Cablegate: Wto Heads of Delegation Meeting - November 3, 2005

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. WTO Director-General Lamy convened a short heads of
delegation meeting on the morning of November 3 to discuss
next steps for the Doha Development Agenda. His main point
was that the time has come to emphasize the "horizontality" of
the negotiations and to begin the process of transitioning
from a vertical subject approach to a more integrated approach
so a comprehensive text can be presented to ministers by the
upcoming Ministerial Conference in Hong Kong. Lamy said he
would be starting an intensive consultative process with the
objective of reaching such a text by the middle of November so
all delegations have time to prepare their capitals, and he
asked Members to be on call for these consultations.

2. In a short "diagnosis" of the issues, Lamy highlighted two
issues. First, he saw the need for greater convergence on
agricultural market access, adding that while further movement
on agriculture is necessary it is also not sufficient - for
success, Members must start to move across the board, he
emphasized. Second, on NAMA, he warned that divergences are
still wide and big political decisions are needed with respect
to the number of coefficients in the formula as well as
flexibilities. On other issues, he tended to be more

- on rules and services, he reported progress and said chairs
are working on texts;

- on special and differential treatment, he felt a package is
within reach and he urged Members to show more flexibility;

- on trade facilitation, he reported "good news" that a draft
report seems close to being finalized; but

- on TRIPS, trade and the environment, and the DSU he reported
there is still a way to go before an outcome for Hong Kong can
be determined.

3. Only a few Members made statements. Venezuela supported
by Cuba and Botswana complained about the discretion chairs
have in preparing texts, with Venezuela saying the focus
should be on participation and arguing that brackets are a
good way to reflect Member views. Lamy responded that the
emphasis would be on consensus, transparency, and the bottom-
up nature of the negotiations, but he said a number of tools
are available in balancing transparency and efficiency and he
recalled a previous experience in which a cumbersome
declaration full of bracketed text (the draft declaration
prepared for the 1999 Ministerial Conference in Seattle)
proved to be failure.

4. Lamy concluded the meeting by saying he planned to convene
another heads of delegation meeting after November 9 to build
on ministerial consultations and take stock of preparations
for Hong Kong. Allgeier

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