Info Service on WTO and Trade Issues (Dec15/21)
23 December 2015
Third World Network
MC10 closes by adopting 'Nairobi package'
Published in SUNS #8161 dated 22 December 2015
Geneva, 21 Dec (Kanaga Raja) - The tenth Ministerial Conference (MC10)
of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) concluded in Nairobi on 19 December,
a day later than scheduled, by adopting some six Ministerial decisions
covering issues in agriculture including public stockholding for food
security, the Special Safeguard Mechanism (SSM) and cotton as well
as on the Least Developed Countries (LDCs).
The Ministers also adopted the Nairobi Ministerial Declaration (WT/MIN(15)/W/33/Rev.3)
consisting of three parts. The first part contains the preamble, and
the achievements and challenges on the occasion of the WTO's twentieth
anniversary (paragraphs 1-20).
Parts II and III of the Ministerial Declaration are highlighted below:
Part II: Regular work under the General Council
21. We welcome the following decisions we have adopted at this Session:
* Work Programme on Small Economies - Draft Ministerial Decision -
* TRIPS Non-violation and Situation Complaints - Draft Ministerial
Decision - WT/MIN(15)/W/25.
* Work Programme on Electronic Commerce - Draft Ministerial Decision
22. We further welcome the adoption by the TRIPS Council of the Decision
on the Extension of the Transition Period under Article 66.1 of the
TRIPS Agreement for Least-developed Country Members for certain obligations
with respect to pharmaceutical products as well as the related Waiver
Decision adopted by the General Council concerning least-developed
country Members' obligations under Article 70.8 and 70.9 of the TRIPS
DOHA DEVELOPMENT AGENDA
23. We welcome the progress in the DDA, which is embodied in the following
Decisions and Declarations we have adopted at our Tenth Session:
* Special Safeguard Mechanism for Developing Country Members - Draft
Ministerial Decision of 19 December 2015 - WT/MIN(15)/W/45.
* Public Stockholding for Food Security Purposes - Draft Ministerial
Decision of 19 December 2015 - WT/MIN(15)/W/46.
* Export Competition - Draft Ministerial Decision of 19 December 2015
- WT/MIN(15) /W/47.
* Cotton - Draft Ministerial Decision of 19 December 2015 - WT/MIN(15)/W/48.
* Preferential Rules of Origin for Least-Developed Countries - Draft
Ministerial Decision - WT/MIN(15)/W/38.
* Implementation of Preferential Treatment in Favour of Services and
Service Suppliers of Least Developed Countries and Increasing LDC
Participation in Services Trade - Draft Ministerial Decision - WT/MIN(15)/W/39.
24. We strongly commit to addressing the marginalization of LDCs in
international trade and to improving their effective participation
in the multilateral trading system. Towards that end, we shall ensure
that all issues of specific interest to LDCs shall be pursued on a
priority basis, with a view to strengthening them, making them commercially
meaningful and, when appropriate, legally binding.
25. We reaffirm our commitment to fully implement the Decision on
Measures Concerning the Possible Negative Effects of the Reform Programme
on Least-Developed and Net Food-Importing Developing Countries, including
differential treatment in line with the Marrakesh Decision in the
context of the agriculture negotiations, in recognition of the challenges
that these Members continue to face.
26. We reaffirm our commitment to continue to address in every area
of WTO work, in a substantive and meaningful manner, the needs of
small, vulnerable economies (SVEs) and to favourably consider the
adoption of such measures as would facilitate their fuller integration
into the multilateral trading system. We will take into account the
needs of SVEs in all areas of negotiations, without creating a sub-category
of WTO Members.
27. We recognize the special situation of the Members acceded in accordance
with Article XII of the Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization
who have undertaken extensive market access commitments at the time
of accession. This situation shall be taken into account in the negotiations.
28. We reaffirm the need to ensure that Regional Trade Agreements
(RTAs) remain complementary to, not a substitute for, the multilateral
trading system. In this regard, we instruct the Committee on Regional
Trade Agreements (CRTA) to discuss the systemic implications of RTAs
for the multilateral trading system and their relationship with WTO
rules. With a view to enhancing transparency in, and understanding
of, RTAs and their effects, we agree to work towards the transformation
of the current provisional Transparency Mechanism into a permanent
mechanism in accordance with the General Council Decision of 14 December
2006, without prejudice to questions related to notification requirements.
