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11th WTO Ministerial Conference: Address by Foreign Minister Jorge Faurie at Plenary Session opening

11 December 2017
Información para la Prensa N°: 
575/11

Madam Chair of the 11th WTO Ministerial Conference, Susana Malcorra,

Mr. WTO Director-General, Roberto Azevêdo,

Dear Heads of Delegations,

 On behalf of Argentine President Mauricio Macri and of the Argentine Government and people, it is our great honour to host you in our country to hold the 11th WTO Ministerial Conference. We warmly welcome you and hope that your stay in our beloved Buenos Aires is pleasant and that you enjoy the Argentine hospitality.

I thank all of you for your good wishes for this Conference to take place in a friendly spirit in which you feel welcome by us and ready to negotiate so as to reach the necessary consensus to take the small steps mentioned by the Chair of the Conference, Susana Malcorra.

This Conference is of special importance to the multilateral trading system and to our country. October 30th marked the 70th Anniversary of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), while Argentina marked the 50th anniversary of its accession to GATT.

These two dates fall at a time when we are working on our country's smart insertion into the world, advocating multilateralism. Last week, we took over the G-20 Presidency and our slogan "Building Consensus for Fair and Sustainable Development" reflects the spirit and values of our foreign policy, taking into consideration development, inclusive growth and, especially, the needs of our people.

Argentina adopts the goals of the multilateral trading system with a view to enhancing living standards, achieving full employment and promoting sustainable development. But we are also aware that the changes in the international system, the technological revolution and inequality pose great challenges to us.

Our peoples deserve that at this 11th Ministerial Conference we send a message on the importance of a rules-based, open and equitable international trading system that contributes inter alia to consolidating the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations 2030 Agenda.

Argentina reaffirms its willingness to work actively and constructively, building bridges, with a view to achieving positive outcomes and benefits for all at this Conference.

We believe it is important to make progress on the pending issues of the Doha agenda (such as agriculture, fisheries, services and development), as well as on "other issues" relating to the 21st century trading system, such as e-commerce, Micro, Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises and investment facilitation.

We believe that insisting on the agricultural trade reform process is an essential requirement for eliminating hunger and eradicating poverty. Argentina has enormous potential: we are currently producing food for 400 million people and we expect to increase such output for 600 million people by 2020, with a view to satisfying the pressing demand for food in the world.

Similarly, as regards fisheries, advances towards the establishment of disciplines on the prohibition of fisheries subsidies will prove to be a significant contribution by the WTO to development, food security and environmental preservation.

At this Conference in Buenos Aires, let us build a road that helps us strengthen the multilateral trading system, for the benefit of our people, so that more jobs are created and we can truly eradicate poverty.

 

Thank you very much.

 

Press release No. 575/17

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