Cablegate: G-20 Meet in Brasilia

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.





E.O. 12958: N/A


1. (U) Summary. The G-20 meeting taking place in Brasilia
December 11-12 is designed to lend political weight to the
group prior to the December 15 meeting in Geneva in which
countries will consider restarting WTO Doha Development
Agenda (DDA) negotiations after the failed Cancun
Ministerial. The group is expected to continue to endorse
the same changes it identified as necessary in Cancun to the
Derbez text, but with a moderated tone, emphasizing the need
for flexibility all around. End Summary

2. (U) Representatives of the G-20, a group of developing
countries that was formed during the Cancun WTO Ministerial,
are meeting in Brasilia December 11-12. Brazil's Foreign
Ministry (Itamaraty) has confirmed attendance by
representatives of the following countries: South Africa,
Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, China, Cuba, Egypt, Philippines,
India, Indonesia, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Paraguay,
Tanzania, Venezuela, and Zimbabwe. Ecuador is listed as
sending a "representative" (observer) to the meeting.
Supposedly 14 ministers will be in attendance, but that has
not been confirmed. Also attending are WTO Director General
Supachai Panitchpakdi and EU Trade Commissioner Pascal Lamy.
Press reports have also asserted that the U.S. was invited.

3. (SBU) According to Maria Izabel Vieira, Chief of the
Agriculture Division in Itamaraty, the G-20 meeting will be
more political than technical in nature. She did not
anticipate presentation of new proposals or ideas, but more a
reaffirmation of the G-20 commitment to move forward in DDA
negotiations. Brazilian press has recently reported on new
proposals by the G-20 and implied that some would be
discussed in Brasilia. Maria Izabel said the ideas being
discussed are the same as those discussed in Cancun and
subsequently in Geneva - for instance, the need to change the
tariff reduction formulas in the Derbez text to "bring more
balance" between developed and developing country
commitments, and the group's interest in setting the limit
for domestic support to 2.5 percent of production value.

4. (SBU) The G-20 meetings started Thursday evening and were
to focus on a discussion of overall strategy for the DDA
negotiations and preparation for Monday's meeting in Geneva.
In a separate meeting on December 11, the group met with
Director General Supachai who provided his current assessment
of the negotiations. According to press reports today,
Supachai'a main message was that all countries need to be
flexible in all areas, or else no advances will be made in
Geneva. In responding through the press, Brazilian WTO
negotiator, Ambassador Clodoaldo Hugueney, claimed that the
G-20 is committed to advancing the negotiations and has been
indicating that it will be flexible as long as the other main
actors in the negotiation are as well. Comment: From the
G-20 perspective, Supachai's participation has been an
invaluable boon to conferring credibility on the group as a
legitimate negotiating force in the DDA. End Comment.

5. (SBU) In essentially the last working session late
Friday morning, Lamy will meet with the group for about two
hours. The meeting with Lamy appears to be designed to
demonstrate goodwill by the group with one of its main
antagonists from Cancun. According to the EU's Commercial
Attache, Jorge Peydro-Azanar, Lamy had already been planning
a trip to the Mercosul countries when Brazil's Foreign
Minister Amorim presented the invitation to the G-20
gathering. Peydro-Aznar told us Lamy's interest in attending
is to explain the EU's perspective on the DDA negotiations,
as expressed in the November 26 EU Commission Communication
to the EU Council, and to obtain a better gauge of where the
group is heading before next week's Geneva meeting.

6. (SBU) Peydro-Aznar said that Lamy views the G-20 as
relevant to only a single issue, and would expect the EU to
approach negotiation of other issues, for instance the
Singapore issues, with the member countries individually.
According to Peydro-Aznar, Brazilian press had incorrectly
claimed Lamy would be presenting a new proposal in Brasilia;
the "proposal" is the idea presented in the November 26
Communique that the EU could approach the Singapore issues on
a plurilateral basis, removing them from the
single-undertaking. After the G-20 meeting, Lamy will
continue on to Montevideo where he will participate in the
Mercosul Summit December 16.

7. (SBU) Comment: Whether a single-issue group or not, the
GOB will work determinedly to keep the G-20 alive. It is a
crucial component of President Lula's foreign policy which
looks to promote Brazilian leadership of developing countries
to form a counterweight to oft-cited developed-country
domination. Regardless of others' perception that the Cancun
Ministerial was a disaster, President Lula has unreservedly
heaped praise on Foreign Minister Amorim for his leadership
of the G-20, and for demonstrating to the international
community that developing countries must be dealt with as
equals. End Comment.

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