THIS BRIEFING NOTE IS DESIGNED TO HELP JOURNALISTS AND THE PUBLIC
UNDERSTAND DEVELOPMENTS IN THE DOHA MINISTERIAL CONFERENCE. WHILE
EVERY EFFORT HAS BEEN MADE TO ENSURE THE CONTENTS ARE ACCURATE, IT
DOES NOT PREJUDICE MEMBER GOVERNMENTS' POSITIONS.
Ministerial briefing notes
> 14 November
The chairman's words
> 12 November
18 & 20 May 1998
30 Nov–3 Dec.1999
UPDATE 23:30 QATAR
TIME: The chairman reported at the 23:00 meeting that consultations
had been taking place, good progress had been made, but it has been
very difficult to resolve remaining differences. He said he hoped to
have revised drafts in as short a time as possible, and that he would
reconvene the informal meeting of heads of delegation. He said he
could not say when this would take place.
Heads of delegations met informally from 14:45 Qatar time (11:45 GMT)
to 17:30 to discuss the latest drafts which conference chairman,
Qatari Finance, Economy and Trade Minister Youssef Hussain Kamal, had
circulated in the morning (see below).
Kamal, said he would reconvene the heads of delegations at 23:00 “at
the latest”. In the meantime, he and the “friends of the chair”
(see explanation in 10 November
would continue consultations in various formats.
chairman said the drafts had been carefully written, based on lengthy
consultations, and attempt to reflect the views of all 142 members.
They are only intended to launch a work programme — which includes
negotiations — not to describe the outcome, he said. And because
they are attempts at compromise, they cannot offer any delegation
everything it wanted.
heads of delegations meetings guarantee the entire process includes
all member governments and is transparent, he said.
50 delegations spoke, some on behalf of groups of countries. They
commented on a range of subjects, including agriculture, market access
for non-agricultural products, trade and investment, trade and
competition policy, trade facilitation, transparency in government
procurement, developing countries’ issues, and textiles.
delegations welcomed the near-agreement on the draft declaration on
intellectual property and health, although a few delegations commented
on some key words in the text.
shortly after 11:00 Qatar time (8:00 GMT) 13 November, ministers
received the latest drafts of the ministerial declarations and
decisions in the first informal Heads of Delegation meeting of the
day. This followed continuing consultations through the night.
Kamal said all delegations had had an opportunity to participate in
the consultations on the new drafts. Director-General Mike Moore
outlined key points of the drafts. He said the draft on intellectual
property and health is close to agreement but some problems remain on
some other issues.