The World Trade Organization's Trade Negotiations Committee met last Friday to consider the steps ahead in the Doha Development Agenda. Speaking to the WTO General Council on Tuesday, Director-General Pascal Lamy, who chairs the committee, reported he is calling on committee members to listen to each other and to focus constructively on the way ahead. He says this is a time, if there ever was one, to think and act systemically.
Lamy said he emphasized the gravity of the situation for the Round and for all of the efforts and aspirations it embodies. Lamy also emphasized the heavy collective responsibility, not only for the Doha Round but for the multilateral trading system as a whole. The world leader said there is no individual clever escape from this collective responsibility.
"Over the next weeks trade ministers will be meeting and this will allow them to provide political input to our discussions here in Geneva," Lamy said. "As I said last week, I intend to keep consulting with individual and groups of Members over the next few weeks to follow up on the views and ideas expressed at the TNC."
The Trade Negotiations Committee will next meet on May 31.
"The weeks ahead will be intense and will again put to the test our ability to deliver collectively," Lamy said. "Starting next Monday when we will be meeting in Istanbul for the fourth United Nations Conference on Least-developed Countries. The last such conference took place in 2001, just some months before the launch of the Doha Development Round. For this Conference just like for the Doha Round it is not a question of words, it is a question of deeds. It is a question of delivering on the mandates that were agreed almost ten years ago. It is about showing that the international community can deliver."