Mr. Secretary General of UNCTAD,
would like to express my gratitude to the Tanzanian authorities for
the warm reception extended to us since our arrival in Zanzibar, and
for accepting to host this important pre-Doha Ministerial Meeting.
is important to underline the satisfaction of the WTO Secretariat for
having been associated with this Meeting and for having been able to
contribute an Issues Paper on the State of Play towards Doha. I am
grateful to the Chairman of the Preparatory Committee in Geneva,
Ambassador Ali Mchumo, and the Secretary-General of UNCTAD, Mr. Rubens
Ricupero, for making this possible.
is, indeed, a great honour and a real pleasure to have this
opportunity to address this gathering of Ministers responsible for
Trade, representing the 49 Least-Developed Countries, of which 30 are
full members of the World Trade Organization.
am participating in this important Doha preparatory meeting, on behalf
of Mr. Mike MOORE, the Director-General of the WTO, who could not
travel to ZANZIBAR because of his tight programme of ongoing
consultations in Geneva for the Fourth WTO Ministerial Conference, to
be held in 108 days from today. He asked me especially to convey to
all of you, Honourable Ministers, his best wishes of success in your
deliberations and to reassure you of his personal commitment to make
the integration of the developing countries and in particular the
world's poorest countries into the Multilateral Trading System a
year is crucial for the Multilateral Trading System; and so are our
efforts to assist and support LDCs. It is obvious that the World Trade
Organization is entering a crucial phase that will determine, in the
coming years, the contribution of the organization to global peace,
security, and development, and in particular the integration of LDCs
in to the Multilateral Trading System. A decision will be taken in
November this year in DOHA as to whether a new round of trade
negotiations will be launched.
Developed and poverty-stricken countries need to grapple their way out
of poverty. Trade is a key engine for growth; however, products of
developing countries face many obstacles in entering the markets of
rich countries. This is illustrated by the fact that the 49 LDCs,
representing 10.5 per cent of the world population, have less than 1
per cent of world exports.
is also true that open markets can play an important role in lifting
millions of people out of absolute poverty. Progress has been made on
market access for LDCs, but more needs to be done.
new round of multilateral trade negotiations would lock in this
progress and advance the cause of free-market access for products
originating from LDCs.
new Round, a true development round, will boost growth and help
provide the means to reduce poverty. It will certainly offer an
opportunity to address the concerns of developing countries about
implementing the existing commitments. It is clear that this issue
will not receive attention outside a round, nor will countries be able
to push for market-access opportunities in the absence of a round.
new round will also help strengthen the governments to resist
protectionist pressures, especially at a time of considerable
uncertainty about future growth prospects.
Leaders, including the G8 leaders, last week-end in Genoa, argued
forcefully for the launch of a new round of free-trade negotiations,
considering that open markets and a stronger World Trade Organization
are an economic imperative.
WTO is not the GATT, and no new round can start, and more importantly
no new round can conclude, without having the interests of developing
and Least-Developed Countries addressed and resolved. To secure and
maintain LDCs support, real progress must be made.
meeting of today organized soon after the 3rd UN Conference on LDCs in
Brussels and prior to the 4th WTO Ministerial in Doha, is very crucial
since the common negotiating objectives which you will adopt for Doha,
could influence the process underway. This Ministerial Meeting
provides LDCs an opportunity for constructive engagement with other
trading partners, beyond listing what LDCs would like to have. This is
also an opportunity for leadership by LDCs’ Ministers.
me to say a few words on our preparatory process for the 4th WTO
Ministerial Conference due to take place in Doha, QATAR, from 9 to 13
November 2001. Once again, the WTO is at a crossroads and key
decisions that could have a far-reaching impact on the future of the
Multilateral Trading System will be taken in the weeks and months
the ECOSOC High-Level Policy Dialogue held in Geneva last week, Mr.
MOORE underlined the importance of launching a new Round as soon as
possible; and I quote him “At the DOHA Conference, we must leave the
WTO stronger and more vibrant, ready to play its part in the
international trade relations and the best way to make it advance, is
through the launch of a new Round or wider set of negotiations”
unquote. Furthermore, Mr. Kofi Annan, the Secretary-General of the
United Nations stated the case for a new trade round, in particular
its potential for significant development dividends.
senior officials from capitals met in Geneva, and through this
initiative the process has been energised. We had the General Council
Meeting on 18 and 19 July 2001, which decided to set up a Trust Fund
to cover the participation of LDCs delegations to Doha, including the
Minister and two officials from each country.
30 and 31 July 2001, as you are already aware, we will have, a
“Reality Check” at a General Council meeting, and a week
beforehand the Chairman of the Council and the Director-General will
circulate to delegations an objective report which will set out their
evaluation of the current situation in the preparatory process
overall, subject by subject.
is envisaged to provide an assessment of the degree of convergence in
each area, the elements on which there appears to be some common
understanding, and the key problems. It is clear that this is not to
be regarded as a draft declaration, but rather as a draft to identify
possible areas where further improvements might be required, as well
as areas where a need for further political movement towards
convergence might be identified. This process will enable us to go
beyond options and brackets in the text.
now and November 2001, the WTO Secretariat has made provisions for a
certain number of consultations, including contributions to some
Ministerial Meetings, among which are the OAU Trade Ministers Meeting
to be held in Abuja from 17 to 22 September 2001, and the ACP Trade
Ministers Meeting to be scheduled shortly. In addition, through the
Third Geneva Week for WTO non-resident Members and regional
organizations, to be held from 10 to 14 September 2001, the WTO
will provide participants from developing countries and LDCs the
status report on the state of play towards Doha. All these efforts are
aimed at building consensus among Members.
must say that the clear consensus that you, Honourable Ministers, have
reached so far is to have a balanced agenda for Doha. This agenda is
not yet fixed, but its outlines are becoming clear. Setting the agenda
for a new round is not just about including issues. It is also about
excluding some. We, in the Secretariat, stand in the hands of our
owners, the Members. More leadership, more flexibility and generosity
must be shown, so that all can be accommodated.
is a fact, whether we like it or not. We have the task of controlling
it and putting it to the service of people. The pursuit of an
equitable, liberal and open rules-based multilateral trading system is
the contribution by the WTO in support of the Least-Developed
Countries to achieve sustainable development. The first responsibility
for solving the problems of LDCs rests with LDCs themselves, but the
international community has an important role to play, and
international institutions such as the WTO, can also make a
need your support now and in the upcoming months to ensure that the
Doha Ministerial Conference becomes successful and that a new round
with “development” at its core is launched for the benefit of