Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization
Decision on Negotiations on Basic Telecommunications
Decide as follows:
1. Negotiations shall be entered into on a voluntary basis with
a view to the progressive liberalization of trade in telecommunications
transport networks and services (hereinafter referred to as "basic
telecommunications") within the framework of the General
Agreement on Trade in Services.
2. Without prejudice to their outcome, the negotiations shall
be comprehensive in scope, with no basic telecommunications excluded
3. A Negotiating Group on Basic Telecommunications (hereinafter
referred to as the "NGBT") is established to carry out
this mandate. The NGBT shall report periodically on the progress
of these negotiations.
4. The negotiations in the NGBT shall be open to all governments
and the European Communities which announce their intention to
participate. To date, the following have announced their intention
to take part in the negotiations:
Australia, Austria, Canada, Chile, Cyprus, European Communities
and their member States, Finland, Hong Kong, Hungary, Japan, Korea,
Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Slovak Republic, Sweden, Switzerland,
Turkey, United States.
Further notifications of intention to participate shall be addressed
to the Depositary of the Agreement Establishing the World Trade
5. The NGBT shall hold its first negotiating session no later
than 16 May 1994. It shall conclude these negotiations and make
a final report no later than 30 April 1996. The final report of
the NGBT shall include a date for the implementation of results
of these negotiations.
6. Any commitments resulting from the negotiations, including
the date of their entry into force, shall be inscribed in the
Schedules annexed to the General Agreement on Trade in Services
and shall be subject to all the provisions of the Agreement.
7. Commencing immediately and continuing until the implementation
date to be determined under paragraph 5, it is understood that
no participant shall apply any measure affecting trade in basic
telecommunications in such a manner as would improve its negotiating
position and leverage. It is understood that this provision shall
not prevent the pursuit of commercial and governmental arrangements
regarding the provision of basic telecommunications services.
8. The implementation of paragraph 7 shall be subject to surveillance
in the NGBT. Any participant may bring to the attention of the
NGBT any action or omission which it believes to be relevant to
the fulfilment of paragraph 7. Such notifications shall be deemed
to have been submitted to the NGBT upon their receipt by the Secretariat.
Continue on to Decision on Professional Services