Swiss Ambassador takes over as Nama Chairperson

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New Delhi, Oct 3: Swiss Ambassador, Luzius Wasescha was appointed on Friday, Oct 3 as Chairperson of the negotiating group on market access for industrial products or non-agricultural market access (Nama) in place of Ambassador Don Stephenson of Canada at the World Trade Organisation (WTO). Ambassador Wasescha is permanent representative of Switzerland to the WTO since April 1, 2007. Don Stephenson had left Geneva in Aug to take up new duties in Ottawa.

WTO agriculture negotiations Chairperson Ambassador Crawford Falconer, who had also announced decision to quit in August, has meanwhile confirmed that he will be returning to New Zealand by the year-end to take up a new appointment in his native country.

In the meantime, Falconer has, however, decided to resume informal discussions over the next two weeks with about 15 delegates away from WTO, the global trade body secretariat said in a posting on its website.

These discussions, Falconer said, would be followed by a meeting of about 36 representative delegations in WTO and another meeting of the full membership.

He said purpose of his meeting was simply to allow full membership to hear his plans and to avoid misunderstanding.

The mini-ministerial at WTO collapsed in July due to differences over special safeguard mechanism sought by developing countries led by India to protect themselves against surge in imports of special farm products.

While developed countries, including the United States, wanted that safequard trigger could be activated when imports jumped by 40 per cent over average of three previous years, developing countries, including India, indicated they were not ready to go beyond 15 per cent to protect their small and poor farmers.

UNI

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