NATO Parliamentary Assembly
HomeDOCUMENTSPolicy Recommendations200515 November 2005, Copenhagen, Denmark - RESOLUTION on ADVANCING THE DOHA DEVELOPMENT AGENDA


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ƒx presented by the Economics and Security Committee

The Assembly,

1.     Recognizing that 2005 has been declared the Year of Development, during which a number of initiatives designed to pull millions of people out of poverty have been either launched or advanced;

2.     Observing that these initiatives include: debt cancellation for the most impoverished countries, increased aid, formal commitments by developing countries to improve governance and transparency and, most importantly, the Doha Development Agenda of multilateral trade negotiations;

3.     Applauding developed and developing country negotiators for agreeing to a trade negotiation framework, in which every topic under negotiation during the Doha Round has a vital development dimension;

4.     Acknowledging that the successful conclusion of the Doha Agenda would also bring enormous benefit to the world's wealthier countries by lowering trade barriers, increasing market depth, triggering more efficient capital allocation, slashing prices and ultimately generating greater economic activity;

5.     Convinced that extending greater market access to the developing world, especially in the agricultural sector, represents the greatest contribution to development that Western countries can make because 70% of the world's poor live in rural areas; because 90% of the potential gains from a Doha agreement would be generated through market access reforms; and because open trading systems usually help create growth and pull people out of poverty;

6.     Recognizing that for many developing countries participating in the Doha negotiations, agricultural trade liberalization is the highest priority;

7.     But lamenting the lack of progress in the current negotiations, and most notably the failure to find common ground concerning agricultural market access, tariff peaks and special and differential treatment provisions designed to ease the burden of transition for developing countries;

8.     Observing that exempting just 2% of tariff lines for "sensitive and special products" would eliminate most of the gains developing countries might obtain from tariff reduction;

9.     Understanding that the key to a successful negotiating round lies not only in developed country concessions on agriculture but also developing country concessions in non-agricultural sectors including manufacturing and services;

10.   Noting that failure to make progress in these difficult areas by the time Ministers convene at the Hong Kong WTO Ministerial Conference in December 2005 would potentially undermine these negotiations, which must be concluded at the end of 2006;

11.   CALLS on member parliamentarians to urge their governments and trade negotiators:

a.     to extend generous agricultural market access with rapid and substantial reduction of existing tariffs and sharp limits on the designation of so-called "sensitive" goods that can enjoy higher protection rates, a practice that hitherto has hampered food exports from developing countries;

b.      to carry out earlier commitments to ensure that the Doha Agenda results in the elimination of all forms of agricultural export subsidies;

c.      to support trade facilitation policies and infrastructure projects explicitly designed to help the developing world better exploit the new opportunities that a more open trading system would bring about;

d.      to ensure that developing countries, taking into account special and differential treatment provisions, make concessions in manufactured goods and service trading rules that will ultimately benefit developed and developing countries alike; and thus,

e.     to make 2005 genuinely a year of development implementation and wealth creation.