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Alliances || G-33

G-33 Ministerial Press Statement*
29 June 2006

  1. The G33 Ministers met on 29 June 2006 in Geneva to discuss current development in the negotiations and to see how the Group can further contribute to a successful outcome.

  2. Ministers welcomed Bolivia to the G-33, further expanding the alliance of developing countries that have the majority of the world’s small, vulnerable and resource poor farmers across all continents.

  3. Ministers reiterated their political commitment and readiness to work with other Members of the WTO to achieve a fair and balanced outcome in agriculture. They emphasized the development imperatives of the Doha Round and the crucial role that agriculture plays in the economic and social fabric of the developing countries. In this context, they drew attention to the need to ensure that modalities for Special Products (SPs) and the Special Safeguard Mechanism (SSM) which are vital components of the special and differential treatment provisions must be designed in order to effectively address their food security, livelihood security and rural development needs.

  4. Ministers insisted that all aspects of SPs and SSM must be incorporated integrally in any modalities to be agreed by July 2006. They further stressed that no modalities in agriculture can be acceptable which do not fully reflect the expectations of the vast bulk of developing countries in the WTO on SPs and SSM.

  5. The Group has already made comprehensive and constructive contributions on modalities, with full legal drafts, on SPs and SSM, ensuring that they are fully consistent with, and respect the integrity of, the Hong Kong Ministerial Declaration and the General Council Decision of 1st August 2004.

  6. Ministers expressed deep concern that counter proposals tabled recently by a few Members contradict these decisions and undermine the letter and spirit of the Doha Declaration. Proposals which have been made with different objectives have the potential to subvert the development goals and aspirations of the vast majority. Ministers emphasized that the G33 should not be expected to shoulder the cost of achieving pure mercantilist goals of a few at the expense of putting their own development paths in peril.

  7. Ministers took note of the draft possible modalities issued by the Chairman of the Agriculture Committee in Special Session. They expressed concern that the draft does not contain convergence on the critical instruments of SPs and SSM. Ministers highlighted the fact that SPs and SSM are not issues of concern only to the G-33, but to the majority of developing countries, which account for more than 2/3rd of the WTO membership, and represent around 90 per cent of the world’s farming communities.

  8. Ministers welcomed the recent Joint Statement by the African Group, ACP countries, LDCs, and G-33. The declaration is a manifestation of the unity among developing countries, on issues that are of vital importance to the majority of developing countries in the agriculture negotiation. The Group reaffirmed its commitment to continue to intensify work and strengthen unity with all developing countries.

  9. Minister rejected introducing applied tariffs to benchmark the level of ambition in such commitments. They reaffirmed that the structure of the tiered formula for bound tariff reductions must integrally incorporate appropriate S&DT elements through, among others, higher thresholds and at least 2/3rd overall proportionality in the tariff reduction commitments of developing countries as compared to those of developed countries.

  10. Ministers recalled that a number of its constituent members were small, vulnerable economies, whose developmental concerns must also be fully taken into account in accordance with the mandate. SPs and SSM are crucial to address their vulnerabilities and concerns. In the context of the tiered formula, the G33 also fully supports proposals for delayed implementation as well as for longer implementation periods for the Small, Vulnerable Economies.

  11. Ministers expressed their concern regarding the insufficient progress made in the negotiations with a view to crafting modalities. Ministers recognized the need to make concrete progress in the agriculture negotiations by July 2006, in order to adhere to the commitment made in Hong Kong of concluding the Doha Round by December 2006. They call on Members, in particular developed Members, to show the necessary flexibility to ensure a successful and timely conclusion of the DDA negotiations. G-33 Ministers on their part expressed their readiness to further take the necessary decisions to contribute to a successful conclusion of the Round.

  12. Ministers underlined the importance to continue building consensus through a bottom-up process, guaranteeing transparency, inclusiveness, and the effective participation of all Members.

    *Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Bolivia, Belize, Benin, Botswana, China, Cote d’Ivoire, Congo, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Jamaica, Kenya, Korea, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mongolia, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Pakistan, Panama, The Philippines, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Senegal, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Tanzania, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, Uganda, Venezuela, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

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