AG/RES. 1973 (XXXIII-O/03)
TRADE AND INTEGRATION IN THE AMERICAS
(Resolution adopted at the fourth plenary session, held on June 10, 2003)
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY,
HAVING SEEN the report of the Permanent Council on the eighth regular meeting of the Inter-American Council for Integral Development (AG/doc.4219/03), in particular as it pertains to the report of the Permanent Council and CEPCIDI to the General Assembly in compliance with resolution AG/RES. 1861 (XXXII-O/02), “Trade and Integration in the Americas”;
RECALLING resolutions AG/RES. 1861 (XXXII-O/02), AG/RES. 1813 (XXXI-O/01), AG/RES. 1720 (XXX-O/00), AG/RES. 1689 (XXIX-O/99), AG/RES. 1581 (XXVIII-O/98), AG/RES. 1516 (XXVII-O/97), AG/RES. 1430 (XXVI-O/96), CIDI/RES. 133 (VIII-O/03), CIDI/RES. 118 (VII-O/02), CIDI/RES. 9 (I-E/01), CIDI/RES. 99 (V-O/00), CIDI/RES. 63 (IV-O/99), and CIDI/RES. 46 (III-O/98), entitled “Trade and Integration in the Americas”; AG/RES. 1534 (XXVIII-O/98), “Support for and Follow-up to the Summits of the Americas Initiatives”; AG/RES. 1438 (XXVI-O/96), “Relationship between the Special Committee on Trade and the Inter-American Council for Integral Development”; AG/RES. 1349 (XXV-O/95), “Inter-American Summits Management”; and AG/RES. 1220 (XXIII-O/93), “Establishment of the Special Committee on Trade (SCT),” in which the member states noted that the Organization of American States was an appropriate hemispheric forum for dialogue on trade matters;
BEARING IN MIND:
The Declaration of Santiago, issued at the Second Summit of the Americas, in which the Heads of State and Government of the Hemisphere directed their ministers responsible for international trade to begin negotiations for the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA), reaffirmed their determination to conclude the negotiation of the FTAA no later than 2005 and to make concrete progress by the end of the 20th century, and expressed their appreciation for the significant contribution of the Tripartite Committee;
The Declaration of Quebec City, issued at the Third Summit of the Americas, in which the Heads of State and Government of the Hemisphere directed their ministers responsible for international trade “to ensure that negotiations of the FTAA Agreement are concluded no later than January 2005 and to seek its entry into force as soon as possible thereafter but, in any case, no later than December 2005”;/
The Plan of Action of the Third Summit of the Americas in which the Heads of State and Government of the Hemisphere highlighted the need to “ensure full participation of all our countries in the FTAA, taking into consideration the differences in the levels of development and size of the economies of the Hemisphere, in order to create opportunities for the full participation of the smaller economies and to increase their level of development”;
The Plan of Action of the Third Summit of the Americas, in which the Heads of State and Government of the Hemisphere urged the “Tripartite Committee institutions to continue to respond positively to requests for technical support from FTAA entities,” and requested “the institutions, according to their respective internal procedures, to favorably consider requests for technical assistance related to FTAA issues from member countries, in particular from the smaller economies, in order to facilitate their integration into the FTAA process”; and
The Plan of Action of the Third Summit of the Americas, in which the Heads of State and Government of the Hemisphere instructed “our representatives in the institutions of the Tripartite Committee to continue securing the allocation of the resources necessary to contribute to the support of the work of the FTAA Administrative Secretariat”;
The Ministerial Declaration of San José, adopted by the Ministers of Trade at their Fourth Ministerial Meeting, in San José, Costa Rica, in March 1998, in which they recommended to their Heads of State and Government that they initiate negotiation of the FTAA in accordance with the objectives, principles, structure, venue, and other decisions set forth in their Declaration, acknowledged and again expressed their appreciation to the Tripartite Committee for the technical and logistical support given during the preparatory phase of the FTAA negotiations, and requested that the respective institutions of the Tripartite Committee continue to provide the appropriate existing resources necessary to respond positively to requests for technical support from FTAA entities, including reallocation for this purpose if necessary;
The Ministerial Declaration of Toronto, adopted by the Ministers of Trade at their Fifth Ministerial Meeting, in Toronto, Canada, in November 1999, in which they “recognize and appreciate the analytical, technical, and financial support that continues to be provided by the institutions comprising the Tripartite Committee…. This support has been essential to the conduct of the negotiations to date, and we ask the institutions of the Tripartite Committee to continue to provide such assistance for FTAA-related matters”;
The Ministerial Declaration of Buenos Aires, adopted by the Ministers of Trade at their Sixth Ministerial Meeting, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in April 2001, in which they “appreciate the analytical, technical, and financial contributions made by the Tripartite Committee … to the different FTAA entities. [They] acknowledge that this support has been important to the conduct of the negotiations to date, and [they] encourage these institutions to continue to collaborate in the process of hemispheric integration”;
