Nairobi meeting a landmark for WTO

KENYA CAPITALBy  MARIA MACHARIA

NAIROBI, (CAJ News) – WORLD Trade Organisation Director-General, Roberto Azevêdo, believes the upcoming Nairobi ministerial conference will be a milestone for the future of the organisation.

He described the state of play in negotiations, the difficulties in advancing the core Doha Development Agenda (DDA) issues, and some of the potential negotiated outcomes which might be achieved in Nairobi, the Kenya capital.

“Nairobi is the WTO’s first ministerial conference to be held in Africa since the organization was created in Marrakesh two decades ago. This underlines the importance of delivering outcomes for development,” said
the WTO executive.

“But it will also be a milestone in terms of the future of the organization. What we deliver in Nairobi and the path that we follow after Nairobi will be crucial in determining the future role of this organization as a forum for trade negotiations.”

Azevêdo said whatever they deliver in Nairobi, clearly it would not be viable, or credible, to announce it as a satisfactory conclusion of the DDA.

“So how do we take forward the outstanding issues after Nairobi? There is a clear divergence among the membership on this point. It seems to me that all members agree that the DDA core issues must remain on the negotiating agenda, such as agriculture, market access, and services. I think there is consensus on that. However there is no agreement on how these negotiations should take place: whether under the present Doha framework, or whether under some new architecture.”

WTO’s tenth Ministerial Conference is set for December 15 to 18.

CAJ News

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