France’s Lamy pitches bid to head WTO
GENEVA, Jan 26 (AFP) - France's Pascal Lamy, the only candidate from a rich country hoping to become the next chief of the World Trade Organisation, on Wednesday defended his ability to resist pressure and pledged to help poorer nations benefit more from global trade.
“You can count on my conviction, on my commitment, and can be sure of my ability to resist pressure,” Lamy told ambassadors from the WTO’s 148 member states who met in Geneva to hear bids by a total of four men who hope to replace outgoing WTO director general Supachai Panitchpakdi of Thailand.
The former EU trade commissioner reminded his audience that he had been “one of the authors” of the latest so-called development round of trade talks, which was launched in the Qatari capital Doha in late 2001.
“Access to medicines, the abolition of export subsidies, theses are all issues for which I have fought, taking my lumps in both domestic and international battles,” the diplomat said, according to a copy of his speech.
Lamy faces a tough battle for the prized director’s role against three candidates from the developing world who insist that a poor country should head the WTO, particularly at a time when the organisation is struggling to finalise a round of trade negotiations based on development issues.
The experienced trade expert, however, appeared determined to make a strong pitch to the member states, underlining that a priority for the WTO must be “to re-balance the international trade system in favour of developing countries.”
Finishing the Doha round by next year should be “our priority number one, number two, number three,” Lamy said.
His three contestants, who also spoke at the WTO on Wednesday, are Luiz-Felipe de Seixas Correa of Brazil, Jayen Cuttaree of Mauritius and Carlos Perez del Castillo of Uruguay.
Subject: French News