The following is the full statement by His Royal Highness Prince Mohamed Bolkiah, Minister Of Foreign Affairs & Trade of Brunei Darussalam, which was delivered during the 7th WTO Ministerial Conference, Geneva, Switzerland on December 1, 2009:
"Thank you Chairman.
"And my thanks to Counsellor Leuthard and the Federal Department for their welcome and very kind hospitality. Also my appreciation to Director-General Lamy for all the hard work.
"When we last met in Hong Kong a few years ago, we gave strong support to the organisation and today, we are basically here to say the same thing.
"I know there are some difficult things to consider and a lot of very hard problems, especially, of course, the need to get the Doha Round completed.
"I don't underestimate any of this but, for a fairly small economy like ours; I can definitely say that the past four years have been positive ones. And we have had excellent help from this organisation help, both directly and indirectly.
"Without this, we would have found it very hard even to set our economic priorities, let alone achieve them.
"Thanks to the WTO principles, rules and guidelines, our people can see that we are doing things fairly. And taking decisions by consensus means that we have a say in those decisions.
"Of course, there are many other aspects of the organisation's work, Mr Chairman, but I mention these two because they are crucial in our most important aim.
"This is to work with our other partners in our region and try to achieve a level of regional integration by 2015.
"There are ten of us involved and we face a difficult job together. But the fact that nine of us are members of the organisation is a great advantage and we hope that very soon the Lao People's Democratic Republic will also become a full member.
"So, briefly, Mr Chairman, we are very satisfied with the organisation's approach. We feel our people here in Geneva can represent us well and make a positive contribution. And we hope that this meeting will move us another step closer to the worldwide system of rules and procedures that we all want to see very soon.
"In fact, like most small countries, we have one simple message.
"Let's get on with it! Let's get it done! And the sooner the better.
"Thank you."erences" on farm trade issues.
- Borneo Bulletin
(2nd December 2009)