At the Tenth WTO Ministerial Conference on 17 December in Nairobi, Lithuanian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Raimundas Karoblis urged WTO members not to take the smoothly functioning multilateral trade system for granted. Karoblis emphasized that all WTO members, the world's largest economies in particular, must comply with the WTO's rules and fulfil the obligations they have undertaken, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs reports.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
© DELFI / Tomas Vinickas

"Even though we are engaged in negotiations on new trade rules, it is necessary to ensure compliance with those enforced now in order for the multilateral trade system and the WTO to maintain its efficiency and credibility. We hope that member states will continue to seek restriction and elimination of the types of export support that distort trade most," Karoblis said.

The Doha round of WTO negotiations, which began in 2001, has been stalled for 14 years. Poorer countries would like the Doha round to conclude because of the protections it contains for poor agricultural markets, but many wealthier countries are calling for a new approach to WTO negotiations.

The deputy minister said he was happy with the decision reached yesterday on the expansion of the Information Technology Agreement and reminded the Conference that the Trade Facilitation Agreement reached two years ago had not been enacted yet. He also called on all the states that had not ratified the Agreement to speed up their domestic procedures so that all the member states could enjoy the benefits that would be derived from the implementation of the Agreement.

Raimondas Karoblis expressed hope that, despite the difficulties encountered in the Doha Round, the WTO will continue to create and set global rules of trade which meet the modern needs and challenges of the global economy.

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