Before I start my statement, on behalf of the EU and its Member States, please allow me to express our solidarity to the people of Albania following last night's earthquake in Tirana.
I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union and its Member States.
The Member States of the European Union voted in favour of Resolution A/C.2/74/L.15/Rev.1 entitled “International trade and development”.
The European Union and its Member States attach the greatest importance to the development and strengthening of a multilateral trading system centered around the WTO that is open, transparent, universal and rules-based.
This system, however, to be preserved and fostered needs to be modernised. To this end we welcome in particular the recognition by the resolution of the need to strengthen the WTO and assure the continued viability and effectiveness of its dispute settlement, negotiating and monitoring functions.
As a matter of urgency, the WTO two-step dispute settlement mechanism needs to be restored and Appellate Body nominations need to resume without delay.
The WTO must be able to tackle the tensions that are currently present in the international trading system. To that end efforts should be made in particular to secure new rules on industrial subsidies, State owned enterprises and forced technology transfer so as to promote a more level playing field for workers and businesses around the world.
To that end we all need to renew our efforts to update a 20 years old multilateral rule book.
Finally, Mr Chairman, the EU particularly supports the text of the resolution when it states that “ international trade (...) contributes to the promotion of sustainable development”. Sustainability will be an integral and important part of a modernized WTO.
Thank you Mr. Chairman.