EU Trade Commissioner Pascal Lamy welcomes start of WTO Trade Negotiations

Brussels, 1st February 2002

EU Trade Commissioner Pascal Lamy welcomed today's decision in Geneva on establishing the negotiating structures for the new round of WTO trade negotiations. He said: "WTO members in Geneva have taken the first, important, indeed necessary, step towards implementing the negotiating mandate agreed in Doha. These decisions mean the WTO is now able to start the actual work of the negotiations. The EU will continue to build up this momentum by presenting its negotiating proposals at an early stage with a view to completing the DDA in 3 years."

Until the 5th Ministerial in 2003, the Doha Development Agenda will have negotiating bodies for Agriculture, Services, Industrial Tariffs, Trade Rules, Intellectual Property and Environment. The Trade Negotiation Committee (TNC) will be chaired by the Director General of the WTO.

The Declaration of the 4th Ministerial Conference of WTO in Doha in November 2001 provides for the establishment of a Trade Negotiation Committee (TNC) not later than 31 January 2002. The TNC acts under the authority of the General Council and shall establish appropriate negotiating mechanisms and supervise the progress of the negotiations. Today's decision comes after several weeks of discussion in Geneva as to how exactly the negotiating mechanism should be set up.

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