WORLD TRADE ORGANIZATION
14 September 2003 (03-4848)
Fifth Session, Cancún, 10 - 14 September 2003
COMMENTS BY KENYA ON THE SECOND REVISION OF THE DRAFT
CANCUN MINISTERIAL TEXT
Communication from Kenya
The following communication, dated 13 September 2003, has been received by the Chairman of the Ministerial Conference from the delegation of Kenya.
First, I would like to thank you for your efforts and that of the facilitators. I am sure that by the end of the evening my delegation will be thanking you for your patience as well.
We will not be honest if we said that we are not disappointed and maybe even slightly frustrated with the draft text before us. With your permission, therefore, we will make comments on some of the more difficult paragraphs for us.
In so doing, we are grateful for your emphasis on the nature of the text as only a draft intended to guide us and that it is a work in progress.
TRIPS and Public Health
On paragraph 3 that is dealing with TRIPS and Public Health, we want a clear reference to the temporary nature of the decision we adopted in Geneva and the agreement contained in paragraph 11 of the decision that instructs us to start work on a permanent solution to the difficulties faced by developing and least-developed countries. We therefore, need to reiterate our commitment to find a final sustainable, predictable and legally secure solution within the period set out in paragraph 11 of the Decision.
On agriculture, we note with regret that paragraph 4 and its annex maintain the same imbalances and problems that we had already raised.
With respect to domestic support, we are concerned about the extension of measures under Article 6.5 to all Members instead of working towards the substantial reduction of these measures as per the Doha mandate. Indeed, the text does not effectively reflect the ultimate objective of substantially reducing trade distorting domestic support.
We note that the text calls for a review of the green box measures; we consider this inadequate and therefore propose that there should be concrete commitment to establish stricter criteria.
Regarding market access, we call for specific commitment towards the elimination of special safeguard measures by the developed countries. In addition, we note with concern that the "SP concept" has been extended to developed countries, which we find rather surprising.
We are also deeply disappointed that oru pleas to exempt some specific countries from further tariff reductions due to their unique circumstances has completely been left out. In this regard, we reiterate that due consideration should be given to this group of countries and support the proposal by the Kyrgyz Republic on IDA only countries.
We further not that none of the proposals on SPs and SSM, including those of the "SP and SSM alliance" have been considered in the draft. We therefore urge WTO Members not to lose sight of the peculiar circumstances facing the poor farmers in developing countries, which can only be achieved through effective and operational S&D provisions.
On export competition, we note with great disappointment the absence of any commitment to eliminate all forms of export subsidies as per the Doha mandate.
Furthermore, Article 3.9 of the draft text links the access to the special and differential treatment provisions by developing to the phasing out of export subsidies by developed countries. This causes great difficulties for us.
We are highly concerned about the inclusion of paragraph 6 in the annex which is not and should not be a subject of negotiations. The S&D elements in the annex need to be strengthened along the lines proposed by Kenya in JOB(03)/175. We have heard over and over again how the WTO is in the business of trade liberalization - well, sir, agriculture is our test case.
Non-Agricultural Market Access
Kenya would like to see the limitations on paragraph 5 of annex B removed. We have some language to propose to improve the paragraph and take into account the levels of Industrial Development of the Group of countries falling under the paragraph. We also have other issues which we intend to raise when consultations resume.
On S&D, Kenya's position is very well known and it is not our intention to repeat it tonight. We would like to improve paragraph 12 along the lines of the proposal submitted jointly by the member states of the AU and a number of developing counties in document WT/MIN(03)/W/13, dated 11 September 2003. If you allow me, Mr. Chairman, I could read the language that we would like to see to replace the current language of paragraph 12.
It is our understanding that the four Singapore Issues are not part of the single undertaking. There is therefore no link between these issues and the other issues in the draft text.
Differences between the proponents and others are not minor; in fact, they are considerable and the desire to overcome these differences in the short time left though understandable may not be entirely realistic.
We have a clear mandate in the Doha Declaration and we need to honour that mandate - which clearly requires that there should be explicit consensus - a clarification of explicit consensus was, as you are aware, provided by the Chairman of the Doha Conference.
We are part of the group of countries that submitted for inclusion in the text the elements of clarification and we did that in good faith in order to indicate in a transparent manner our difficulties and in the hope that they would be addressed. We regret the non-inclusion of the elements as an annex and still urge you, Mr. Chairman, to take them fully into account. The draft modalities that were annexed to the text and that have found their way into the text were not negotiated nor discussed in any meaningful way. The fact that they were not developed in the working groups is telling and is a clear indication of the differences among us and we are therefore unable to agree to them.
We believe that this Ministerial Conference should therefore focus on how to expand the space of understanding the Singapore Issues and launch a process of improving that understanding. Kenya cannot accept to the launching of negotiations on issues that we do not clearly understand and whose implication on our economies have not been assessed.
Moreover, although Kenya attaches a lot of importance to Technical Assistance and Capacity Building, we are fully convinced this should be provided to enhance understanding of issues involved before negotiations are launched.
Kenya remains committed to the continuation of the clarification process on all the four new issues and does not agree to the unbundling of the four new issues.
On paragraph 27 on cotton, we support the statement made by others on the inadequacy of the language in the draft text. The language is, mildly put, quite disappointing.
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