Wto director-general Position

  • Wyatt Creech
Prime Minister

"The decision on the appointment of the WTO Director-General and any associated arrangements are matters for the WTO membership as a whole, not for New Zealand and Thailand."

Acting Prime Minister Wyatt Creech was commenting on reports that New Zealand and Thailand were exploring a deal on the WTO Director-General position.

"There is however an expectation in Geneva that all parties would do their best to find a solution to the current impasse.

"We've been talking to Thailand throughout this contest - and continue to do so. Of course we would be pleased if we could find a way through that is mutually acceptable and meets the needs of the WTO."

Mr Creech said that New Zealand was approaching this from a position where Mr Moore has been recommended several times by the Chair of the WTO General Council.

"There has been unfounded speculation that there has been some slippage in support for Mr Moore, since he was first recommended to WTO members on 30 April. In fact, our clear view is that his support has grown since then.

"We have definite advice from a number of WTO members who earlier supported Dr Supachai, that they have told the Chairman they support the agreed selection process and therefore his recommendation. And there is no sign that any of Mr Moore's supporters have moved away from him."

Mr Creech said that New Zealand's position remained that a consensus must be found. New Zealand was opposed to voting in the WTO on this issue because of the damaging implications for the WTO. He was pleased that the Quad trade ministers (EU, US, Japan, Canada) meeting in Tokyo had stated that this should be a consensus decision.

"That is what we are working towards," Mr Creech concluded.