19 February 2001

Statement by H.E. Ambassador Jorge Iván Mora Godoy, Ambassador, Permanent Representative of Cuba, on behalf of the Group of 77 and China, at the Commission on Trade in Goods and Services and Commodities, on agenda item 3: Major agricultural concerns of developing countries: Impact of the reform process in agriculture on LDCs and net food importing developing countries and ways to address their concerns in multilateral trade negotiations

Distinguished delegates,

1. With regard to the Expert Meeting on Impact of the reform process in agriculture on LDCs and net food importing developing counties and ways of addressing their concerns in multilateral trade negotiations, Group of 77 and China finds that the success criteria of the meeting was if it could provide inputs that were ready for immediate use by developing countries, particularly LDCs and NFIDCs, in their formulation of negotiating proposals to WTO negotiations on agriculture. At the time of the expert meeting, July last year, developing countries were faced with urgent needs to table their negotiating proposals before the deadline of 31 December 2000.

2. Group of 77 and China recognizes, Mr. Chairman, that the discussions and the outcome of this expert meeting helped many countries of the Group of 77 and China delineate the issues of their specific concerns under the multilateral liberalization of agriculture. The meeting helped us elucidate how agricultural and developmental objectives specific their own countries ought to be addressed in the continuation of the reform process in agriculture. In this respect, the Group of 77 and China agrees that the meeting was success - the meeting successfully completed the mission given to it in that specific timeframe.

3. As regards possible policy recommendations to be drawn from the outcome of the expert meeting on agriculture, I would like to repeat what I previously mentioned. The Group of 77 and China can endorse the recommendation for UNCTAD to carry out specific studies under its mandate on trade in agriculture, and would agree to invite the Bretton woods institutions to undertake the recommendations under the title of “coherence”.

4. However, we recognize that many of the recommendations included in the Outcome of the expert meeting touch directly upon matters that are currently negotiated at WTO. It is clearly would be very difficult to attempt to reach agreement on these recommendations. The Commission may pay attention to the current and immediate needs of developing countries with respect to the ongoing negotiations on agriculture, as well as negotiations on accession to WTO. G77 considers that developing countries are in need of augmenting negotiating capacity so as to effectively pursue our proposed interests during negotiations in the coming year. For this purpose, the Commission may focus on identifying areas and types of analytical and technical support that would enhance our negotiating capacity.

Thank you very much.