Shri Narendra Modi
Shri Narendra Modi
Prime Minister of India
International Trade
General Council – Preparations for the 1999 Ministerial Conference – Principles and Organization for the Future Work Programme of the World Trade Organization
WT/GC/W/375 18 October 1999

General Council


Principles and Organization for the Future Work Programme
of the World Trade Organization

Communication from Barbados, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Egypt,
Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Jamaica, Malaysia,
Mauritius, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Trinidad and Tobago, Uganda and Venezuela

The following communication, dated 1 October 1999, has been received from the Permanent Mission of Venezuela.

  • The work programme shall be conducted in an open, transparent and manageable manner to ensure the participation of all WTO Members.
  • Main implementation issues shall be resolved through Ministerial Decisions adopted as part of the Ministerial Declaration. The remaining implementation issues should be addressed by the General Council by 1 January 2001.
  • The principle of differential and more favourable treatment for developing countries shall be binding, in order to convert this principle into concrete benefits for developing countries, in terms of market access, and to closely adapt it to the development policies of developing countries. The costs of implementing the Multilateral Trade Agreements at the national level shall be considered as an integral part of negotiations.
  • The particular situation of least-developed, structurally weak, vulnerable and small economies shall be taken into account.
  • Autonomous liberalization measures taken since 1 January 1995 shall be recognized as a concession on the part of developing countries.
  • Commencing immediately, and continuing until the formal conclusion of the work programme, Members shall not take any measures that would reduce the current market access opportunities of developing countries, including those derived from preferential access.
  • Until the conclusion of the future work programme and entry into force of its outcome, developing-country Members shall not be subject to dispute settlement procedures in regard to agreements to be implemented after a transition period ending 31 December 1999.
  • Organization
    • The mandated negotiations on agriculture and services shall be entrusted to the Committee on Agriculture and the Council for Trade in Services, respectively, operating under the aegis of the General Council.
    • Any other issue included in the future work programme shall be considered either by the General Council or delegated to an existing relevant body or mechanism established under the aegis of the General Council.