Tenth Ministerial Conference – Consultations On Ministerial Declaration

REPORT BY THE FACILITATORS

Gabriel Duque (Colombia), Amb. Stephen Karau (Kenya), Amb. Harald Neple (Norway)

This report is presented under our own responsibility. It represents a summary of the main points which have emerged from our consultations. We hope that we have captured the key issues from all the views expressed in this process.

1 INTRODUCTION

1.1. Following the General Council meeting of 8 October and an informal meeting of Heads of Delegations of 12 October 2015, the Director-General, as Chairman of the TNC, announced a process to help advance Members' work on the preparation of a Ministerial Declaration for the Tenth WTO Ministerial Conference (MC10). At the 12 October meeting, he appointed us three to act as his facilitators in consulting Members on the Ministerial Declaration.

1.2. Our consultations took place from 16 to 27 October 2015. We met with a total of 58 delegations. Some of them represented groups.1 We believe that the views expressed represented those of the vast majority of the Membership.

1.3. At each consultation, we made it clear to delegations that our role was temporary in nature and that we were not engaged in a drafting exercise. We also made it clear that our role was simply to listen to Members, compile their views and provide a factual report to the Director- General.

1.4. In line with our instructions, we asked each delegation three broad questions:

i. What should be the structure of the Ministerial Declaration?

ii. What elements should the Declaration contain?

iii. What process should be followed to arrive at a consensual Declaration?

1.5. Given that the first group of delegations had raised "new issues", we found it necessary to ask all delegations their views on this in order to have a comprehensive outlook and report in a balanced manner.

1.6. All delegations expressed their commitment to a successful Nairobi Ministerial Conference. A number of delegations also said that the outcomes in Nairobi had to be credible and reaffirm the centrality of the WTO as the preeminent Organization for global trade governance.

1.7. Given the current difficulties in the negotiations on the identified potential deliverables, some delegations were concerned about the possibility of reaching an agreed outcome at Nairobi. Therefore, they suggested that it was important to prepare for a scenario where there might not be a consensual outcome. In addition, one delegation said that in view of the current minimal progress on substance, discussions on an outcome document risked diverting Members' attention from that substantive work. Many delegations emphasised that the discussions on the Declaration and the work in the negotiating groups on the potential DDA deliverables should move in parallel.

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