(4 September 2009)
Director General Mr. Lamy, Senior Officials,
Ambassadors, and distinguished delegates,
We have now reached the end of two days of intensive engagement. Let me
first thank you all for your statements and
interventions over the course of the last day or so. I
am happy that we were able to cover so much ground in
such a short span of time. I trust you will all agree
that we have made good progress over the last two days
or so and we now have a fair idea of the way forward.
The Delhi Ministerial meeting was conceived and designed as a
representative forum of the WTO membership, bringing
together groups from across the spectrum of interests
and positions in the Doha negotiations, in a microcosm
of the WTO itself, in a bid to give a determined push to
the multilateral process.
The objective was to develop a broad-based consensus to remove the
impediments coming in the way of multilateral
discussions and to provide clear directions to
negotiators to re-energise the multilateral process at
I will now summarise the proceedings of 3rd and 4th
Ministers recalled the outcomes of meetings held earlier during the year
at London (G20), Bali (Cairns Group), Paris (Trade
Ministers), L’Aquila (G8 plus) and Singapore (APEC
Trade Ministers). It was further recalled that leaders
had set a timeline of 2010 for the conclusion of the
that the unambiguous political signals emanating from
earlier meetings had not been translated into action in
Geneva. They were conscious that mere reaffirmation of
commitment was not enough unless this was converted into
effective instructions to negotiators to re-engage, with
a view to concluding the Round successfully within 2010.
Ministers were also
sensitive to the deleterious impact of the prolonged
global economic crisis, which has put to the test the
commitment of member countries to free, fair and
equitable rule-based international trade. They were
unanimous in expressing the view that strengthening the
multilateral trading system by concluding the Doha Round
at the earliest, was vital.
The Director General,
WTO provided an overall perspective of the way forward.
The Chairs of the Agriculture, NAMA and Services
Negotiating Groups outlined their work plans in their respective areas.
The G-20 and the G-33
emphasised the need to respect the multilateral mandate
as reflected in the work done on the Agriculture and
NAMA modalities over the last seven years; both Groups
were of the view that the texts of December 2008 must
form the basis of future work. Regarding the negotiating
process, they reiterated that bilateral and plurilateral
meetings could only be used to supplement the
multilateral process and not to substitute it. The G-20
called for the expeditious completion of the Round with
contributions from all Members.
The Cotton-4 recalled
the mandate of the Hong Kong Ministerial Declaration
according to which the cotton issue must be addressed
ambitiously, expeditiously and specifically. They
expressed the hope that this issue would be taken up on
priority when talks resumed. They were supported in this
by all other Groups, particularly, the G-33, the G-20,
the African Group and the ACP Group.
The African Group
re-emphasized the importance of keeping development
concerns as the main focus of negotiations. The Group
stated that issues of concerns to LDCs needed to be
tackled frontally in the negotiations.
The ACP Group
reaffirmed the need for the banana issue to be
specifically addressed outside of the modalities on
agriculture, in order to reach a just and balanced
The two groups,
supported by CARICOM, also drew the attention of
participants to the progress made in July 2008 on
preference erosion modalities. They expressed
disappointment that the
specific understandings developed then had not reached
fruition on account of the delay in resumption; they
emphasised the importance of this issue for their
The G-10 group
expressed its commitment to a successful and expeditious
conclusion of the Doha Round to face the economic
downturn and to fight the spread of protectionism.
Citing the contributions being made by developed
countries, the Group stressed the need for a balanced
result in the single undertaking.
The LDC Group expressed concern that delay in concluding the Doha Round
was costing them dearly. They called for an expeditious
conclusion of the Round and progress on issues that were
critical to them including DFQF.
Statements were made by coordinators of the groups on behalf of their
groups and some of the Member countries in their
Let me turn now to what I believe are the understandings reached on a
number of process-related issues that would determine
the way ahead. These are summarized below:
There was a unanimous affirmation on the need to conclude the Doha Round
within 2010. There was a clear recognition that
differences subsist on issues and
intensifying negotiations was the first step
towards bridging these gaps.
There was a strong re-affirmation that development remains at the heart
of the Doha Round.
also called upon Chief Negotiators/Senior Officials to
meet in Geneva beginning 14 September 2009 to draw up a
process of engagement for the next 2-3 months; and, to
work with the Chairs of the
Negotiating Groups to prepare an overall agenda
agreed that Chairs of the Negotiating Groups on
Agriculture and NAMA would be requested to draw up
issue-based work plans in consultation with Chief
Negotiators/ Senior Officials, for intensifying
engagement to complete negotiations.
agreed that in consultation with Chief
Negotiators/Senior Officials, Chairs of other
Negotiating Groups would also draw up work plans,
including, where applicable, tabling, discussion and
finalization of texts where required and the timelines
for submission of revised offers (Services), in line
with the overall agenda of action.
agreed that negotiations should resume on the basis of
progress achieved till December 2008.
agreed that work agenda for LDCs covering all specific
issues across the entire spectrum should be put on a
faster track for negotiating convergence with the DG
Lamy and Chairs of Negotiating Groups taking the lead in
were of the view that the multilateral process should
continue to be the main process of negotiations for the
strength of its inclusiveness and transparency.
Other forms of engagements can work as an adjunct
for developing a better understanding among members.
agreed to review progress and provide further guidance
on how to complete negotiations within the expected 2010
timeline. All opportunities for political guidance,
including at the level of leaders to be used between now
and the end of November 2009 as also to iteratively
Mindful of the fact that the Doha Round has been in progress for eight
years, it was agreed that all efforts must be made to
bring the Round to an ambitious and development oriented
conclusion within 2010 as resolved by world leaders.
brings me to the end of my summary of proceedings.
thank you all once again for your enthusiastic support
and participation. I am glad that you have made the
effort and taken the time to participate in this
Ministerial meeting. I am sure that our efforts will
bear fruit and we will see a constructive resumption of
Doha Round talks very soon.
wish you all a safe and pleasant journey home and look
forward to our continued association.