Friday, June 28, 2013

WTO adopts new work programme for least-developed countries

An updated work programme for least-developed countries (LDCs), adopted  today by the WTO sub-committee on LDCs, mainstreams the UN Istanbul Programme of Action for LDCs for 2011-20 into the WTO mandate.
The programme also incorporates the streamlined accession process for LDCs adopted in 2012 and introduces periodic reviews of the work programme.
The LDCs work programme deals with issues such as market access for LDCs, trade-related technical assistance and capacity-building initiatives, agencies assisting with the diversification of LDCs' exports and other issues relating to LDC participation in the multilateral trading system.
Discussions on the update of the work programme were chaired by ambassador Steffen Smidt (Denmark), who held two informal consultations in April and June.
Nepal, on behalf of the LDCs, thanked the committee for providing inputs and updates to the programme. It said that although the new text does not fully meet their expectations, they were willing to join the consensus.
Other delegations, such as the European Union, the United States and Turkey, thanked the Committee for its engagement in the updating process and gave their full support to the adoption of the work programme.

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