Press Releases

    SG/SM/8027
    16 November 2001

    SECRETARY-GENERAL WELCOMES OUTCOME OF GLOBAL
    TRADE TALKS IN QATAR, FORESEES GAINS
    FOR DEVELOPING COUNTRIES

    Spirit of Cooperation An Achievement for Multilateralism; Measures
    On Trade Barriers, Increased Drug Availability Seen as Positive Factors

    NEW YORK, 15 November (UN Headquarters) -- This is the text of a statement today by the Spokesman for Secretary-General Kofi Annan:

    The Secretary-General welcomes the successful conclusion of the World Trade Organization’s conference in Qatar, and salutes the spirit of cooperation and compromise that made this outcome possible. The Doha agreements are also an important achievement for multilateralism.

    The decision to launch a new round of talks on global commerce holds great promise for all countries, especially in the developing world. The Secretary-General hopes that these negotiations will lead to a true "development round" that removes trade barriers to developing-country goods, opens additional market opportunities and helps developing countries build up the capacity to take advantage of those opportunities.

    The Secretary-General was especially pleased by the WTO’s affirmation that nothing in the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights should prevent developing countries from taking measures to protect public health. This will lead to increased availability of drugs to combat AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and other epidemics.

    The United Nations system will continue to work with all countries to make the new round of negotiations a success, while ensuring full and timely implementation of agreements reached during the Uruguay Round. Helping developing countries to trade their way out of poverty is in everyone’s interest, especially at a time of considerable uncertainty for the global economy. The WTO’s member governments must now follow through and realize the potential embodied in the Doha agreements.

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