Minister of State Kitt highlights EU commitment to success of global trade round and calls on developed countries to open their markets to exports from the world's poorest countries
Mr. Tom Kitt TD., Minister of State for Development Cooperation and Human Rights, today addressed the Eleventh UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD XI) in Sao Paolo, Brazil on behalf of the European Union.
UNCTAD XI is the first global conference at which the enlarged EU of 25 Member States is participating. The Conference, which takes place every four years, deals with global trade and development issues.
In his address to the Conference, Minister of State Kitt emphasized the EU¡äs strong commitment to securing a successful outcome to the Doha Development Round of trade negotiations. Speaking on behalf of the EU to the 190 UN members present at the Conference, Minister Kitt said;
¡åThe EU¡äs commitment to a successful outcome of the Doha Round has been reflected in its actions and policies, most recently in the letter of Commissioners Lamy and Fischler to all WTO Ministers. We have undertaken very significant internal reforms, particularly in the agricultural sector. We have demonstrated great flexibility in our negotiating position. We have taken initiatives designed to invigorate the negotiations, including proposals aimed at maximising the benefits of the round for Least Developed Countries and other weak and vulnerable economies.
The EU is the largest trading partner of the Least Developed Countries (LDC) and has the most open market for LDC exports. It is the largest donor to multilateral and bilateral programmes to build trade capacity in developing countries.¡±
In his address to the conference, Minister of State Kitt called on other developed nations, such as the US and Japan, to follow the EU¡¯s lead and open their markets to all exports from the world¡¯s poorest countries. He said;
¡°The EU is implementing its commitment to provide duty and quota free access to the EU market for all products from the LDCs. This commitment should now be implemented by all developed countries.¡å
Minister of State Kitt called on the UN Conference to focus its work on three priority issues ¨C integrating trade into poverty strategies, commodities and regional trade. In the view of the EU, progress in these three areas is essential if developing countries are to use international trade and investment in support of their efforts to reduce poverty.
Note for Editors:
The 11th UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD XI) is taking place in Sao Paolo, Brazil from 14-19 June 2004. Ireland, as EU Presidency, is heading the EU delegation at the Conference and is representing the EU in the negotiations at the Conference. The Conference is focussed on the links between trade and development and how developing countries can use international trade in support of their efforts to reduce poverty and promote development.