Russia hails the decision made by the UNCTAD (the UN Conference for Trade and Development) to provide assistance to countries in joining the World Trade Organisation (WTO) as part of the special project, the Russian delegation source said in an interview with RIA Novosti. The delegation is taking part in the 49th annual session of the UNCTAD Council for Trade and Development that has recently opened in Palais des Nations (the Palace of Nations) in Geneva.
The source stressed that Russia viewed the UNCTAD as the main UN body that monitors trade and development. At the same time, the source pointed to the universal nature of the UNCTAD which makes it possible to take into consideration specific interests and problems of various countries, i.e. developed, developing ones and countries with transitional economy.
According to the source, the UNCTAD elaboration of approaches to problems of capital investments and competition in the world market should be highly appreciated. Though the WTO does not make investment and competition the centre of its activity, it will have to do it sooner or later. In this connection the source pointed to the analytical work of the organisation, UNCTAD annual repots on trade, development and investment based on the data of various countries and regions.
Apart from Russia, 44 representatives of countries, specialised UN agencies, international and non-governmental organisations are participating in the session of the Council for Trade and Development, the UNCTAD governing body.
The session is expected to pay great attention to problems faced by developing countries, the provision of technical support as well. The central point of the first day of the Council' work has been a detailed speech by WTO General Director Supachai Panitchpakdi that was broadcast through the TV link-up to New-York, his answers to questions and the general discussion on the raised issues.
Supachai, pointing to the common tasks of the WTO and the UNCTAD, called for enhancing the arrangements for the WTO interim conference scheduled for September 2003 in Cancun, Mexico. He considered it to be a short-term analysis of the WTO compliance with the decisions made at the WTO ministerial conference in Doha (Qatar) in November 2001.
In Cancun it is expected to sum up the results of the first stage of the negotiations and make plans for future implementation by January 1st, 2005, of the programme adopted by the WTO member states at Doha.
The session of the UNCTAD Council for Trade and Development will last till October 18th.