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Tekst personferentie WTO-voorzitter na mislukking topoverleg 29 juli

Van 20:15 to 20: 45 lichtte WTO-voorzitter Lamy de pers in over het milsukken van de top die op 21 juli begon. Hieronder een verslag van het Third World Network-team dat aanwezig was.

6 min leestijd
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Lamy press conference

No point beating around the bush. I
hoped to say we have OTDS like never before. That products with
tariff escalation would be more available. That LDCs have DFQF
status. That export subsidies are removed. All these were ready in
package but some things were missing —SSM for DCs to counter import
surges in food, cotton, TRIPs issues. But numbers have let slipped
through fingers this time are USD 130 bil in tariff saving by end of
implementation period, with 95 bil in industrial goods, etc. A true
development package with rebalancing rules in favouir of developing

Instead, the difference re trigger for
SSM led to failure. We had a mandate fro SSM. Those who feared it
would disrupt normal trade wanted a high as possible trigger. Others
wanted a lower trigger. After over 60 hours to bridge positions
these differences were not reconciliable. Remaining issues including
cotton were not negotiated. What happens to package on table and
Round? We need dust to settle first, hard to see too far in fiture
at this point, must se how members want to bring pieces together.

What happened today will not strengthen
the MTS which gave insurance against protection for 60 years but
system is resilient and can go through bumpy road ahead. I will
continue to serve members as best I can, and to modernisation of a
fairer trade system.

  1. Q: Was it lack of leadership by US and India? How to put ack onn track

A) —No blame game
on my side. Whether and when itcan be back on track needs reflection
View of 7 Mnisters plus 20 Ministers still left discussed that (in G
Room). Their request was that this shld be put back on track
shortly. Some asked for a last try to be made tonight on this
difference in SSM. So we’ll think abt that and consult but as far
as I am concerned, today is a serious setback, there’s much more on
table after this week, I wil try to put it back on track.

  1. Q: What you told the G12 today and
    what you can do to the package already here?

  1. A: I told them they faled to bridge
    difference and took a collective responsibility to threaten the
    conclusion of this Round. 2nd question, I need to think
    about that. I will discuss with members. My initial reaction is
    not to throw in the towel.

  1. Q: Are there any lessons to address
    these issues that you shouldn’t avoid less time? Cotton shld have
    been addressed upfront. Not appropriate to say SSM is cause of

  1. A: As I said, we didn’t negotiate
    cotton. The thing broke down on SSM. Why we didn’t address
    cotton—because it was linked to product specific caps and Blue
    Box.. These needed adjustment and cotton is linked to that. Notin
    my capacity to oblige people to negotiate something if they believe
    in theirown to-dolist which is linked to other things. We have
    dispute settlement in WTO, there are on gong litigations on cotton.
    If decisions on cotton were taken they would have been implemented
    inn Round. In fuiture months the cotton issue wilbe active in DSS.

  1. Q: Should you have called meeting? Do
    yu intend to stand as DG again?

  1. A: On 1 I asked myself too, in order
    to check the answer I asked Ministers too, none of them told me I
    shouldn’t have done it. Reason why they believe it, is just
    getting where we are now, the big bridge was worthwhile. Would not
    have got it without Ministers in town and de-doing the fortresses
    their officials had constructed around these topics. We need
    Ministers to take down the tactical walls. We did it, we had 25
    items and we did down 23. they did most of the job. We are in
    single undertaking, we can asses that there remain 1 or 2 or 3
    issues to be closed. On 2nd question I have no answer
    for moment, it is a very personal question.

  1. Q: Could talks be puicked up only in
    2 years because of elections coming? What is scenario.

  1. A: Yes we have political
    cycle—India, US. Oil and food prices crisis so Elections will
    threaten any govt in place.. These crises have multiple social
    effects and hits budgets of poor. Elections wil be fought hard. US
    admin is near end of mandate. We have to factor this in. Sooner is
    better than later so it will not make life of negotiations easier.

Q: What went wrong?

A: —I am disappointed, there were 20
subject son list, we addressed 18 of these and we stumbled on the
19th. We need to move beyond the stumbling block. We
made progress but still move to peak for next time.

Q: — Main players talk of failure
tonight. In hallways Dev Countries seem to be satisfied with what
was achieved. Can you preserve what was gained so not swept away?

A: – The dev countries feel w lot was
done this week, progress made on preferences, trop products, very
important to them. We practically have agreements there but this
can onlybe useful if all the subjects under single undertaking are
addressed under the same way. Some gains were made but quite frankly
this material can be used only if the Round is concluded. Eg export
subsidy elimination was on table in HK in 2005, and it’s still on
table today since we did not conclude the Round. As we are lagging
behind, countries can still use exp[ort subsidies. We need all the
issues to be laid out.

Q) In past you expressed how close to
100% was the deal? N How much is Doha TRojnd is accomplished?

A) In terms of package of modalities I
would say 80-85%. If we cross this bridge one day we would be 80-85
from finish line

Q) Is there no date for future talks
in Doha Round? How confidentthat all memebsr want to continue the

A) Talks always are there in WTO, is
it between experts, Vice Ministers or Ministers. The talk will go
on. We need ministers to crack some issues. We’ll hear more
tomorrow at TNC. What I got the sense this afternoon (g7 and Green
Room), they think the package on table must be preserved, captured.
My sense is that they are not throwing the towel. It deserves some
thinking. I won’t rush.

Q) Did you gone back to commitments
you made?

A) No. It is not my role to
distribute the different hats. I can understand the motivations and
moneuvres and movements made but.for ethical reasons I cannot gointo.
Ministers will describe to you. These types of events , it is the
hidden part that emerge in the end. I need to be discreet.