, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 27 – Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed has urged teams engaged on trade negotiations in Geneva to speed up development of a work programme for trade liberalization ahead of the 10th World Trade Organisation (WTO) December Ministerial Conference in Nairobi.
Noting that the Nairobi meeting is only four months away, she expressed concern that limited progress has been made in the preparation of a detailed work programme on freeing up trade, also dubbed as the Post-Bali Work Programme.
The programme refers to development of a roadmap for implementation of agreements on opening of global trade that were reached in Bali, Indonesia, during the 9th WTO Ministerial Conference.
“Not much time is left. We must, therefore, speed up and conclude negotiations on a Post-Bali Work Programme that reduces trade barriers and fuels the growth of the global economy ahead of the MC10 in Nairobi,” said Mohamed.
She stressed that the work programme must strike the right balance between the core areas of negotiations especially agriculture and services as well as the special needs and interests of the developing and Least Developed Countries (LDCs).
She said that all the necessary arrangements are in place and Kenya is ready to host the conference that will attract about 7,000 participants among them delegates, civil society representatives and the media.
The Cabinet Secretary was speaking in Geneva during the Information Session on the logistical preparations for the conference.
During the Session, She updated the Permanent Representatives of WTO member states on the state of play in logistical preparations for the Conference.
She informed the representatives that a National Preparatory Committee, comprising 10 sub-committees, was overseeing the preparatory process and all requisite arrangements are in place and on schedule.
“The 10 sub-committees are dedicated to specific aspects of the Conference namely conference facilities, security, registration and accreditation, hotel accommodation and hospitality, publicity and communication as well as transport, protocol and liaison,” said the Cabinet Secretary.
“We are working closely with the technical team of the WTO Secretariat which has conducted a number of visits to Nairobi and expressed satisfaction on the status of preparations so far,” she added.
The WTO has a membership of 162 countries from across the world. Kenya won the bid to host the conference in December last year.