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WTO Meeting gets down to real work

WTO Meeting gets down to real work

The rubber has finally hit the road at the World Trade Organisation meeting in Cancun, Mexico, with the tabling today of a revised draft negotiating text by conference chair Luis Derbez of Mexico.

Trade Negotiations Minister Jim Sutton said that from New Zealand’s point of view, the text represented some progress, but more was needed.

Mr Sutton said that for days now, ministers had been talking past each other. "There has been a lot of position-taking, lots of sounding out, but not until now much sign of movement. If that is going to change any time soon, it will be over the next two days."

Mr Sutton said that the Cancun meeting was not about delivering an instant result, but about setting in motion the real negotiations that would deliver a real result next year.

"In fact, there has been a phoney war going on since the 2001 meeting in Doha. "What we need to decide as an organisation now is whether to take up the challenge of real negotiations on real issues, issues that are literally life or death for millions of people around the world."

Mr Sutton said the New Zealand delegation was playing an active role in the meeting.

"All members of the New Zealand delegation - officials, business people, and non-governmental organisation representatives - are working extremely hard to make sure that we have an influence on the direction of the proposed negotiations."

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