The Ministerial Declaration of Quito, adopted by the Ministers of Trade at their Seventh Ministerial Meeting, in Quito, Ecuador, in November 2002, in which they expressed their “appreciation for the support provided by the Tripartite Committee … to the FTAA negotiations in general, and to the different FTAA entities, in particular. We recognize their technical, analytical, and financial contribution to the hemispheric integration process. We encourage the Tripartite Committee to continue to support the negotiations and reiterate the need for their continued collaboration in the stage of negotiations that begins as of this day”; and
The Ministerial Declaration of Quito, in which the Ministers of Trade “approve[d] the Hemispheric Cooperation Program [HCP] as a priority of all our governments. The Program is intended to strengthen the capacities of those countries seeking assistance to participate in the negotiations, implement their trade commitments, and address the challenges and maximize the benefits of hemispheric integration, including productive capacity and competitiveness in the region. We note that the Program includes a mechanism to assist these countries to develop national and/or sub-regional trade capacity building strategies that define, prioritize, and articulate their needs and programs pursuant to those strategies, and to identify sources of financial and non-financial support. We instruct the TNC [Trade Negotiations Committee], with the support of the CGSE [Consultative Group on Smaller Economies], to supervise the HCP. We commit to complete national and/or sub-regional trade capacity building strategies and the related programs in order to make expeditious progress under the HCP, and to assist in the identification of predictable and multifaceted sources of financial and non-financial support for meeting the objectives of the HCP. While these strategies are being prepared, the HCP will also respond to immediate assistance needs for the purpose of strengthening the participation of countries in the negotiations. We further instruct the TNC, with the support of the Tripartite Committee, to facilitate meetings of the CGSE, inviting appropriate development and financial officials, international financial institutions, international agencies, and interested private entities, to discuss financing and implementation of the HCP and to report to us at our next meeting”;
That economic diversification and integration, trade liberalization, and market access constitute one of the priorities established in the Strategic Plan for Partnership for Development 2002-2005, and that the process of creating the FTAA is a fundamental element in this context;
That to support the FTAA Hemispheric Cooperation Program, CEPCIDI, and the Canadian International Development Agency for have allocated resources to the Trade Unit in order to execute activities to enhance the trade-related capacities of the participating countries, particularly the smaller economies;
That in Doha, Qatar, in November 2001, the member countries of the World Trade Organization (WTO) adopted the Doha Development Agenda, launching a new round of multilateral trade negotiations scheduled to conclude not later than January 1, 2005, the same deadline set for the completion of the FTAA negotiations;
That in Doha the WTO member countries recognized that trade-related technical cooperation and capacity-building are core elements of the development dimension of the multilateral trading system;
That, in the Doha Ministerial Declaration, the Ministers endorsed the “New Strategy for WTO Technical Cooperation: Technical Cooperation for Capacity Building, Growth and Integration” (WT/COMTD/W/90, September 21, 2001), and that the OAS is explicitly mentioned as a WTO partner in the strategy for Latin America and the Caribbean, as follows: “Assisting the countries in their economic integration processes. This includes preparations and negotiations on a Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA), to show to the officials involved in regional integration negotiations the importance and extent of their countries’ multilateral commitments and the necessity to strive for WTO consistency in regional agreements. The principal partner with the WTO in this area would be the OAS”; and
That among the FTAA principles set out in the Ministerial Declaration of San José, the Ministers included that the “FTAA Agreement will be consistent with the rules and disciplines of the WTO” and reiterated the commitment of the participating countries to multilateral rules and disciplines, in particular Article XXIV of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) 1994 and its Uruguay Round Understanding, and Article V of the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS); and
REAFFIRMING the commitment of the Organization of American States to support the process of free trade and economic integration in the Hemisphere; and reiterating the importance of the contribution of the General Secretariat and, in particular, the Trade Unit to this process,
1. To take note of the report submitted by the Permanent Council and the Permanent Executive Secretariat of the Inter-American Council for Integral Development (CEPCIDI) to the General Assembly in compliance with resolution AG/RES. 1861 (XXXII-O/02), “Trade and Integration in the Americas.”
