Disruption of transit across southern border is leading to humanitarian crisis, says Commerce Minister


Minister Ganeshman Pun 20720711-1Mr. Chairperson,

Honorable Ministers,

Distinguished delegates,

At the outset, I would like to congratulate Her Excellency Madam Amina C. Mohamed on her election to preside over this historic Conference of the WTO being held here in the African continent for the first time. We would like to extend sincere thanks to the Government of the Republic of Kenya and its nice people for the warm hospitality extended to my delegation since our arrival. We also appreciate for the excellent arrangements made for the conference.

We pay our tribute to His Excellency Mr. Uhuru Kenyatta, President of the Republic of Kenya for his inspiring inaugural statement delivered in the opening session. We thank His Excellency Mr. Roberto Azevedo for his dynamic leadership.

Mr. Chairperson,

We reaffirm our commitment to the principles and objectives set out in the Marrakesh Agreement that established the WTO. This Organization must further be strengthened as a prominent global forum for setting trade rules, enhancing market access opportunities, removing trade barriers across nations, resolving trade disputes, and finally fostering sustained growth and employment opportunities for all. I believe that the making of globally inclusive and prosperous society depends upon the sincerity of our efforts in the promotion of a universal, open, rule-based and non-discriminatory global trading system.

Many poor developing countries, and particularly LDCs, are still unable to utilize the power of trade as an engine of economic growth and development. The Doha Round of Negotiations with promises of development outcomes for the poorer countries must therefore be pursued until it is brought to a logical conclusion. WTO Members should come forward to display necessary flexibility to conclude the DDA at the earliest so that meaningful outcome can be delivered equitably to the deserving Members.

It is obvious that LDCs cannot stand and compete if provisions laid in the WTO Agreements, decisions and declarations that provide favorable treatment and flexibility have no cutting edge to provide results on the ground. We emphasize effective implementation of the Bali LDC package by turning the decisions into legally binding ones. Our desire to turn the best endeavor provisions of the Special and Differential Treatment in WTO agreements and decisions into concrete actions and results is guided by pragmatism and necessity.

A country like Nepal with the joint vulnerabilities of both the LDC and LLDC faces formidable challenges, calling for special and focused attention. May I mention here, Madam Chair, that the current disruption of transit, transport and trade across our southern border is causing severe impacts on our economic lifeline, and is leading to a crisis of humanitarian proportion. The sound principles and framework that we have established under the multilateral trading system over the years must be upheld and reflected into action in protection of such countries.

Mr. Chairperson,

We encourage bold initiatives under Aid for Trade.  Welcoming the outcome of the EIF pledging conference, we call for leveraging additional resources to meet the increasing needs of the second phase EIF project.

Mr. Chairperson,

We congratulate Liberia and Afghanistan for having successfully concluded their accession package.

Mr. Chairman,

My country promulgated a democratic and inclusive constitution through an elected Constituent Assembly recently. This heralds a new era of peace, stability and inclusive development for Nepal. We value our partnerships with all friendly countries, including our immediate neighbors for larger and integration of our small economy into the global whole. The Multilateral Trading System is crucial to achieve our overall development objectives.

Thank you.

(Statement by the Minister for Commerce and Supplies of Nepal, Ganesh Man Pun, at the Tenth Ministerial Conference of the WTO at Nairobi, Kenya, 17 December 2015 )

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