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TWN Info Service on WTO and Trade Issues (Feb10/14)
24 February 2010
Third World Network

Canada's John Gero expected to chair WTO General Council
Published in SUNS #6867 dated 19 February 2010

Geneva, 18 Feb (Kanaga Raja) -- Ambassador John Gero of Canada is expected  to chair the General Council of the World Trade Organization (WTO) this  year, according to trade diplomats.

This emerged following an informal meeting of the General Council  Wednesday at the level of heads of delegation, which was convened to take  up the new slate of chairs of various WTO bodies reporting to the General  Council, as well as negotiating bodies established under the Trade  Negotiations Committee (TNC).

According to trade diplomats, the General Council informally approved the  new slate of Chairs. Barring any last minute changes or hiccups, Members  are expected to formally approve the new slate at a General Council  meeting on 22 February.

Ambassador Gero was the chair of the Dispute Settlement Body in 2009, and  in accordance with past WTO practice, automatically takes over the  chairmanship of the General Council this year.

He replaces Ambassador Mario Matus of Chile.

According to trade diplomats, the new chair of the Dispute Settlement Body  will now be Ambassador Yonov Frederick Agah of Nigeria.

The Trade Policy Review Body is expected to be chaired by Ambassador  Bozkurt Aran of Turkey, while the Council for Trade in Goods is expected  to be chaired by Ambassador Anthony Maruping of Lesotho.

The Council for Trade in Services is expected to be chaired by Ambassador  Elin Johansen of Norway, according to trade diplomats.

The TRIPS Council is expected to be chaired by Mr Martin Glass of Hong  Kong-China.

According to trade diplomats, the Committee on Trade and Development is  expected to be chaired by Indonesia.

According to trade diplomats, the chairs of the other WTO bodies reporting  to the General Council are expected to be as follows: Committee on  Balance-of-Payments Restrictions - Lithuania; Committee on Budget, Finance  and Administration - Finland; Committee on Trade and Environment -  Colombia; Committee on Regional Trade Agreements - Panama; Working Group  on Trade, Debt and Finance - Paraguay; and Working Group on Trade and  Transfer of Technology - Egypt.

The chairs of the various negotiating bodies established under the TNC,  which oversees the Doha Round of trade negotiations, is expected to remain  unchanged, except for one position, trade diplomats said.

The Special Session of the TRIPS Council was temporarily chaired by  Ambassador Karen Tan of Singapore, also the chair of the regular TRIPS  Council, following the departure of previous chair Ambassador Trevor  Clarke of Barbados, who has joined the World Intellectual Property  Organization (WIPO).

The Special Session of the TRIPS Council is now expected to be chaired by  the Zambian ambassador to the WTO.

Unlike the yearly terms of chairs of the General Council bodies, the  chairs of the negotiating bodies under the TNC normally have terms that  last from one Ministerial Conference to the next. The last WTO Ministerial  Conference was held in Geneva from 30 November to 2 December 2009.

The TNC is chaired by WTO Director-General Pascal Lamy.

The Chair of the Negotiating Group on Market Access (NAMA) remains  unchanged as Ambassador Luzius Wasescha of Switzerland.

Ambassador Eduardo Ernesto Sperisen-Yurt of Guatemala is to continue to  chair the Negotiating Group on Trade Facilitation.

The Special Session of the Council for Trade in Services will continue to  be chaired by Ambassador Fernando de Mateo of Mexico, while the Special  Session of the Committee on Agriculture will continue to be chaired by  Ambassador David Walker of New Zealand.

Ambassador Walker will also chair the Sub-Committee on Cotton.

Also unchanged will be the chairs of the Special Session of the Dispute  Settlement Body, the Special Session of the Committee on Trade and  Environment and the Special Session of the Committee on Trade and  Development.

The Negotiating Group on Rules is currently being chaired by Ambassador  Guillermo Valles Galmes of Uruguay.

According to trade diplomats, the Uruguayan envoy is expected to leave his  post soon and the General Council Chair is undertaking consultations to  find his replacement. +

 


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