Doha Round - wait for December, Lamy
Director-General Pascal Lamy at an informal meeting of the Trade Negotiations Committee on 22 June 2011 suggested focusing a December Ministerial package on trade benefits for the poorest countries, and to also work on “trade facilitation, export competition, S&D Monitoring Mechanism, a step forward on fisheries subsidies and a step forward on environmental goods and services” as indicative issues which should be explored as part of the package. He said this would mean “loads of work and challenges ahead and no guarantee of success, but, in my view it is worth trying — and it is our duty to do so”.
I would like to welcome you to this informal TNC meeting.
You will recall that at our last TNC meeting on 31 May, we agreed that I undertake further consultations in order to have more clarity on our targets for December. We also agreed to meet on 9 June to hear my report on these further consultations and to discuss together the next steps. As I later informed you in a fax dated 7 June, a number of Members indicated to me during the consultations that it would be productive to allow our process a little more time, not least to enable consultations with capitals. I shared this view. Accordingly, I decided to postpone the TNC June 22.
Let me now report to you on my consultations since our last TNC. As agreed, over the past couple of weeks, I undertook further consultations with a number of you individually and in groups to seek further clarity on what is possible and what is not possible by December. The aim of my consultations was to try to facilitate convergence on refining the parameters of our work towards December.
Here in Geneva I have met with delegations from groups representing the broad range of the membership, and in particular the G-7 and the G-90. Outside Geneva, I attended the World Economic Forum Asia Conference/Aid for Trade Regional Review in Jakarta, including a Ministerial lunch hosted by Minister Mari Pangestu. This gave a useful and timely opportunity to gauge the level of support and concern for the Round in this key region. I can report that it was strong and positive.
From all my contacts, it is clear that the level of political commitment to a successful conclusion of the Doha Round, including to our collective aspirations for this year and beyond, remains strong. Furthermore, Members' commitment to preserving the credibility of the multilateral trading system remains unwavering. They also continue to place development at the heart of the negotiations.
But, it is also obvious that we need urgently to have clarity about what we can and cannot do by the Ministerial Conference in December so that we get down to work without further delay. Time is certainly not on our side and we need urgently, honestly and realistically to define the boundaries for our work over the next 13 working weeks or so, if we are to avoid further drifting and the credibility damage this entails.