ACP Trade Ministers resolve to advance development agenda at 10th WTO Conference
Brussels, 22 October 2015/ ACP: Trade Ministers from the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States are committed to a successful outcome at the Tenth Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), calling on WTO member countries to affirm their commitment to the Doha Development Agenda, in particular on the core areas in the negotiations that are important to developing countries.
In a declaration adopted at a special meeting of ACP trade ministers in Brussels on 20-21 October, members urged the WTO to deliver on a number of proposals at the upcoming Tenth Ministerial Conference in Nairobi, Kenya, scheduled for 15-18 December.
Amongst the 15 development decisions proposed by ACP ministers include ministerial affirmation on: flexibilities for Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and Small and Vulnerable Economies (SVEs) in agriculture and non-agriculture goods; agreed flexibilities for developing countries in service negotiations; and different tariff reduction targets to be defined for developed countries, developing countries, and SVEs in accordance with the principles of special differentiated treatment and less than full reciprocity. LDCs shall be exempt from making tariff reductions.
ACP Ministers called for also concrete and binding decisions on cotton, as well as in the areas put forward by LDCs, and specific proposals submitted by the G90 countries. (Link: Download the full declaration)
“The ACP Group must work vigorously for the WTO Ministerial Conference in Nairobi to be a success. Part of the ACP strategy for the Ministerial is to safeguard continuation of the Doha Development Agenda (DDA) post-Nairobi. The ACP Group is in support of a Ministerial declaration in Nairobi which will give guidance to future work,” said ACP Secretary General H.E Dr. Patrick Gomes.
In their declaration, ACP Ministers insist that decisions be taken through a transparent and inclusive process, working towards agreement on a development package that takes into account the concerns and interests of all ACP States.
They further call for the affirmation of the development objectives of the DDA in all aspects of negotiating outcomes, including the principle of special and differential treatment and less than full reciprocity.
ACP ministers will meet as a group in Nairobi on 14 December, the eve of the Tenth WTO Ministerial Conference, to take stock of the situation and agree on a final position. It was decided that the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade from Barbados will act as ACP spokesperson in Nairobi.
Sixty-one members of the ACP Group of States are also part of the WTO, with seven more countries in accession, making up a third of the total WTO membership. The Tenth Ministerial Conference will be the first to be held on the African continent and in an ACP country.
For more information, contact ACP Press Officer Josephine Latu-Sanft, Tel +32 2 7430617 or firstname.lastname@example.org