Statement of the Chief Executives Board for Coordination on the multilateral round of negotiations under the Doha Development Agenda and the sixth World Trade Organization Ministerial Conference (Hong Kong, China, 13-18 December 2005)
We, the Executive Heads of the organizations of the United Nations system, reconfirm our support for the Doha Development Round, which has placed development at the heart of the multilateral trading system. We are resolved to work closely with the World Trade Organization to ensure the success of its forthcoming Ministerial Conference in Hong Kong, China, as a stepping stone towards the conclusion of the round in 2006.
International trade as an engine for economic growth is a key element in the complex development agenda. A successful and timely conclusion of the Doha negotiations, producing positive and balanced results and contributing towards a better insertion of developing and least developed countries in the world trading system, will help raise their living standards, reduce poverty and make a substantial contribution to meeting the goals for global development established by world leaders at the 2005 World Summit as well as at recent United Nations conferences.
The Doha Development Agenda negotiations should result in enhanced market access, in particular for goods and services of interest for developing countries, thus promoting diversification into new and dynamic sectors in goods and services; stimulating increased participation in global production and value chains; and generating employment. Furthermore, updating the trade rules will contribute to ensuring a more level playing field.
In a broader sense, a universal, rules-based, open, non-discriminatory and equitable multilateral trading system can substantially contribute to development worldwide, benefiting countries at all stages of development.
In order to achieve these goals, the forthcoming Ministerial Conference must result in significant progress, particularly in the crucial areas of the negotiations, so that the Round can be completed by the end of 2006. We appeal for political commitment from all participants to this end. Major developed countries must fully exercise their responsibilities and leadership role in order to bring about meaningful progress and trade-opening in areas of interest to developing countries, especially in agriculture, non-agricultural products and trade in services.
Meaningful “aid for trade” packages would go a long way in enabling developing countries, especially the least developed countries, to meet adjustment costs, build trade-related infrastructure and supply capacity in order to benefit from opportunities that would be opened up by the Doha Round. This is therefore an important complement to the World Trade Organization negotiations to which we also pledge our support.
In less than six weeks, ministers will gather in Hong Kong, China, in an effort to guide the Round towards its successful conclusion by the end of 2006. We urge all participating Governments to take the necessary political decisions so that consensus can be identified, gaps narrowed and forward momentum injected into the negotiating process.