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WTO: 2005 NEWS ITEMS

26 May 2005
DIRECTOR-GENERAL DESIGNATE

Statement from Pascal Lamy on his appointment as World Trade Organization’s Director-General

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“I am honoured that the World Trade Organization’s 148 Members have today decided to appoint me as WTO Director-General.

I want to thank all Members for what has been a clear, open and transparent selection procedure. But any system is only as good as those who operate it. In particular, I would like to commend the work carried out by the Chairperson of the General Council Ambassador Amina Mohamed (Kenya) and her two colleagues, Ambassador Glenne (Norway) and Ambassador Stephenson (Canada) acting as facilitators, for their dedication and their commitment in conducting the selection process while continuing with their daily tasks.

I would also like to pay tribute to Luis Felipe Seixas Correia of Brazil, Jaya Krisna Cuttaree of Mauritius and Carlos Pérez del Castillo of Uruguay with whom I have closely worked in the past and who were and remain my friends. They too have contributed enormously to the debate. I am honoured to have been chosen from such a strong field.

Finally, I am delighted to have the opportunity to succeed Dr Supachai from 1 September. It is heartening that such a determined and successful defender of the multilateral trade system, will be staying next door in his new capacity as head of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

I believe that we have a crucial task ahead: to complete the Doha Development Agenda Round of trade talks. This will be my immediate first, second and third priority so as to ensure that trade opening continues to contribute to development and that we place the interests of developing countries at the centre of the world trading system. The Hong Kong WTO Ministerial in December will be an important stepping stone towards this goal.

I intend to spend the coming weeks preparing intensively for the task ahead and setting up a team so that I can be fully operational from 1 September. In the meantime, I will refrain from appearing publicly in WTO related events.

I look forward to working closely with all WTO Members and the WTO Secretariat to reinforce multilateralism and development.”

Note to media: Pascal Lamy will be available for media contacts on his appointment as WTO DG as from 1 September when he takes office.

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Press release: WTO Members choose Lamy as organization's 5th Director-General