29. We agree to reinvigorate the regular work of the Committees and
direct the General Council to consider the need for adjustments in
the structure of their subsidiary bodies in light of their relevance
to the implementation and operation of the Covered Agreements.
30. We recognize that many Members reaffirm the Doha Development Agenda,
and the Declarations and Decisions adopted at Doha and at the Ministerial
Conferences held since then, and reaffirm their full commitment to
conclude the DDA on that basis. Other Members do not reaffirm the
Doha mandates, as they believe new approaches are necessary to achieve
meaningful outcomes in multilateral negotiations. Members have different
views on how to address the negotiations. We acknowledge the strong
legal structure of this Organization.
31. Nevertheless, there remains a strong commitment of all Members
to advance negotiations on the remaining Doha issues. This includes
advancing work in all three pillars of agriculture, namely domestic
support, market access and export competition, as well as non-agriculture
market access, services, development, TRIPS and rules. Work on all
the Ministerial Decisions adopted in Part II of this Declaration will
remain an important element of our future agenda.
32. This work shall maintain development at its centre and we reaffirm
that provisions for special and differential treatment shall remain
integral. Members shall also continue to give priority to the concerns
and interests of least developed countries. Many Members want to carry
out the work on the basis of the Doha structure, while some want to
explore new architectures.
33. Mindful of this situation and given our common resolve to have
this meeting in Nairobi, our first Ministerial Conference in Africa,
play a pivotal role in efforts to preserve and further strengthen
the negotiating function of the WTO, we therefore agree that officials
should work to find ways to advance negotiations and request the Director-General
to report regularly to the General Council on these efforts.
34. While we concur that officials should prioritize work where results
have not yet been achieved, some wish to identify and discuss other
issues for negotiation; others do not. Any decision to launch negotiations
multilaterally on such issues would need to be agreed by all Members.
MINISTERIAL DECISION ON PUBLIC STOCKHOLDING
The Ministerial Decision is as follows:
The Ministerial Conference,
Having regard to paragraph 1 of Article IX of the Marrakesh Agreement
Establishing the World Trade Organization; and
Taking note of the progress made so far;
Decides as follows:
1. Members note the Ministerial Decision of 7 December 2013 (WT/MIN(13)/38
and WT/L/913) and reaffirm the General Council Decision of 27 November
2. Members shall engage constructively to negotiate and make all concerted
efforts to agree and adopt a permanent solution on the issue of public
stockholding for food security purposes. In order to achieve such
permanent solution, the negotiations on this subject shall be held
in the Committee on Agriculture in Special Session ("CoA SS"),
in dedicated sessions and in an accelerated time-frame, distinct from
the agriculture negotiations under the Doha Development Agenda ("DDA").
3. The General Council shall regularly review the progress.
SPECIAL SAFEGUARD MECHANISM
The Ministerial Decision on the Special Safeguard Mechanism for Developing
Country Members is as follows:
The Ministerial Conference,
Having regard to paragraph 1 of Article IX of the Marrakesh Agreement
Establishing the World Trade Organization;
In the context of addressing outstanding agricultural issues; and
Taking note of the proposals made by Members in this regard;
Decides as follows:
1. The developing country Members will have the right to have recourse
to a special safeguard mechanism (SSM) as envisaged under paragraph
7 of the Hong Kong Ministerial Declaration.
2. To pursue negotiations on an SSM for developing country Members
in dedicated sessions of the Committee on Agriculture in Special Session
3. The General Council shall regularly review progress in these negotiations.
The Ministerial Decision on Export Competition is as follows:
On Export Subsidies, the Decision states:
6. Developed Members shall immediately eliminate their remaining scheduled
export subsidy entitlements as of the date of adoption of this Decision.
[Footnote 4 states: This paragraph shall not cover processed products,
dairy products, and swine meat of a developed Member that agrees to
eliminate as of 1 January 2016 all export subsidies on products destined
for least developed countries, and that has notified export subsidies
for such products or categories of products in one of its three latest
export subsidy notifications examined by the Committee on Agriculture
before the date of adoption of this Decision. For these products,
scheduled export subsidies shall be eliminated by the end of 2020,
and quantity commitment levels shall be applied as a standstill until
the end of 2020 at the actual average of quantity levels of the 2003-05
base period. Furthermore, there shall be no export subsidies applied
either to new markets or to new products.]
