Geneva, 7 December 2005

Covering letter of 7 December from the General Council Chair and the DG to Secretary Tsang transmitting the Draft Ministerial Text

> The Sixth WTO Ministerial Conference

Other WTO Ministerials:
> Cancún 10–14 Sept. 2003
> Doha 9–14 Nov. 2001
> Seattle 30 Nov.–3 Dec. 1999
> Geneva 18 & 20 May 1998
> Singapore 9–13 Dec. 1996

Dear Secretary Tsang,

We are pleased to inform you that at its meeting on 2 December 2005, the General Council agreed to transmit the attached Draft Ministerial Text to you for consideration by Ministers at the Sixth Session of the Ministerial Conference.

The Text incorporates three amendments agreed by the General Council, namely the addition of brackets in paragraph 21 (Services), the removal of brackets in paragraph 53 (accession of Tonga), and the addition of some wording at the end of paragraph 34 (TRIPS and Public Health).

As we assured Members at the General Council, we are conveying to you along with the Draft Ministerial Text the operative parts of the cover note which was attached to the Draft Text as submitted to the General Council.

As that cover note stated, this text remains a draft. It does not purport to represent agreement overall, and it is without prejudice to any delegation's position on any issue. It draws on and incorporates much work done by the Chairs of the negotiating bodies and other WTO bodies. Their consultations have in many cases produced inputs for the present draft which are either fully agreed by Members or reflect a high level of convergence. In other areas, the text still reflects a number of differences.

A number of annexes are attached to the draft text. These are in differing formats, reflecting the differing situations in the negotiating areas to which they relate. We wish to make it clear that, with the exception of Annex E on Trade Facilitation, which is a report agreed by the Negotiating Group, the texts in all of these annexes were presented on the responsibility of the respective Chairs. They do not purport to be agreed texts, and are without prejudice to the position of any Member.

We are also attaching a set of questions on the Agriculture and NAMA negotiations which were developed in consultation with Members and put before the General Council meeting on 2 December. We hope that these questions will assist in focusing the negotiations on these key issues at Hong Kong.

In conclusion, we expect Ministers to build upon the attached draft declaration to achieve substantive progress at the Sixth Session of the Ministerial Conference.

We both wish to reiterate our commitment to working with you and with all the membership, to whom we are copying this letter, in an open, inclusive and transparent manner. We look forward to seeing you soon in Hong Kong.

Yours sincerely,


Amina Chawahir Mohamed
Chairman, General Council


Pascal Lamy