APEC Leaders Issue Lima Declaration

APEC Leaders have just released their declaration for 2008.

Much is being made in the New Zealand media about the commitment to achieving a breakthrough in the WTO negotiations this year.  Certainly we are delighted by what we have heard John Key and Tim Groser saying on this at this year’s APEC meeting.  The language on the WTO is not as specific as we would like but it does emphasise ambition and balance.  This is important as the agreement is needed in all areas of the mandated negotiations not just agriculture and non-agriculture market access.  That said we would have been happier with a specific reference to services (as was achieved at the G20 meeting)

Our resolve to address the deteriorating global economic situation, and support a prompt, ambitious and balanced conclusion to the WTO Doha Development Agenda (DDA) negotiations, is outlined in a separate statement issued at this meeting.

We guess some of the concern might be over the word “prompt” as opposed to the firm goal of “this year” as used by the G20 Leaders last week.  But reference is made to the separate statement issued by the Leaders on the global economic situation and on the WTO negotiations.  This did refer to agreement on modalities “next month”

We seek an ambitious and balanced conclusion to the Doha Development Agenda negotiations to provide the basis for our economies to grow and prosper. We are committed to reach agreement on modalities next month on the basis of progress made to date. We and our Ministers are intensifying our engagement with WTO counterparts to create the convergence necessary to achieve this outcome.

For comparison this was the G20 language

13. We underscore the critical importance of rejecting protectionism and not turning inward in times of financial uncertainty. In this regard, within the next 12 months, we will refrain from raising new barriers to investment or to trade in goods and services, imposing new export restrictions, or implementing World Trade Organization (WTO) inconsistent measures to stimulate exports. Further, we shall strive to reach agreement this year on modalities that leads to a successful conclusion to the WTO’s Doha Development Agenda with an ambitious and balanced outcome. We instruct our Trade Ministers to achieve this objective and stand ready to assist directly, as necessary. We also agree that our countries have the largest stake in the global trading system and therefore each must make the positive contributions necessary to achieve such an outcome.

The main difference of emphasis between the two meetings is the word “committed”.  APEC Leaders are committed to reaching an agreement on modalities next month.  The G20 agreed only to “strive to reach agreement this year”.

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One Response to “APEC Leaders Issue Lima Declaration”

  1. bustedblonde Says:

    I think you should do a post on diplomatic speak – explain to us mere mortals what the crafted language of diplomats really means.

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