Cairns Group Statement

17 December 2008

to the Trade Negotiations Committee, WTO Geneva

The Cairns Group is deeply disappointed at the failure to conclude modalities this year. It is regrettable that, despite the recent statements from G20 and APEC Leaders last month, the political will to close the remaining gaps and to show the necessary flexibility faltered.  

Despite this setback, it is clear that we have made useful progress in the agriculture negotiations since the summer. The new revision of the agriculture text provides a basis on which key outstanding issues can be resolved when there is sufficient political will to do so, bearing in mind that progress achieved so far is conditional on everything coming together as a modalities package.

Our multilateral work must continue under the guidance of the Chair.  The Cairns Group commits itself to active and constructive participation in this work so that we can find solutions that deliver a balanced outcome in all areas of the Doha Development Agenda, consistent with the Mandate.

We reiterate the centrality of Agriculture in our negotiations: there can be no successful outcome to the Round without a substantial package of reforms in agriculture. We have before us an opportunity to take an important step towards ending the discrimination against agriculture in the world trading system. We remain committed to an ambitious Doha Round outcome that delivers significant agricultural trade reform, and builds substantially on the gains of the Uruguay Round.

Last Updated: 24 February 2016