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WTO chief hails significant advance at Bali summit
World Trade Organization (WTO) Director-general Roberto Azevedo Saturday said that the institution has "truly delivered" for the first time in its history after a breakthrough in multilateral trade negotiation has been made at its ninth ministerial meeting in Bali, Indonesia.
"The full Bali package" which consists of 10 documents in the areas of trade facilitation, agriculture and development was adopted by the institution's 159 members came after extended overnight talks.
Delivering a short speech in the closing ceremony of the conference, Azevedo said: "In recent weeks the WTO has come alive. We have seen this organization as it should be, negotiating, dynamic to get an agreement."
He said instead of non-inclusive, non-transparent processes, this time the entire membership came together to negotiate. Every delegation had a chance to participate in the negotiating process.
He noted that people from all over the world should benefit from the Bali Package, especially developing and least-developed nations.
Looking ahead, Azevedo said the package "is not an end and it is a beginning," adding that "the decisions we have taken here are important stepping stones to the completion of the Doha Round."
He also extended his welcome of the accession of Yemen as a member of the WTO and thanks to Indonesia for hosting the conference.
To conclude the remarks, Azevedo quoted former South African leader Nelson Mendela's words as saying "it always seems impossible until it's done," adding that "the Bali Package may have been seen impossible, but now it's done."
[Source: Xinhua, Bali, Indonesia, 07Dec13]
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