General Council accepts Mexico’s invitation

At its meeting in December 2001, the General Council agreed that Mexico would be the venue for the Fifth Session. Below is the text of the relevant part of the minutes of the meeting. You can also download the entire minutes of the meeting (MS Word format, 32 pages, 179 KB)

6 February 2002

The 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 offer.

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.