UN: EU Explanation of Vote on the draft resolution on International Trade and Development

UN 61st Session; II Committee; Explanation of Vote by Mr. Jarl-Håkan Rosengren, Minister
Counsellor, Permanent Mission of Finland to the UN, on behalf of the EU on the draft resolution on item 51(a) International Trade and Development

New York, 1 December 2006

Mme Chair,

I have the honour of delivering this explanation of vote on behalf of the European Union.

The Acceding Countries Bulgaria and Romania, the Candidate Countries Turkey, Croatia* and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia*, the Countries of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidates Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia, and the EFTA country Iceland, member of the European Economic Area, as well as Ukraine and Moldova align themselves with this declaration.

The EU will abstain in today's vote on the draft resolution on International Trade and Development, L14.

The EU is disappointed about the outcome of the consultation process.

We appreciate the hard work involved from all parties and by the Facilitator, Ms Vanessa Gomes of Portugal.

But we regret that it has not been possible to reach an agreement on the GA resolution on trade and development and to send a consensual message on resumption of WTO Doha Development Agenda negotiations. We believe that it would be in the interest of all to send such a message along with a clear recognition of the benefits of a successful conclusion of the WTO Doha round.

The EU remains fully committed to the DDA, which continues to be the central priority of our trade policy. We remain committed to open markets, progressive trade liberalization, and stronger multilateral rules, as a trigger for growth and development, not least in the interest of developing countries. In this spirit, we will continue to work with all our partners in the WTO for a successful outcome of the Doha Round.

All WTO Members share a responsibility in this Round. That is to say that all WTO Members should contribute to the Round in accordance with their means; and that we fully agree that developing countries should do less than developed countries.

Nevertheless, emerging economies should also open their markets not least to increase South-South trade and in favour of the LDCs. At the same time we can accept that the poorest developing countries take up no or very few market opening commitments. But the DDA remains a common endeavour of all WTO Members, not a one-way street.

There are several elements of the draft resolution L.14 on trade and development that the EU cannot accept and that caused us to abstain today. I will not outline all those elements, but wish to underline that the draft resolution is overall imbalanced.

In particular we can not agree with the singling out of agriculture. The DDA is not an agriculture-only negotiation. Industrial goods, services and rules, as abundantly shown by economic analysis, are, together with agriculture, key to growth and development. It is wrong to ignore or underplay the other areas, and it does not reflect the broad and balanced Doha Development Agenda that we have all (WTO members) agreed to.

On other issues of interest for the Developing countries, such as action on Aid for Trade and Duty-free/Quota-free market access for Least Developed Countries products, we believe that the proposed draft does not reflect all the efforts to reach a consensual language made in the course of the consultations. We regret this missed opportunity, since the EU remains committed to a significant development package.

Thank you, Mme Chair

* Croatia and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.