skip to content

Joint Statement - Doha: Much at Stake and Time is Running Out

16 July 2007

WORLD Trade Organisation (WTO) negotiations represent the opportunity of a life-time. The world faces severe ramifications if the Doha Round fails - which underscores the urgent need to 'pull out all stops' over the coming months. We call upon the Chair of the Agriculture negotiations to table a comprehensive and ambitious text next week and on all WTO members to come to the table with open minds to seriously address all remaining issues.

Without a breakthrough it will be nigh impossible to conclude the Doha Round this year and realistically we need to see progress made by WTO countries before November.

No one can afford this result. Those with the most to lose are farmers in developed and developing countries, along with service providers and manufacturers world-wide. We will bear the pain of WTO failure should the status quo of petty politics prevail. The current impasse must be bridged.

Noble words and commitments to progress must now turn to action as the US presidential race deadline looms. The Doha Round must produce a positive result that is true to its mandate. It is truly the time to turn noble words into real action.

Countries should renew their resolve to achieve a successful outcome through greater market access and reductions in trade distorting domestic support. For many countries, domestic support is a market access issue given the distortion it produces in the global market place. The outcome will be far more productive if all members choose to adopt a balanced attitude, seeking gains in return for making concessions, which is in our interests to make.

Developed and developing countries must bring more to the negotiations. Countries must not approach these negotiations from a tight-fisted perspective, desiring greater market access without granting it. The outcome will be far more productive if WTO members adopt a positive attitude by seeking gains in return for making concessions.

Such an undertaking of goodwill must flow to the three main agricultural areas to be addressed. For an acceptable agreement to be reached in accordance with the Doha mandate, all parties must re-engage with a new fervour.

All countries must take a flexible approach to focus on fair and workable solutions. In particular, developed countries must bring more to the table and, while Doha is a 'development Round' and the legitimate needs of developing countries must be taken into account, developing countries must acknowledge that they have more to lose if the Round fails.

We call upon WTO members to be determined and courageous in progressing and concluding the Round. We pledge to work with our governments, and with supporters of reform world-wide, to seek an open global trading system.

File downloads

Next Media Releas:
7/6/2009 Cairns Group Farm Leaders Bali Communique

Previous Media Releas:
18/4/2007 Cairns Group Farm Leaders Deliver Strong Message to Ministers