WTO news: what’s been happening in the WTO

30 November 2001

Mexico offers to host next Ministerial Conference

The WTO General Council's deliberations on when and where to hold the Fifth Ministerial Conference has kicked off with a formal offer from Mexico, circulated on 28 November 2001.

Mexico’s offer arrived at the WTO on 23 November and was circulated two weeks after the close of the Fourth Ministerial Conference in Doha, Qatar, when ministers instructed the General Council to choose a location and date for the next conference. Other member governments can also offer to host the meeting.

The WTO Ministerial Conference is the organization’s topmost decision-making body. It has to meet at least once every two years. The fifth conference has to be held by the end of 2003 at the latest. The Doha conference has already assigned a number of tasks for the fifth conference, several involving negotiations that were launched in Doha.

For the Fourth Ministerial Conference, the General Council chose Doha as the location on 30 January 2001. On 8 February it agreed on the dates, 9–13 November 2001. This followed an official invitation from Qatar, submitted to ministers at the Seattle Ministerial Conference in 1999 and circulated as document WT/L/342 on 31 January 2000. Qatar provided further details in documents WT/GC/33, WT/GC/33/Add.1 and WT/GC/33/Add.2.

Chile said it was considering a similar offer, in a communication received 4 December 2000 and circulated the following day as WT/GC/39. On 30 January 2001, Chile said that after serious consideration it had concluded that it would not be possible to host the meeting on this occasion.

Details can be found in the General Council’s minutes, document WT/GC/M/61/Add.1, and its annual report for 2000, document WT/GC/44.

Mexico’s invitation for the Fifth Ministerial Conference has been circulated in this General Council document:

28 November 2001


Communication from Mexico

The following communication, addressed to the Director-General and dated 23 November 2001, has been received from the Minister of Economy of Mexico with the request that it be circulated to Members.

“My authorities have instructed me to inform you that the Government of Mexico offers to host the Fifth Ministerial Conference of the WTO. If this is acceptable to all WTO Members, it would be a great privilege and honour for the people and Government of Mexico.

“Mexico will be requesting the Chairman of the General Council to consult with Members on this matter as appropriate.”


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