Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

Cancun meeting result disappointing, says minister


PRESS STATEMENT

Cancun meeting result disappointing, says minister

The result from the Cancun World Trade Organisation meeting today was not the end of the global trading system, nor of the efforts to reform it, Trade Negotiations Minister Jim Sutton said.

The meeting ended today without reaching agreement on a detailed negotiating text. Cancun meeting chairman Luis Derbez said considerable progress had been made, but more work needed to be done in some key areas to enable members to proceed towards the conclusion of negotiations and fulfilment of the Doha commitments.

Mr Sutton said the talks did not break down over agriculture.

"We were making good progress. Although there was still some way to go, the agriculture part of the draft text looked as though it would have gone a long way towards the ambitious outcome that New Zealand farmers were hoping for.

"Unfortunately, other issues proved too much for the membership at this time."

Those issues were the so-called "Singapore" issues: investment, competition, trade facilitation, and transparency in government procurement.

Despite the considerable flexibility the European Union and Japan had signalled on investment and competition, a number of developing countries said that they could not at this time accept negotiations on trade facilitation and government procurement, Mr Sutton said.

"That is their right. Developing nations are a majority of the WTO now, and their views have to be recognised. Their greater involvement in the WTO has made this organisation a truly global one.

"We now need to focus on preserving the good progress we have made since the launch of the round at Doha two years ago. We need to bridge the differences that remain. But most of all, we need to take stock and reflect on how we can best take this process forward, to deliver the real benefits for World Trade Organisation members, developing and developed alike."

Mr Sutton said he was disappointed personally and for the New Zealand team at Cancun by the breakdown in the meeting.

New Zealand had worked intensively with all participants at the WTO meeting, especially with the United States, European Union, Cairns Group, the "G21" led by Brazil, India, South Africa, and China, and with other developing nations.

"A huge amount of work has been done by a lot of people and we have made significant progress, which could still be really positive for New Zealand and the developing nations dependent on agriculture for their export earnings.

"The objective now must be to hang on to the progress made, while working to complete that which has not been completed at Cancun."

Mr Sutton said conference chairman Luis Derbez had put an outstanding effort into the WTO meeting, and his personal reputation as Mexico's foreign minister was enhanced as a consequence.


ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Veronika Meduna: The Kaikoura Rebuild

A Scoop Foundation Investigation

Friday will be a big day for people north of Kaikōura – and for hundreds of construction workers who are racing to reopen State Highway 1 in time for the holiday season.

By the afternoon, the South Island’s main transport corridor will be open to traffic again, more than a year after a magnitude 7.8 earthquake mangled bridges and tunnels, twisted rail tracks and buried sections of the road under massive landslides. More>>

 

BPS HYEFU WYSIWYG: Labour's Budget Plans, Families Package

“Today we are announcing the full details of the Government’s Families Package. This is paid for by rejecting National’s tax cuts and instead targeting spending at those who need it most. It will lift 88,000 children out of poverty by 2021." More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Defence Spending, Alabama, And Dolly Parton

The spending lavished on Defence projects to meet the risks that could maybe, possibly, theoretically face New Zealand in future is breath-taking, given how successive governments have been reluctant to spend even a fraction of those amounts on the nation’s actual social needs. More>>

ALSO:

Members' Bills: End Of Life Choice Bill Passes First Reading

The End of Life Choice Bill in the name of David Seymour has been sent to a select committee for consideration by 76 votes to 44. It is the third time Parliament has voted on the issue in recent decades and the first time such a Bill has made it over the first hurdle. More>>

ALSO:

State Sector: MPI Survives Defrag Of Portfolios

The Ministry for Primary Industries will not be split under the new government, but will instead serve as an overarching body for four portfolio-based entities focused on fisheries, forestry, biosecurity and food safety. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Vulnerable Kids, RNZ Funding, And Poppy

The decision to remove the word ‘vulnerable’ from the Ministry for Vulnerable Children could well mark a whole shift in approach to the care of children in need... More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages