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No.214, Geneva, 2 December 2005 IPU Logo-bottom


In mid-December, the attention of the international community will focus on the sixth Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO), to be held in Hong Kong. The event will be the subject of intense scrutiny by the largest-ever gathering of members of parliament specialized in trade issues. Some 300 parliamentarians from 65 countries will attend the Hong Kong session of the annual Parliamentary Conference on the WTO, organized jointly by the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and the European Parliament.

The principal objective of the Parliamentary Conference is to make sure that the voice of the people's elected representatives is heard at the trade negotiations. "We will remind the negotiators of the imperative of reaching a successful outcome" declared the IPU President, Mr. Pier Ferdinando Casini, who is also the President of the Italian Chamber of Deputies. He added that "trade has a direct impact on the living conditions of people everywhere and on social stability, and it uniquely affects the development prospects of countries and regions. We can therefore not afford to fail".

The IPU President went on to state that "during our debate, we shall focus on what remains to be done to complete the Doha Development Agenda, and on how best to address the needs of the poor through trade. We shall also consider the issue of coherence between trade policy and other public policy challenges, and the efficiency with which parliaments carry out their oversight function vis-à-vis governments in the field of international trade."

The Conference will take place at the Harbour Plaza Hotel on 12 and 15 December 2005. The new WTO Director-General, Mr. Pascal Lamy, and several trade ministers will take part in the parliamentary session.

More information on the conference's web page

Established in 1889 and with its Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, the IPU, the oldest multilateral political organisation, currently brings together 143 affiliated parliaments and seven regional assemblies as associate members. The world organisation of parliaments has an Office in New York, which acts as its Permanent Observer at the United Nations.
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Contact for additional information or interviews:
In Geneva: Mrs. Luisa Ballin, IPU Information Officer
5, ch. du Pommier, CH - 1218 Le Grand-Saconnex / Geneva
Tel. +41 22 919 41 16/27
Fax: +41 22 919 41 60
E-mail: or

Mr. Sergueï Tchelnokov. IPU Officer in charge of the parliamentary conference.
Tel.: +41 22 919 41 41