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TWN Info Service on WTO and Trade Issues (Feb07/09)

14 February 2007


WTO General Council appoints new office bearers

On 7 February the WTO General Council met and appointed its new office bearers for the coming year.

The General Council appointed Ambassador Muhamad Noor Yacob of Malaysia as its Chairperson for 2007.

The Council also named new chairpersons of the regular WTO bodies.

As for the various negotiating bodies functioning under the TNC, the Chairpersons of these negotiating bodies remain the same for this year except for the Chair of the Negotiating Group on Trade Facilitation.

Below is a report of the appointments. Another article on the discussions in the General Council on the Doha talks will be in the next issue.

With best wishes
Martin Khor
TWN

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Malaysia's Muhamad Noor to chair WTO General Council

By Kanaga Raja (SUNS), Geneva, 7 Feb 2007

Developing countries Wednesday welcomed the "full resumption of multilateral negotiations" in Geneva on the Doha work programme and development agenda, and made clear that "any outcome must be the product of a multilateral process that is inclusive and transparent."

The developing countries placed their views, individually and on behalf of groups, before the formal meeting of the General Council, where Pascal Lamy, as chair of the Trade Negotiations Committee, reported to the membership on the Doha multilateral trade negotiations and said: "we have resumed our negotiations fully across the board."

The Council took note of Lamy's report and the views of various delegations.

The General Council appointed Ambassador Muhamad Noor Yacob of Malaysia as its Chairperson for 2007, replacing Ambassador Eirik Glenne of Norway who chaired the Council in 2006.

The Council also named new chairpersons of the regular WTO bodies. The chairs of these regular WTO bodies have a one-year term.

As for the various negotiating bodies functioning under the TNC, the Chairpersons of these negotiating bodies remain the same for this year except for the Chair of the Negotiating Group on Trade Facilitation Mr Tony Miller of Hong Kong China who has retired.

Mr Miller has been replaced by Ambassador Eduardo Ernesto Sperisen-Yurt of Guatemala.

The chairs of the various negotiating bodies under the TNC have terms that end only at the next session of the WTO Ministerial Conference. The last Ministerial Conference took place in December 2005 in Hong Kong, and another must be held before December 2007.

The Chairpersons of the regular WTO bodies for 2007 are: Mr Bruce Gosper of Australia (Dispute Settlement Body); Mr Vesa Himanen of Finland (Trade Policy Review Body); Mr Karsten Vagn Nielsen of Denmark (Council for Trade in Goods); Mr Trevor Clarke of Barbados (Council for Trade in Services); Mr Yonov Frederick Agah of Nigeria (Council for TRIPS); Mr Shree Baboo Chekitan Servansing of Mauritius (Committee on Trade and Development); Mr Chitsaka Chipaziwa of Zimbabwe (Committee on Balance of Payments); Mr Tony Lynch of New Zealand (Committee on Budget, Finance and Administration); Mr Manuel Teehankee of Philippines (Committee on Trade and Environment); Mr Julian Metcalfe of United Kingdom (Committee on Regional Trade Agreements); Mr Ravi Bangar of India (Working Group on Trade, Debt and Finance); and Mr Kwabena Baah-Duodu of Ghana (Working Group on Trade and Transfer of Technology).

The Chairpersons of bodies established under the TNC who remain unchanged this year are: Ambassador Don Stephenson of Canada (Negotiating Group on Market Access); Ambassador Guillermo Valles Galmes of Uruguay (Negotiating Group on Rules); Ambassador Fernando de Mateo of Mexico (Special Session of the Council for Trade in Services); Ambassador Manzoor Ahmad of Pakistan (Special Session of the Council for TRIPS); Ambassador Ronald Saborio Soto of Costa Rica (Special Session of the Dispute Settlement Body); Ambassador Crawford Falconer of New Zealand (Special Session of the Committee on Agriculture); Ambassador Toufiq Ali of Bangladesh (Special Session of the Committee on Trade and Environment); and Ambassador Burhan Gafoor of Singapore (Special Session of the Committee on Trade and Development).

(A full report on the views and statements in the Council on the Doha talks, under the agenda item 'Report by the Chairman of the Trade Negotiations Committee' to the General Council will be in the next issue of TWN Info).

 


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