Real Negotiations start amid fears of green room effects
Linker oppdatert: Fredag 12. mai 2006
At a G90 briefing meeting held earlier in the day, delegates were informed of yesterday’s proceedings including the secret Green room meeting which started late at night of which the majority of the members seemed not to know.
Only a few countries, those which are perceived to have a greater influence on others through either their official positions or otherwise were invited.
The meeting took serious note of such a process and agreed to put some mechanisms in place to ensure quick relay of information from the green rooms to their constituency and vise versa.
Yesterday’s meetings shaped up the process including the appointment of three facilitators who will assist in the negotiations process. The chairman of the Conference Mr. John Tsang, Secretary of Commerce, Industry and Technology of Hong Kong appointed three ministers as facilitators. The three are Hon. Humayun Khan of (Non Agricultural Market Access), Hon. Mukhisa Kituyi of (Agriculture) and Hon. Clement Rohee of (Specific development related issues). For Services, rules and other issues, facilitators are Hyun Chong Kim (), Jonas Store () and Ignacio Walker of respectively.
Delegates were told that substantive negotiations will start today with Mr. Tsang having established the so-called Chairman’s Consultative Group() which will move the negotiations based on the existing ministerial text issued some few days before the conference started. From the G90 side, the is made up of the coordinators of Africa Caribbean Pacific countries -, Least Developed Countries- , African Union- and the various facilitators, spokespersons and the Heads of Delegations from the member countries.
It can be recalled that the text on a number of issues was issued without agreement on most of the areas and this has been done at the Chairman’s own responsibility. This has caused a lot of problems particularly on the services text, which, as far as we can see is the sticking point at the moment.
There are fears that the so-called green room processes, which have become the norm in trade negotiations, will exclude most of the interests of developing countries as has happened in the draft ministerial text.
Currently, a number of formal and informal consultations are taking place with the first Heads of delegations meeting on substantive issues slotted at 1700hrs local time.
Meanwhile, the Southern and Eastern African Trade, Information and Negotiations Institute (SEATINI) has launched its book on Benchmarking Development for and Beyond. The research on setting indicators for development was done by Mr. Rashid Kaukab of South Centre (who was commissioned by SEATINI) with support from the Institute for Global Dialogue (IGD). The meeting was attended by a number of NGOs, Parliamentarians and government delegates at the NGO Centre.