Madame Chair, Minister Amina Mohammed,
Let me start by thanking Kenya for its hospitality and for the excellent arrangements for this 10th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization.
We also thank the Director-General, Ambassador Roberto Azevêdo, for his tireless efforts to revitalize the WTO in all its functions and to facilitate the successful outcomes we all expect in Nairobi.
The WTO has proven to be an indispensable institution since its establishment back in 1995. It has consolidated and reinforced the multilateral framework of trade rules and procedures. It has been a vital setting for monitoring trade relations and solving disputes. Through a system of multilateral commitments, it helped Members navigate the troubled waters of the 2008 financial crisis, avoiding the risks of protectionism and tariff wars. The Most Favored Nation clause remains the cornerstone that has allowed this construction to resist all kinds of weather.
But we have to admit that the WTO´s negotiating pillar is at a critical juncture. We are here in Nairobi after fourteen years of negotiations of the Doha Round and yet a political consensus on how to conclude the negotiations has so far eluded us. The Doha Round has been a collection of unfulfilled promises for developing countries. An indefensible asymmetry in disciplines and market access between industrial and agricultural products persists. At the same time, new mega-regional agreements raise questions about our collective commitment to the WTO as a negotiating forum.
Over the years, Brazil and the G-20 devoted considerable resources and efforts to advance the Doha Development Agenda. We did so based on our log-term commitment to multilateralism and our conviction that systemic issues that affect and distort international trade, particularly in Agriculture, can only be adequately dealt with in the context of a multilateral framework.
Two years ago, in Bali, we came to a very significant result in the shape of the Trade Facilitation Agreement. But it was part of yet another unfulfilled promise: the promise that in two years' time we would meet to conclude the negotiation of the core issues of the Round.
In light of the fact that this is not going to happen, WTO faces two options in Nairobi, and I will be clear on our vision about that.
In the first option, we leave Nairobi with an agreement on the prohibition of export subsidies for agricultural products and equivalent measures and a meaningful package of results in favor of LDCs.
Export subsidies in agricultural products are widely recognized as the most pernicious form of distortion in agricultural trade and its prohibition is a long overdue aspiration of farmers in developing countries. Nairobi will then be a success and we will continue to redress the credibility of the negotiating pillar of the organization. We will have ascertained a basis upon which to aim for results in the remaining issues that we were negotiating in the DDA.
In the second option, we fail to deliver on this emblematic agricultural issue and try to cover up for failure with cosmetic results. In this scenario, the credibility of the Organization will crumble and it will face a tremendous risk of paralysis in a moment when transformations in international trade make its action most needed.
For Brazil, there is only one option: the first. We are fully commited to working towards success in Nairobi.
We came to Nairobi to negotiate. My mandate is given by a nation that seeks prosperity and social justice, a nation that believes in fairness and a future open for all, a country that has always believed in multilateral instruments as a means to that end. This is a mandate from which I will not distance myself.
Agriculture remains the area where we find the most glaring distortions in international trade, and where liberalization can be the most beneficial for developing countries. Delivering on the prohibition of export subsidies and equivalent measures does not mean, of course, that it becomes less important to pursue meaningful outcomes on Market Access and Domestic Support, but it is the necessary vital sign that WTO must send from Nairobi.