I regret that this morning's opening ceremony could not be held as scheduled. But a
successful working lunch of Ministers has just been held. The Plenary Session will begin
at 3.00 p.m. as scheduled. The negotiating groups are in full swing. This Conference will
be a success.
The United States of America,
like all free nations, has a history of peaceful protest. Peaceful protests have led to
important reforms and great achievements in the United States. Such protests have been
instrumental in leading to a process of dialogue and engagement that had paved the way for
achievement. But violence and destructive behaviour have never been part of that process.
is never an appropriate way to settle differences. I know that the violence comes from a
tiny segment who through such actions detract from those who have come here to
constructively protest. The World Trade Organization has sought in recent years to expand
its contacts with people from all segments of society. Our efforts at transparency have
not been perfect. More work needs to be done. But progress in this area can only be made
through constructive dialogue.
Seattle we have witnessed a very sad day. I urge all people here to show the maximum of
restraint in the coming days as we seek to reach an outcome which benefits working
families across the world. This is a Ministerial Conference. It is about the right of
Ministers to represent their people. I ask people here to respect the rights of the people
in other countries, in India, in Fiji and in South Africa to name only a few.