7. Developing country Members shall eliminate their export subsidy
entitlements by the end of 2018. (5)
[Footnote 5 states: Notwithstanding this paragraph, a developing country
Member shall eliminate its export subsidy entitlements by the end
of 2022 for products or groups of products for which it has notified
export subsidies in one of its three latest export subsidy notifications
examined by the Committee on Agriculture before the date of adoption
of this Decision.]
8. Developing country Members shall continue to benefit from the provisions
of Article 9.4 of the Agreement on Agriculture until the end of 2023,
i.e. five years after the end-date for elimination of all forms of
export subsidies. Least developed countries and net food-importing
developing countries listed in G/AG/5/Rev.10 shall continue to benefit
from the provisions of Article 9.4 of the Agreement on Agriculture
until the end of 2030.
9. Members shall not apply export subsidies in a manner that circumvents
the requirement to reduce and eliminate all export subsidies.
10. Members shall seek not to raise their export subsidies beyond
the average level of the past five years on a product basis.
11. Members shall ensure that any export subsidies have at most minimal
trade distorting effects and do not displace or impede the exports
of another Member. To that effect, Members using export subsidies
shall give due consideration to the effects of any such export subsidies
on other Members, and shall consult, upon request, with any other
Member having a substantial interest as an exporter with respect to
any matter related to the export subsidies in question. The Member
applying such export subsidies shall provide, upon request, such a
Member with necessary information.
On cotton, the Decision states:
12. With regard to cotton, the disciplines and commitments contained
in this Decision shall be immediately implemented as of the date of
adoption of this Decision by developed country Members, and not later
than 1 January 2017 by developing country Members.
On Export Credits, Export Credit Guarantees or Insurance Programmes,
the Decision states on terms and conditions:
15. Export financing support shall be provided in conformity with
the terms and conditions set out below:
(a) Maximum repayment term: the maximum repayment term for export
financing support under this Decision, this being the period beginning
at the starting point of credit and ending on the contractual date
of the final payment, shall be no more than 18 months. For developed
Members, this shall apply from the last day of 2017. Existing contracts
which have been entered into prior to the adoption of this Decision,
are still in place, and are operating on a longer timeframe than that
defined in the preceding sentence, shall run their course until the
end of their contractual date, provided that they are notified to
the Committee on Agriculture and are not modified;
(b) Self-financing: Export credit guarantee, insurance and reinsurance
programmes and other risk cover programmes included within sub-paragraphs
13(b), (c) and (d) above shall be self-financing and cover the long-
term operating costs and losses of a programme in the sense of item
(j) of the Illustrative List of Annex I of the Agreement on Subsidies
and Countervailing Measures. For the operations covered in the previous
sentence, premiums shall be charged and be risk-based.
Special and Differential Treatment
16. Developing country Member providers of export financing support
shall be eligible to benefit from the following:
Maximum repayment terms: the developing country Members concerned
shall have a phase-in period of four years after the first day of
the implementation period by the end of which to fully implement the
maximum repayment term of 18 months. This shall be achieved as follows:
(a) on the first day of implementation, the maximum repayment term
for any new support entered into shall be 36 months;
(b) two years after implementation, the maximum repayment term for
any new support to be entered into shall be 27 months;
(c) four years after implementation, the maximum repayment term of
18 months shall apply.
It is understood that where there are, after any of the relevant dates,
pre-existing support arrangements entered into under the limits established
in the subparagraphs (a)-(c) above, they shall run their original
17. Notwithstanding the terms of paragraphs 15(a) and 16 above, least-developed
and net food-importing developing countries listed in G/AG/5/Rev.10
shall be accorded differential and more favourable treatment comprising
allowance for a repayment term in respect of them of between 36 and
54 months, for the acquisition of basic foodstuffs. Should one of
these Members face exceptional circumstances which still preclude
financing normal levels of commercial imports of basic foodstuffs
and/or in accessing loans granted by multilateral and/or regional
financial institutions within these timeframes, it shall have an extension
of such a time-frame. The standard monitoring and surveillance provisions,
as resulting from this Decision, shall apply to these cases.
On Agricultural Exporting State Trading Enterprises, the Decision
18. Members shall ensure that agricultural exporting state trading
enterprises are operated in conformity with the provisions specified
in paragraphs 20 and 21, in accordance with Article XVII, the Understanding
on the Interpretation of Article XVII and other relevant provisions
of GATT 1994, the Agreement on Agriculture and other WTO Agreements.
