4:23 AM Jun 7, 1993


Geneva 6 June (TWN) -- Consultations on choice of a candidate to succeed Arthur Dunkel as Director-General of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade are continuing and, while the EC's candidate, Peter Sutherland is still viewed as likely to be chosen, the uncertainty may continue right down to the wire, according to GATT sources.

A Special Session of the GATT CONTRACTING PARTIES has been set for this purpose on 9 June.

The Chairman of the GATT CPs, Balkrishna Zutshi of India is conducting the consultations. He was due to hold some informal consultations among a key group of countries in the morning, to be followed up by a meeting of Heads of Delegations Monday afternoon.

The Latin American and Caribbean Group of countries, who have fielded two candidates (Julio Lcarte-Muro of Uruguay and Luis Fernando Jaramillo of Colombia) were holding their own group meeting Monday morning to see whether they could agree up and present just one candidature, thus presenting the cps with a choice between the EC's Peter Sutherland of Ireland and the Latin candidate. At the meetings of the informal developing country group, where the GRULA members asked the developing countries to make a choice from out of their panel, several made clear that before they could make any choice, it was for the GRULA to put forward a single candidate.

Meanwhile, several of the developing countries would appear to have advised Zutshi of their support to Sutherland.

Japan had not, as of Friday evening, indicated its own choice or view, and Zutshi is reported to be pressing Japan to indicate its views.

Some GATT contracting parties see all these as part of the attempts of countries to 'cut a deal', perhaps in securing one of their country candidates a job in the top echelons of the secretariat. (ends)