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DOHA Development Agenda On Track

Media release

4 February 2002

DOHA Development Agenda On Track

Agreement reached in Geneva by members of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) means that the international trade negotiations launched in Doha, Qatar, last November remain on track.

Trade Liberalisation Network Executive Director Stephen Jacobi said that there had been some bureaucratic backsliding in Geneva but the delay was only shortlived. “The WTO is starting work on the ambitious agenda agreed in Doha and getting on with making world trade freer and fairer”.

In Doha Trade Ministers had agreed that decisions on organising the negotiation would be taken by 31 January 2002 but it took until 1 February for WTO members to agree that the Director General would chair the Committee overseeing the negotiations. The various other negotiating committees have now been established and guidelines for their operation drawn up. Full details of the decisions can be found at

Mr Jacobi attended the Doha meeting as a business sector adviser to the New Zealand delegation. He said any delays to the process were unhelpful to those countries, including New Zealand and those in the developing world, who wanted a fairer deal from global markets.

“The WTO is often criticised as a faceless international organisation which overrides governments. In fact the WTO is an instrument of its members. Since sovereignty rests with governments, the WTO must remain subject to political will”.

The next step is for the Chairs of the various negotiating committees to be appointed. “This need not cause problems if WTO governments follow through on their commitments and grasp the vision of Doha” concluded Mr Jacobi.

For further information:

Brian Lynch Stephen Jacobi
Chairman, TLN Executive Director, TLN
Cell: 025 452 958 Cell: 021 490 974

Trade Liberalisation Network website:

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