Chairman drew attention to the communication from Mexico
in document WT/GC/55 containing an offer by its Government to host the
Fifth Session of the Ministerial Conference and, on behalf of the
General Council, expressed appreciation to Mexico for its generous
The representative of Mexico recalled that on 23 November
his Government had sent a letter to the Director-General and the
General Council Chairman proposing Mexico as the venue for the next
Ministerial Conference. Mexico had not specified any specific dates,
and would agree to whatever date was decided by the General Council.
Mexico was making this offer because, as a developing country, it had
a special commitment to the agenda of negotiations established in Doha
which was specifically focussed on development, and because it wished
to ensure that the commitments in the Doha Declaration, especially
regarding the promotion of development and the full integration of
developing countries into the multilateral trading system, actually
came about. Mexico also wished to make a contribution to the
multilateral trading system and to pay homage to the benefit it had
derived from international trade, and to the enormous support it had
derived from the multilateral trading system in its development
process. A decision on venue needed to be taken promptly in view of
the complexity of organizing such a meeting. To date, Mexico had had a
very favourable response to its initiative, and wished to thank, in
particular, member States of GRULAC for their support.
The representatives of Honduras (on behalf of GRULAC), Egypt,
Qatar, United States, Kenya, Botswana, Brazil,
Israel, Kuwait, European Communities, Canada,
Lesotho, Singapore, Thailand, Turkey, Morocco,
China, India, New Zealand, Australia and Côte
d'Ivoire supported Mexico's offer to host the Fifth Session of the
Ministerial Conference and urged a rapid decision on this matter.
The representative of Honduras, speaking on behalf of
GRULAC, said that it was time for a Latin American country to have
the opportunity to host a Ministerial Conference, especially in view
of the fact that the next Ministerial Conference would take important
decisions regarding the development agenda established in Doha.
The representative of Qatar said that his authorities would
put its recent experience in hosting a Ministerial Conference at
Mexico's disposal. He commended all those who had contributed to
making the Doha Conference a success.
The Chairman expressed, on behalf of all Members,
appreciation for the tremendous arrangements and hospitality the
Government of Qatar had offered in the course of the recent
Ministerial Conference in Doha. Qatar's experience with that meeting
would be a valuable resource for the organization as a whole.
The representative of the European Communities said that his
delegation hoped that the multiple interventions in support of
Mexico's offer would lead to an expeditious decision.
The Chairman said that there seemed to be an emerging
consensus for the choice of Mexico as the venue for the next Session
of the Ministerial Conference. He therefore proposed that the General
Council agree that Mexico would be the venue for the Fifth Session of
the Ministerial Conference.
The General Council took note of the statements and so agreed.