19. For the purpose of the disciplines set out hereunder in this Decision,
an agricultural exporting state trading enterprise shall be any enterprise
which meets the working definition provided for in the Understanding
on the Interpretation of Article XVII of the GATT 1994 and is engaged
in exports of products listed in Annex 1 of the Agreement on Agriculture.
20. Members shall ensure that agricultural exporting state trading
enterprises do not operate in a manner that circumvents any other
disciplines contained in this Decision.
21. Members shall make their best efforts to ensure that the use of
export monopoly powers by agricultural exporting state trading enterprises
is exercised in a manner that minimizes trade distorting effects and
does not result in displacing or impeding the exports of another Member.
On International Food Aid, the Decision states:
22. Members reaffirm their commitment to maintain an adequate level
of international food aid, to take account of the interests of food
aid recipients and to ensure that the disciplines contained hereafter
do not unintentionally impede the delivery of food aid provided to
deal with emergency situations. To meet the objective of preventing
or minimizing commercial displacement, Members shall ensure that international
food aid is provided in full conformity with the disciplines specified
in paragraphs 23 to 32, thereby contributing to the objective of preventing
23. Members shall ensure that all international food aid is: a. needs-driven;
b. in fully grant form; c. not tied directly or indirectly to commercial
exports of agricultural products or other goods and services; d. not
linked to the market development objectives of donor Members; and
that e. agricultural products provided as international food aid shall
not be re-exported in any form, except where the agricultural products
were not permitted entry into the recipient country, the agricultural
products were determined inappropriate or no longer needed for the
purpose for which they were received in the recipient country, or
re-exportation is necessary for logistical reasons to expedite the
provision of food aid for another country in an emergency situation.
Any re-exportation in accordance with this subparagraph shall be conducted
in a manner that does not unduly impact established, functioning commercial
markets of agricultural commodities in the countries to which the
food aid is r e-exported.
24. The provision of food aid shall take into account local market
conditions of the same or substitute products. Members shall refrain
from providing in-kind international food aid in situations where
this would be reasonably foreseen to cause an adverse effect on local
or regional production of the same or substitute products. In addition,
Members shall ensure that international food aid does not unduly impact
established, functioning commercial markets of agricultural commodities.
25. Where Members provide exclusively cash-based food aid, they are
encouraged to continue to do so. Other Members are encouraged to provide
cash-based or in-kind international food aid in emergency situations,
protracted crises (as defined by the FAO), or non-emergency development/capacity
building food assistance environments where recipient countries or
recognized international humanitarian/food entities, such as the United
Nations, have requested food assistance.
26. Members are also encouraged to seek to increasingly procure international
food aid from local or regional sources to the extent possible, provided
that the availability and prices of basic foodstuffs in these markets
are not unduly compromised.
27. Members shall monetize international food aid only where there
is a demonstrable need for monetization for the purpose of transport
and delivery of the food assistance, or the monetization of international
food aid is used to redress short and/or long term food deficit requirements
or insufficient agricultural production situations which give rise
to chronic hunger and malnutrition in least-developed and net food-importing
28. Local or regional market analysis shall be completed before monetization
occurs for all monetized international food aid, including consideration
of the recipient country's nutritional needs, local United Nations
Agencies' market data and normal import and consumption levels of
the commodity to be monetized, and consistent with Food Assistance
Convention reporting. Independent third party commercial or non-profit
entities will be employed to monetize in-kind international food aid
to ensure open market competition for the sale of in-kind international
29. In employing these independent third party commercial or non-profit
entities for the purposes of the preceding paragraph, Members shall
ensure that such entities minimize or eliminate disruptions to the
local or regional markets, which may include impacts on production,
when international food aid is monetized. They shall ensure that the
sale of commodities for food assistance purposes is conducted in a
transparent, competitive and open process and through a public tender.
30. Members commit to allowing maximum flexibility to provide for
all types of international food aid in order to maintain needed levels
while making efforts to move toward more untied cash-based international
food aid in accordance with the Food Assistance Convention.
31. Members recognize the role of government in decision-making on
international food aid in their jurisdictions. Members recognize that
the government of a recipient country of international food aid can
opt out of the usage of monetized international food aid.
32. Members agree to review the provisions on international food aid
contained in the preceding paragraphs within the regular Committee
on Agriculture monitoring of the implementation of the Marrakesh Ministerial
Decision of April 1994 on Measures Concerning the Possible Negative
Effects of the Reform Programme on Least-developed and net food-importing