special Session 22 November 2002 *: Matters that require follow-up from previous meetings.
  5. Informal/Formal Special Session 22-24 January 2003: Comprehensive and substantive review of possible modalities, including rules-related elements. This review will take place on the basis of an overview paper to be prepared by the Chairperson and to be circulated by 18 December 2002.
  6. Informal/Formal Special Session 24-28 February 2003: Consideration of the first draft of modalities for further commitments. (Draft to be prepared and circulated in advance of the Special Session.)
  7. Informal/Formal Special Session meetings 25-31 March 2003 *: Establishment of modalities as a basis for the subsequent submission of comprehensive draft schedules. (Draft to be prepared and circulated in advance of this Special Session.)

In accordance with paragraph 13 of the Doha Ministerial Declaration special and differential treatment for developing countries shall be an integral part of all elements of the negotiations under this programme. Non-trade concerns will be taken into account in these negotiations as provided for in the Declaration.

The Chairperson will report to the formal Special Session meetings on the work undertaken in the Informal Special Session and to the TNC on each Formal Special Session meeting.

It is also understood that throughout the period covered by this programme the Special Sessions will be complemented by informal consultations, including consultations between Members and consultations under the direction of the Chairperson. The issues to be taken up in these consultations will not necessarily follow the order set out above in the programme of meetings. As for the consultations by the Chairperson due regard will be given to sufficient advance notice, to transparency and to the schedule of meetings in other WTO bodies.