Mike Moore's speeches
Renato Ruggiero's speeches,
Since 1996, NGOs
with links to trade issues have been invited to both WTO Ministerial Conferences and have
participated in numerous symposia organized by the WTO Secretariat.
As part of the
Secretariat efforts to improve contacts with Civil Society, Mr. Ruggiero announced that
the External Relations Division would begin a programme of regular briefings for NGOs on
the work of WTO committees and working groups.
Secretariat will also extend each month to the 132 WTO member countries a list of
documents, position papers and newsletters submitted by NGOs. These documents will be made
available on demand to member states.
special section of the WTO Website will also be devoted to NGOs issues. The list of
documents submitted to the Secretariat by the NGOs will appear on this site, as will all
upcoming WTO symposia or other events organized for the benefit of NGOs.
Ruggiero explained that WTO member countries had in 1996 established guidelines which
direct the organization in its relations with Civil Society. It is within these guidelines
that this enhanced cooperation process has been formulated. While the Secretariat has
flexibility with respect to informing and consulting with NGOs, for instance, other issues
including opening Dispute Settlement hearings and other WTO meetings to the public can
only be approved by a consensus of member states. The same situation pertains to the issue
of more rapid derestriction of documents. Members began this week to review the existing
policy on derestriction and recommendations for reform may come in the coming months.