Attached Statement (3)
Statement on WTO

Reaffirming the EU-Japan Joint Statement on the WTO on January 11, 2000, the leaders agreed on the following:

The leaders underscored the need to further strengthen the multilateral rule-based trading system represented by the WTO in order to respond to the challenges of the 21st century by meeting the needs of globalised economy and ensuring equitable and balanced economic development to the benefit of all WTO members.

The leaders reaffirmed that the launch of a new round of trade negotiations remains the best way for the WTO to respond to these challenges. They agreed to intensify their already close and fruitful cooperation in order to try together with other WTO members to launch such a round during the course of this year.

The leaders concurred that the Round should be designed as a single undertaking and, beyond the negotiations in the built-in-agenda on agriculture and services, be comprehensive in that it should reflect the varied interests and priorities of all WTO members in a balanced way. In their view, the new round should encompass four broad sets of objectives.

First, it should achieve further liberalisation and expansion of trade, leading to increased growth, competition and employment, as well as a fairer spread of the benefits of globalisation.

Second, it should lead to the improvement and reinforcement of existing rules and disciplines in such areas as anti_dumping, clarification of the relationship between trade and environment, as well as the establishment of rules in new areas such as investment, competition, and trade facilitation in order to increase transparency and predictability in trade relations, reduce the risk of protectionism and unilateralism, and to respond to the rapidly integrating economic environment.

Third, it should reflect the interests of developing countries including through improved market access opportunities and enhanced measures for capacity building and technical assistance based on the needs of individual developing countries, in order to facilitate the implementation of WTO agreements and fuller integration of these countries into the WTO system. In this regard, the leaders noted the need for enhanced cooperation on capacity building among the WTO and other international organisations such as the World Bank and the IMF, and other relevant parties. They also welcomed various bilateral and regional initiatives in this area. Special attention should be paid to the needs of the least developed countries, including through further improvements in market access for these countries.

Fourth, it should ensure compatibility between trade policy on one hand and sustainable development and other broad social goals on the other. With this in mind, the leaders will seek to ensure, inter alia, that the future negotiations take into account the sustainable use of natural resources, environmental protection, consumer health and safety, and other legitimate concerns of society as a whole. The leaders also stressed the importance of transparency of the WTO as well as the need for dialogue with representatives of civil society, while recognising that the principal responsibility of communication with civil society lies domestically with each Member of the WTO.

The leaders welcomed the commitment by all Members to work constructively in the built_in_agenda negotiations. They pledged to work together in order to promote their common interests in these negotiations, including appropriate recognition of the multifunctional role of agriculture. The leaders noted that a successful and balanced outcome to these negotiations will be greatly enhanced through their incorporation within a comprehensive negotiating round.

The leaders noted that they would continue to support the establishment of a dialogue on trade, globalisation and social development issues with a view to promote a better understanding of the issues between all interested parties.

They also welcomed the newly acceding Members to the WTO and support the early accession of present applicants on commercially viable terms.

The leaders noted with appreciation the efforts by WTO Director General Mike Moore in bringing forward a number of measures to rebuild confidence and restore momentum in the WTO. They reiterated their strong desire to work with other WTO members for the early launch of the new round that reflects all Members' interests.

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