Inter-Parliamentary UnionIPU Logo-top
    Press ReleaseIPU Logo-middle
No.216, Geneva, 15 December 2005 IPU Logo-bottom


"We urge ministers to confirm their commitment to the conclusion of the Doha Development Round by the end of 2006" declared the nearly 400 delegates of national parliaments from 69 countries who met in Hong Kong at the invitation of the Inter Parliamentary Union (IPU) and the European Parliament.

"The Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO) cannot fail, otherwise we risk chaos - a situation where everybody is against everybody else" emphasized the IPU President, Mr. Pier Ferdinando Casini, who is also the President of the Italian Chamber of Deputies.

Belgian member of parliament Geert Versnick and Euro-Parliamentarian Enrique Baron Crespo, the two co-Chairs of the Steering Committee of the Parliamentary Conference on the WTO, called on heads of State and government, ministers and trade negotiators "to show vision and leadership and pledge full support for a fair multilateral trading system which reduces poverty and brings benefits to developing and developed countries alike".

Voicing the concerns of their constituents, the legislators, who are in Hong Kong in conjunction with the Sixth Ministerial Conference of the WTO, reminded trade negotiators that the lives and livelihoods of literally hundreds of millions of persons depend on the achievement of balanced, fair and equitable results in multilateral negotiations. In the view of the parliamentarians, "The attainment of the Millennium Development Goals, whose implementation is already at risk, would be further jeopardized by protracted blockage".

At the end of their deliberations, the parliamentarians adopted a Declaration.

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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Mr. Sergueï Tchelnokov. IPU Coordinator of the Parliamentary Conference on the WTO.
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