G-10 COMMUNIQUE: November 30, 2009
Press Statement: G-10 Ministerial Meeting, Geneva, 30 November 2009
Ministers of the G-10 met in Geneva today (Monday 30 November 2009) ahead of the 7th Session
of the WTO Ministerial conference that will start this afternoon. They assessed the state of play
of the DDA negotiations and their priorities in the negotiations on agriculture.
In the context of the current global financial and economic crisis, G-10 Ministers reiterated their
commitment to a successful and rapid conclusion by 2010 in all the areas of the single
undertaking, the first step for agriculture being achieved through an agreement on the
modalities. They stressed their commitment to a strong multilateral trading system and to open
markets as two important tools to help to overcome the world economic crisis.
G-10 Ministers appreciated the progress made in the agriculture negotiations to date and
encouraged the Chair of the agriculture negotiations, Ambassador David Walker, to continue the
good work in a transparent and inclusive process. They showed confidence in the Chair’s ability
to help bridging the remaining gaps among WTO members’ positions. However, G-10 Ministers
expressed concern on the lack of substantial progress in many of the other areas of the DDA
negotiations since December 2008. They stressed that more serious efforts have to be made by
the Membership in order to reach a balanced outcome across the different areas of the single
undertaking. Recalling the common objective of finalizing the DDA in 2010, G-10 Ministers ask
the other Ministers to consider a stock taking exercise in early 2010.
G-10 Ministers acknowledged the growing awareness among the WTO-membership of taking
food security into account in the disciplines for trade in agriculture. They noted the importance
of both open markets and increased agricultural production and productivity taking into account
the diverse conditions in each country endorsed at the FAO Wold Summit on Food Security in
Rome, which confirms the G-10 approach on non trade concerns. G-10 Ministers indicated that
G-10 Members have always shown good will in trying to achieve a reasonable balance between
liberalizing agricultural markets across the board and the need to accommodate Members’
specific domestic situation and concerns. However, they noted that the steady increase in the
level of ambition in the negotiations on agriculture has put G-10 Members in difficult domestic
political situations and left them with little room for manoeuvre. G-10 Ministers therefore
reaffirmed their needs and priorities which are the opposition to the introduction of a tariff cap,
achieving appropriate flexibilities in the number, self designation including the creation of new
tariff quotas and treatment of sensitive products. Concerns remained regarding the disciplines
for the SSG. They also reaffirmed the need to address, through trade solutions, the specific
concerns of net food importing developing countries.
It is against this background that Ministers concurred that an agreement can only be found by
taking into account the main concerns of the G-10 members and by arriving at a balanced
outcome in the three pillars of the agriculture negotiations. G10 Ministers reasserted their
willingness to continue working on the basis of the draft December 2008 modalities text. Final
agreement of modalities would be dependent on the accommodation of G10 concerns in
outstanding areas. They emphasised that any selective reopening of stabilised areas of the draft
modalities text would lead to unravelling of the delicate balance after eight years of negotiations.
G-10 Ministers renewed their determination to work constructively with all other WTO Members
to establish balanced and mutually acceptable modalities for further agricultural reform, and
expressed their readiness to meet their counterparts, bilaterally or plurilaterally, during the
Ministerial Meeting. They urged all Members to undertake the necessary efforts to help to
bridge the gaps and to bring the round to a successful conclusion by 2010.