FOR A FREE, JUST AND EQUITABLE
MULTILATERAL TRADING SYSTEM:
PROVIDING A PARLIAMENTARY DIMENSION
Organised by the Inter-Parliamentary Union
Geneva, 8 and 9 June 2001
SUMMARY OF DECISIONS TAKEN BY THE PREPARATORY COMMITTEE
OF THE PARLIAMENTARY MEETING ON INTERNATIONAL TRADE
(Geneva, 23-24 February 2001)
- The Inter-Parliamentary Union will hold a Parliamentary Meeting on International Trade on 8 and 9 June 2001 at the International Conference Centre in Geneva.
- A brief opening ceremony will be held in the morning of 8 June, followed by three working sessions and a closing session in the afternoon of 9 June. In order to allow sufficient time for deliberations, sessions will start at 9.30 a.m. and finish at 6.30 p.m.
- The working sessions will be devoted to discussing the issue of international trade from the parliamentary perspective. The closing session will draw conclusions from the debate and consider follow-up measures.
- The overall theme of the Meeting will be "For a free, just and equitable multilateral trading system: Providing a parliparliamentary dimension".
- Each working session will deal with one distinct theme (see below) introduced by a panel composed of one non-parliamentary keynote speaker and two parliamentary panellists (one from a developing country and one from an industrialised country). Presentations by panellists will be followed by an interactive debate.
- Globalisation from a trade perspective: the role and action of parliament as a relay between government and the people
- WTO and the current international trading system: the role of parliaments in the field of legislation
- Parliamentary oversight with respect to future trade negotiations, particularly from the development perspective.
- The Secretary General of the IPU has been mandated to finalise the list of keynote speakers and parliamentary panellists on the basis of suggestions provided by members of the Preparatory Committee and bearing in mind the criteria of competence in trade-related questions, geographical and gender balance, language skills, and the actual availability of each prospective candidate.
- The President of the IPU Council, Dr. Najma Heptulla, will chair the Meeting and address the opening ceremony.
- The WTO Director-General, Mr. Mike Moore, will address the Meeting and will respond to questions from the participants.
- Participants in the Parliamentary Meeting will be:
- Delegations designated by IPU member Parliaments;
- Delegations designated by Parliaments of sovereign States that are members of WTO but are not represented in IPU;
- Delegations designated by IPU Associate Members.
- Every parliament will be urged to nominate MPs who are directly involved in parliamentary activities dealing with international trade, in particular with regard to multilateral trade negotiations.
- Observers in the Parliamentary Meeting will be:
- International organisations and official regional parliamentary associations and assemblies normally invited to IPU meetings as observers;
- Representatives of Governments of sovereign States that are members of WTO.
- The number of MPs in each national delegation should not exceed four. Observer delegations should be limited to two persons, with the exception of Palestine which is entitled to send a delegation of four delegates.
- At 9.30 a.m. on 7 June 2001, the day before the Meeting opens, the Preparatory Committee will convene once again to consider a possible draft declaration/statement by the President of the Meeting, as well as to finalise arrangements for the event. The preliminary draft declaration will be prepared by the Secretary General in consultation with the IPU Council President and members of the Preparatory Committee.
- As is customary for this kind of parliamentary event, the participants will not be invited to submit any memoranda or draft resolutions.
- WTO will provide some relevant background and information documents to participants in the Meeting.
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