Ministers decide as follows:
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.
Without prejudice to their outcome, the negotiations shall be
comprehensive in scope, with no basic telecommunications excluded a
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.
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
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
Further notifications of intention to participate shall be addressed to
the depositary of the Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization.
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.
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.
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
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.