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The EU and the WTO | Brussels, 8 May 2013

EU welcomes appointment of Roberto Carvalho de Azevêdo as next WTO Director General

EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht today welcomed the appointment of Mr Roberto Carvalho de Azevêdo, as the next Director General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
EU Commissioner for Trade Karel De Gucht said, 'On behalf of the European Union, I would like to extend my sincere congratulations to Mr Carvalho de Azevêdo. A strong WTO requires a strong Director General. The WTO is at crossroads and, while it is for all WTO Members to set the course, we are convinced that Mr Carvalho de Azevêdo will help all the WTO members put the multilateral agenda back on track with the ultimate aim of a successful conclusion of the Doha Development Agenda (DDA).

In this respect, a critical first step will be the next WTO Ministerial Conference in Bali which aims to get results on trade facilitation, agriculture and a number of development issues. A successful outcome in Bali will send an important signal to the world of the WTO's crucial role as well as the importance of the multilateral trading system it represents. The new WTO Director General can count on my full support to make this ministerial meeting a success.

I would also like to recognise the achievements and efforts of Pascal Lamy during his two consecutive terms as Director-General. Under his leadership, the WTO has strengthened its monitoring and review of trade policies, run a well-performing dispute settlement mechanism and seen a renewed focus on aid for trade. In difficult economic times and against the backdrop of rising protectionism, Mr Lamy has also shown an unwavering commitment to getting an agreement in the Doha negotiations.

I hope the appointment of the new Director-General will bring fresh wind to the sails of the Doha Development Agenda's negotiating boat and bring it successfully to its destination."