26 Jul 2014
EU STATEMENT ON THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE BALI MINISTERIAL DECISIONSBrussels Daily
Just 8 months ago, all WTO Ministers in Bali reached a historic consensus on a Trade Facilitation Agreement as well as a number of decisions in agriculture and development. Several timelines were agreed, starting with 31 July 2014 for the adoption of a protocol transposing the Trade Facilitation Agreement in WTO law, December 2014 for a work programme leading to the conclusion of the Doha Development Agenda, and the end of December 2017 for the issue of food security.
On food security, Ministers in Bali also provided an open-ended solution which addresses effectively the concerns while WTO members continue to work for a permanent solution.
So far, WTO members have jointly respected and honoured the Bali commitments. Serious work has been done over the last months and good progress been made, including on issues of interest to developing and least developed countries.
The proper and timely implementation of the Bali package as agreed by Ministers is of crucial importance to the WTO and all WTO members.
Without adoption of the Trade Facilitation Protocol by July 31 a great opportunity to mobilise trade as an instrument for growth and development would be lost, and the credibility of the WTO, which has during the financial crisis proven its value as a firewall against protectionism, would be further damaged.
We must respect the decisions taken by Ministers in Bali. The EU is not ready to renegotiate basic elements or timelines that were agreed as integral part of the Bali package. The EU is ready to work with all members to find a solution by the 31 July for Trade Facilitation and to intensify work for satisfactory and timely progress on all aspects of the Bali Ministerial decisions in accordance with the mandate.
We call on all WTO members to use the remaining time until the 31 July to adopt the TF protocol, opening the door for the other issues agreed in Bali, for the conclusion of the DDA, and giving a new perspective to the WTO and the multilateral trading system.
♦ Report by WTO Director-General Roberto Azevêdo ♦ Statement by Ambassador Michael Froman on the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement ♦ Statement by Ambassador Michael Punke at the World Trade Organization General Council