NIGERIA’S COMMENTS/ VIEWS ON THE REVISED DRAFT MINISTERIAL DECLARATION.
Nigeria has submitted to you our comments and concerns on the Draft Ministerial Declaration for Doha, Job No. (01)/140/Rev.1, which you circulated Saturday Night. We have also requested that our comments and concerns be distributed to members and attached as an annex to Job No. (01)/140/ Rev.1, before forwarding to Ministers.
Mr Chairman, my delegation requested you at the General Council meeting of 19th October, 2001 to reflect the different views/proposals of various delegations in square brackets for clear reading and understanding by Ministers, and in order to show that consensus has not been reached on those issues. This was not done. The revised draft you now present to the General Council gives the impression that the whole membership agreed to it. Mr Chairman, you know we have not agreed on this Draft. Our views and positions have not been reflected. During the General Council meeting of 19th October my delegation requested that you presented a square bracket where consensus had not been reached. Perhaps I had angered the Chairman by this request because even the small square brackets that existed in the first Draft Declaration were completely removed in the present Revised Draft
My delegation has congratulated you for the transparent and inclusive manner in which the consultations have taken place. However, Mr Chairman we are disappointed that the draft is not balanced, it is one sided. This Draft supports only the views of one side of the table notwithstanding your statement on the cover page of your Draft that “this Draft does not purport to be agreed in any part at this stage.” Under this circumstances, the draft is not acceptable to my delegation and we urge you to please reflect our views either in brackets, as an annex or in an explanatory letter to enable Ministers to see their way clearly in Doha.
Mr Chairman, my delegation raised our objection to the opt-in/opt-out concept, which you mooted to the General Council at its meeting on 24 Oct. a number of delegations also spoke against it. Without discussing the concept or framework or agreeing to it by a large number of the membership, you have gone ahead to propose its implementation in paragraph 20 and 21. Mr Chairman, this proposal is fraught with danger and we reject it. It has the potential to make us poorer and will create a two-tier system in the WTO. There must be ways of working further on these matters in order to close up remaining differences. We assure the Chairman that we are ready to work with him, the DG and the membership to realize equitable results in Doha. But this revised Draft Ministerial Declaration Job No. (01)140/ Rev.1, in its present form, will not help to achieve those results.
What is not clear to my delegation is what will the Chairman do with the interventions we have heard today. In view of what the Chair said this morning that he did not intend to revisit the DMD. Whatever decision may be taken, we wish to reiterate and request that the views of other delegations be reflected in the draft you are transmitting to the Ministers.
Mr Chairman, you remember that in Seattle, the street demonstrations created some problems for delegations. We have been assured that Doha will be free of such distractions, so we shall devote all our attention to our work in the meeting rooms. We assure you and the D-G that we are ready to work together with the membership to realise equitable results in Doha.