Feb 10, 1987


GENEVA, FEBRUARY 9 (IFDA) -- The start of negotiations in different negotiating groups, on each of the subjects included in the Uruguay round of Multilateral Trade Negotiations (MTNS) have been put of by at least 24 hours, GATT sources said Monday.

The firs of the negotiating groups, one on tariff barriers and the second on non-tariff barriers, were to have begun Monday.

The delay has been due to the difficulties in agreeing on the individuals to head the various groups and the surveillance body for the standstill and rollback commitments.

There are far too many candidates for the 10 or 12 jobs, and the problem of agreeing on individuals and maintaining a balance between industrial and third world countries has been holding matters up, one third world source said.

At its meeting on January 28, the Group of Negotiations on Goods (GNG) agreed on the negotiating structure and negotiating plans for the 14 subjects in the MTNS on goods, and on the constitution of a surveillance body and its functioning.

At that time there was an understanding that the separate groups on tariffs, non-tariff measures, natural resource-based products and textiles and clothing, to hold their first meetings in the week of February 9, would be chaired by the same individual for the initial phase of the negotiations.

Similar arrangements were also envisaged for the groups on GATT articles and MTN agreements and arrangements and on dispute settlement and functioning of the GATT system.

Informal consultations last week, held by the chairman of the Contracting Parties, Manzur Ahmad of Pakistan, has so far not produced an agreements, and the consultations are to resume Monday, GATT sources said.