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WTO NEWS: 2003 NEWS ITEMS

29 August 2003
President Fox to open Fifth WTO Ministerial

President Vicente Fox of host Mexico will open the Fifth WTO Ministerial Conference at the Canc˙n Convention Centre on 10 September 2003, according to the order of business approved by the General Council on 27 August 2003. The General Council also agreed to forward to Ministers an invitation by Hong Kong, China to host the Sixth Ministerial Conference.

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President Vicente Fox of host Mexico will open the Fifth WTO Ministerial Conference at the Canc˙n Convention Centre at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, 10 September 2003, according to the Order of Business (WT/MIN(03)/5) approved by the General Council on 27 August 2003.

President Fox will be followed by Foreign Affairs Minister Luis Ernesto Derbez, who will be the Chairman of the Ministerial Conference, and WTO Director-General Supachai Panitchpakdi.

UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and WTO General Council Chairman Carlos Perez del Castillo will also address the inaugural session.

After the inaugural session, the Ministers will meet in a business session, during which they are expected to adopt the agenda and agree on the organization of work.

Ministers will make general statements during plenary sessions scheduled daily from the afternoon of 10 September to the morning of 14 September.

The Conference is scheduled to close in the afternoon of Sunday, 14 September.

The provisional agenda (WT/MIN(03)/W/1) contains the following items: 1. Overview of the activities of the WTO, 2. Items proposed by Members for inclusion in the agenda, 3. Action by Ministers, 4. Date and venue of the Sixth Session, and 5. Election of officers.

Participants (WT/MIN(03)/INF/5) to the Fifth Ministerial are the 146 Members, observer governments and observer international intergovernmental organizations.

The General Council also agreed to forward to Cancun the invitation (WT/GC/72) by Hong Kong, China to host the Sixth Ministerial Conference.

It approved requests for observer status at the Cancun Ministerial from Afghanistan, Cook Islands and Niue.