Altogether 125 WTO members (counting the EU as 16) out of a total of
140 submitted 44 negotiating proposals and three technical submissions
in the first phase, which began in March 2000 (see
press release 172).
negotiators will now look in greater depth at the proposals, dividing
their work according to subject, so that ultimately, in a later phase,
they can enter into the bargaining that will be necessary to reach a
fact that almost all WTO members, big and small, have submitted such a
wide variety of well thought out proposals reflects a widespread
commitment to continue to reform agricultural trade,” said WTO
Director-General Mike Moore. “More than that, it is a powerful vote
of confidence in the multilateral system.
next phases are not going to be easy, but there is clearly a healthy
determination to work together on this,” he said. "The
interests of everyone, from subsistence cultivators and herdsmen in
developing countries, to modern farmers in the developed nations, are
being pushed in these talks.
year ago when the agriculture negotiations were launched I said: ‘This
is the WTO working at its best. The hard bargaining still lies ahead,
and I’m sure that will be much more difficult. But the goodwill
shown at this meeting is a good omen for the future,’ What I said
then is even truer today” he added.
new negotiations on agriculture started in 2000 under the deal struck
at the end of the 1986–94 Uruguay Round of multilateral trade talks.
It is written into Article 20 of the WTO Agriculture Agreement,
part of the Uruguay Round package.
off the stock-taking session of the negotiations on 26 March, the
chairperson, ambassador Jorge Voto-Bernales of Peru, said: “The
examination of (the) proposals and submissions (of the first phase)
has been both detailed and intensive. This I am sure has contributed
to heightening our appreciation of the wide range of interests
involved, as well as the complexity of many of the issues which will
have to be addressed in more detail in the next phase.”
so, the first phase was “relatively straightforward”, he went on.
“The next phase will represent the beginning of a more challenging
more information, see the WTO website www.wto.org
and in particular the section on the agriculture negotiations: