Foreign Minister Støre underlines importance of a new WTO Agreement

Minister of Foreign Affairs Jonas Gahr Støre

Norway's Minister of Foreign Affairs Jonas Gahr Støre

“Concluding the Doha Round must be given top priority,” said Minister of Foreign Affairs Jonas Gahr Støre in Norway’s main statement at the WTO Ministerial Conference in Geneva today.

The objective of the Conference is to review the status of the existing multilateral framework for international trade, and to discuss the global economic situation. A large number of countries, including Tanzania, which spoke on behalf of the least developed countries, advocated the conclusion of the Doha Round, as did Norway. Prior to the Conference, a group of 110 developing countries had agreed on the importance of a rapid conclusion of the Doha Round on the basis of the draft agreement of 2008.

“I made it clear that Norway is prepared to go the last mile, provided we can find satisfactory solutions for Norwegian agriculture. And I am confident that we will do so,” said Mr Støre.

In his statement, Mr Støre also emphasised the importance of bringing the next generation of issues onto the WTO agenda, once the Doha Round has been concluded.

“It is important that workers’ rights are included in the WTO discussions, and that coherence between what is done in the WTO and what is done at the ILO is ensured. Climate change issues also need to be dealt with. But this will not be possible before the Doha Round has been successfully concluded,” Mr Støre added.

Minister of Agriculture and Food Lars Peder Brekk also took part in the Ministerial Conference, and in addition the Norwegian delegation included members of the Storting and representatives of civil society.

Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs

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