ACP ministers prepare for the Cancun Ministerial
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CTA. 2003. ACP ministers prepare for the Cancun Ministerial. Agritrade, September 2003. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/52636
The ACP Council of Ministers have agreed to have...
The ACP Council of Ministers have agreed to have a single overall spokesperson at the Cancun WTO Ministerial meeting. The Botswanan Minister of Trade and Industry, Jacob Nkate, will take on this role. With regard to agriculture the ACP Ministers expressed 'concern at the failure to meet deadlines for the establishment of modalities for further commitments in agriculture' and the view that 'progress in this matter is essential for the successful conclusion of the Doha work programme'. ACP Ministers reiterated the need for improved 'market access for all agricultural products originating from ACP states, and the need for developed countries to eliminate export subsidies and to reduce trade-distorting support, especially when having a negative impact on ACP countries'. The Ministers also expressed regret at the WTO challenge to the EU sugar regime. More specifically the ACP called for: 'the Cancun Ministerial conference to take a decision on the rapid elimination of subsidies to cotton, and adopt measures so as to compensate those countries adversely affected by these practices'; 'developed countries to exercise restraint in applying TBT and SPS measures on products from ACP countries' provision to be made for special safeguard mechanisms, special treatment for 'special products' and for the special needs of net-food-importing developing countries to be addressed. Comment: Significantly improved market access for ACP agricultural exports can best be secured through modifying, on a case-by-case basis, the provisions of Declaration XXII of the Cotonou Agreement, since this restricts the benefits of any new EU liberalisation to ACP countries, while any multilateral commitments will benefit all WTO members, including the competitors of ACP countries. According to reports by Agence Europe the EU and the ACP have agreed to work together to ensure that the objectives of the Doha Development Round are respected by striking a balance between tighter global trade rules and market liberalisation on the one hand, and taking the particular situation facing ACP states, given their level of development, and the problems they encounter in meeting their WTO obligations on the other.