Aug. 22 /CSRwire/ - GENEVA - The Cancun Ministerial Meeting is less than three weeks away. Significant breakthroughs are required on key issues if the goals of the Doha Development Agenda are to be met on the agreed timetable, i.e. by end 2004 or shortly thereafter.
Cancun needs to:
Produce concrete results on TRIPS and health for the poorest countries so that access to necessary medicines is enhanced in poor countries while safeguarding incentives that lead to the development of new drugs for existing and emerging diseases.
Agree clear and ambitious frameworks for removing damaging trade barriers in agriculture and manufacturing. We urge the rapid phasing out of all trade distorting farm subsidies in the developed world. These should include export subsidies, that damage farming communities in developing countries. We also call for substantial and progressive cuts in tariffs on agricultural produce. These should be at least 50%, with the highest tariffs being cut the most.
Avoid overloading this agenda with items on which consensus is yet to be reached such as investment guidelines, competition policy, trade facilitation and government procurement. These can be discussed most effectively post-Cancun.
This should ensure a successful “second half of the game” after Cancun and accelerated momentum, thereby:
Stimulating faster and sustained growth in developing countries, where four out of five of the world’s citizens live and which is essential to poverty reduction and global growth.
Reinvigorating the growth in trade which has slowed in recent years and which is the single most important factor in driving economic growth and securing prosperity.
The IBC urges visionary and generous leadership, especially from the US, EU and Japan in making this happen.
Niall FitzGerald, Co-Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Unilever
Henry A. McKinnell, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Pfizer Inc.
Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, Vice-Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Nestlé SA
Josef Ackermann, Chairman, International Business Council; Chairman of the Group Executive Committee, Deutsche Bank AG