2. To instruct the General Secretariat to:
a. Continue to provide analytical support and technical assistance through the Trade Unit and to conduct related studies as part of the Tripartite Committee or as requested by the respective bodies established in the Ministerial Declarations of San José, Toronto, Buenos Aires, and Quito under the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) process;
b. Support countries in the elaboration of their National and/or Regional Trade Capacity Building Strategies in the context of the FTAA Hemispheric Cooperation Program and of the division of labor within the Tripartite Committee so that they may participate effectively in trade negotiations, implement their trade commitments, and reap the benefits in terms of economic growth and poverty reduction;
c. Respond to the trade capacity-building needs identified by countries, particularly by the smaller economies, under the FTAA Hemispheric Cooperation Program approved by the Trade Ministers in Quito, including those identified in the National and/or Regional Trade Capacity Building Strategies;
d. Continue to provide technical assistance related to FTAA issues to member states that request it, particularly smaller economies, as requested by the Trade Ministers in the Ministerial Declaration of San José and reiterated at the ministerial meetings in Toronto, Buenos Aires, and Quito, and as requested in the Plan of Action of the Third Summit of the Americas;
e. Continue to provide technical assistance, in concert with the World Trade Organization (WTO), to support member states’ domestic efforts at mainstreaming trade into national plans for economic development and strategies for poverty reduction, as called for in the “New Strategy for WTO Technical Cooperation: Technical Cooperation for Capacity Building, Growth and Integration,” endorsed by the Trade Ministers in Doha;
f. Submit, by November 15, 2003, the 2004 annual Work Plan of the Trade Unit to CEPCIDI for its consideration and approval;
g. Continue to provide semiannual written progress reports on the activities of the Trade Unit, including information on its level of budget execution, to the Permanent Council and CEPCIDI for their review; and
h. Continue its work, through the Trade Unit and its Foreign Trade Information System (SICE), in providing trade and trade-related information to the Hemisphere through its Web page; to continue its work in support of the FTAA process by maintaining, as a member of the Tripartite Committee, the official FTAA Web site; to maintain, as a member of the Tripartite Committee, on an ongoing basis, a calendar of deadlines established by the negotiating groups for the presentation of observations by delegations; and to manage, as a member of the Tripartite Committee, the Document Distribution Service (DDS), a system for secure, confidential, instantaneous, and reliable distribution of the FTAA negotiation process documents.
3. To reiterate support for the collaborative activities on trade and integration of the Trade Unit and the Tripartite Committee, and for such cooperation activities with other specialized regional, subregional, and multilateral organizations and institutions.
4. To entrust the Permanent Council with continuing to provide the appropriate resources necessary to respond positively to requests for technical support from FTAA entities, including the reallocation of funds for this purpose if necessary.
5. To take note of the important achievements of SICE, in particular the measures taken to broaden its trade and trade-related information and its client base; and to support its continued operations.
6. To direct that the mandates set forth in the preceding paragraphs be executed within the resources allocated in the program-budget of the Organization and other resources.
7. To request the Permanent Council and CEPCIDI to report to the General Assembly at its thirty-fourth regular session on the implementation of this resolution.
. Venezuela reiterates the reservation it entered on the Declaration of Quebec City with reference to the entry into force of the FTAA in 2005.