Info Service on WTO and Trade Issues (Sept09/17)
proposes "intensive" work plan for next three months
Geneva, 22 Sep (Kanaga Raja) -- The Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO), Pascal Lamy, on Tuesday proposed an "intensive, structured programme" for work across the Doha agenda over the next three months, with the participation of senior officials from capitals each month.
proposal came at an informal meeting of the Trade Negotiations Committee
(TNC), just ahead of the summit of G20 leaders to take place in
is what Ministers in
The Director-General however acknowledged that "a work programme by itself, as necessary as it may be, will not deliver a substantive result. It is insufficient to lead to a result. This can only come from political engagement and from the hard bargaining on the few remaining issues that we have yet to see."
In the detailed Doha work programme, the week of 21-30 September is being taken up amongst others by talks on agriculture (consultations on modalities issues), Non-Agricultural Market Access (Non Tariff-Barriers, reports on sectoral initiative, Chair's consultations on case-specific flexibilities, preference erosion, and other issues) and rules (horizontal subsidies and fisheries subsidies).
The period of 1-9 October will be taken up by a continuation of template/data discussions in agriculture, a services cluster of meetings, TRIPS, Committee on Trade and Development in Special Session and trade facilitation. The week of 12-16 October will take up further discussion on agriculture, TRIPS and DSU review meeting. Senior officials will meet in the week of 19-23 October. A General Council meeting is slated for 20-21 October.
From 2-6 November, there will be a further NAMA week of discussions, as well as the issue of TRIPS. The week of 9-13 November will be devoted to services, trade facilitation, DSU review meeting and TRIPS. The week of 16-20 November will focus on discussions in agriculture, as well as the Committee on Trade and Environment in Special Session. Senior officials will meet on 23-27 November.
The week of 7-11 December will be devoted to agriculture, NAMA and rules, with senior officials meeting on 14-16 December. A General Council meeting is scheduled for 17-18 December.
The WTO head told the informal TNC meeting that he remains cautious in his forecast at this stage. "It would be premature for me to predict today that the necessary political engagement will in fact take place over the next three months. We should be in a position to judge by December whether or not this has happened."
"Clearly, the chances of concluding the Round in 2010 depends very much on the answer to that question," he added, pointing out that it depends on members' engagement at all levels - multilaterally, plurilaterally and bilaterally.
said that this was also the message that he will be taking to the G20
to act - not just in
to trade officials, following the Director-General's report, several
members said that the political rhetoric had to be translated into concrete
focus first has to be on concluding modalities in agriculture and NAMA,
in accordance with the mandate, while preserving and building on progress
achieved so far, and avoiding any reinterpretation of the mandates or
selectively reopening stabilized issues for negotiations, said
further said that the African countries remain concerned that no significant
progress has been made in some of the key areas of interest to them.
It called on all relevant parties to give the mandated priority to resolve
the cotton issue, as well as other issues of main concern to
to trade officials,
South Africa, on behalf of the NAMA-11, said that in several recent meetings held in the WTO and in some smaller Ministerial meetings, one of the major developed country players in the WTO has stated that its constituencies are not satisfied with the level of ambition in the current NAMA text and this member has called for additional market access from developing countries, beyond the current texts.
NAMA-11 called on all members to respect the
to trade officials,