WTO General Council: item 8: procedural guidelines on WTO councils addressing trade concerns

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Julian Braithwaite

Thank you Chair. The United Kingdom continues to support this proposal to improve procedural guidelines for WTO Councils and Committees addressing trade concerns.

Some members have previously referred to the fact that the proposal would apply a common framework across most committees and councils. We think that’s a reasonable approach – the proposal sets a fairly light touch ‘minimum standard’ while still allowing individual committees to develop their own tailored approach within the remit of how each committee operates.

The United Kingdom also recognises additional challenges faced by developing countries and LDCs and therefore the importance of providing technical assistance from the WTO Secretariat.

The United Kingdom looks forward to engaging further with WTO members on this proposal. We would also like to take this opportunity to reiterate our thanks to the Secretariat and to Members for their collective efforts to quickly and effectively resume meetings at the WTO in hybrid format during the pandemic. We are pleased that the important work of these Committees has continued during these unprecedented times.

Published 13 October 2020

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