Director-General Roberto Azevêdo announced at the General Council meeting on 21 October 2014 that his consultations on the future of the Bali decisions and the post-Bali work programme would start the following day. He said that he had heard from WTO members “a willingness to engage in this conversation, and to do all we can to find a way forward”. The Director-General also announced that the 5th Global Review of Aid for Trade will be held from 30 June to 2 July 2015.
Thank you Ambassador Fried.
Before I begin I would like to add my warm welcome to all the new permanent representatives joining us for the first time here at the General Council.
I look forward to working closely with you all.
Since my report to the General Council in July, the TNC held a formal meeting on Thursday 16 October.
My remarks and the reports of the Chairs of negotiating bodies have been made available to delegations in document JOB/TNC/42.
Mr Chairman, I have no additional news to report since my statement at the TNC last week.
Therefore I won’t make a further, substantive statement today.
I would like simply to add my TNC statement to the record of this meeting. With that statement I had the sole intention of giving members my honest assessment of what we face today.
The consultation process that I outlined at the TNC will start tomorrow.
I will be holding a series of meetings in a range of different configurations.
We then plan to hold a Heads of Delegations meeting next Thursday, the 30th of October. We will confirm the exact details very soon.
The questions I raised at the TNC were intended as a guide to those discussions — along with any other questions that members want to raise.
This is going to be a very important conversation.
It is about the future — in particular the future of the Bali decisions and the future of the post-Bali work program.
We will continue to work to solve the current impasse, but we also need to establish how we can move forward.
I will be convening meetings, but as always, the substance will be up to you.
Whether, and how, we make progress will be in your hands.
I heard a lot of different views from Members on Thursday, but I think there was, at the very least, a willingness to engage in this conversation, and to do all we can to find a way forward.
This will mean facing up to some tough issues and answering some difficult questions.
That’s what this consultation process will be all about.
So, please, be ready.
In a moment the General Council Chair will open the floor for anyone that has something to say. But I repeat that we don’t envisage a substantive discussion under this item today.
Thank you Mr Chairman, that concludes my report.
Aid for Trade
Thank you Mr Chairman.
I think there is a wide-spread appreciation of the value of Aid for Trade in supporting development, and particularly for the LDCs.
In my conversations with ministers and heads of other international organisations, I am already starting to hear a lot of interest in the Aid for Trade Global Review. As you know, we hold these Reviews every 2 years, and we will have the next one in 2015.
2015 will be a very important year in the development calendar. The UN’s post-2015 development agenda and the sustainable development goals will be finalised, and so I expect that this interest in the Global Review will only increase.
Therefore I wanted to take the opportunity of this meeting to give members a quick update on the Global Review.
In doing so, I would like to thank the Chair of the Committee on Trade and Development, Ambassador Pierre Ndayiragije, for his excellent work in taking this initiative forward.
The Aid-for-Trade work programme, which was before the General Council in May this year, set the theme for the 5th Global Review and also scheduled it for mid-2015.
I am pleased to confirm today that the exact dates for the Global Review will be from the 30th of June to the 2nd of July 2015.
I will give you these dates in writing very shortly in a letter to all delegations, but I urge you to mark them in your diaries.
Just as important, is that this letter will also include details of how to participate in the Aid for Trade monitoring and evaluation exercise.
The CTD Chair has already consulted extensively on this issue — and so I think you are all aware that the monitoring and evaluation exercise is central to the Global Review.
Previous Global Reviews have been hugely enriched by your active participation.
We are therefore counting on your continued engagement and request that you transmit details of how to participate in this exercise to your capitals.
Looking forward, I encourage the CTD chair to continue his good work and consult with you all on the organization of next year’s Global Review.
By working together we will ensure that the process is a success.
WTO: 2014 NEWS ITEMS
21 October 2014
Matheus Luiz Puppe Magalhaes