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IPU Logo ANNUAL 2012 SESSION OF THE
PARLIAMENTARY CONFERENCE ON THE WTO

WTO Headquarters, Geneva (Switzerland), 15 and 16 November 2012
European Parliament's logo
Organized jointly by the Inter-Parliamentary Union and the European Parliament

The Parliamentary Conference on the WTO is a joint undertaking of the Inter-Parliamentary Union and the European Parliament. Its principal objective is to enhance external transparency of the WTO and hold this inter-governmental organization accountable to legislators as elected representatives of the people. The smooth running of this process is ensured by the Conference Steering Committee whose composition was partially renewed in May 2012.

The annual 2012 session of the Parliamentary Conference on the WTO took place on 15 and 16 November on the premises of the WTO, Centre William Rappard in Geneva. The overarching theme of the session was Back to basics: Connecting politics and trade.

The proceedings of the session are now available in the form of an electronic publication entitled "Highlights of the 2012 session of the Parliamentary Conference on the WTO". Containing numerous photos, the electronic publication includes full texts of main documents, speeches and presentations as well as extracts of the debate. The publication is available exclusively on-line and can be downloaded from the IPU website as a single PDF file or as a collection of separately accessible smaller-size files corresponding to individual sections.

Please use the links below to download the publication:
Download full text of the publication
 

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Updated on 6 December 2012   
SESSION DOCUMENTS
Outcome document HTML [English] [French]
PDF [English] [French]
List of participants PDF [Bilingual]
Opening speech of Senator Donald H. Oliver (Canada), member of the IPU Executive Committee PDF [English] [French]
Opening speech of the Vice-President of the European Parliament, Mr. Georgios PapastamkosPDF [English] [French]
Opening speech of Ambassador Shahid Bashir (Pakistan), Chairperson of the WTO Dispute Settlement Body PDF [English] [French]
Discussion paper on the substantive theme prepared by Mr. P.C. Chako (India)
PC-WTO/2012/2-R.1 (16 October 2012)
PDF [English] [French]
Discussion paper on the substantive theme prepared by Mr. P. Rübig (European Parliament)
PC-WTO/2012/2-R.2 (16 October 2012)
PDF [English] [French]
ProgrammePDF [English] [French]
Annotated provisional agenda HTML [English] [French]
PDF [English] [French]
InvitationPDF [English] [French]
Practical information notePDF [English] [French]
Registration formMS Word [Bilingual]
PDF [Bilingual]
On-line booking of hotel rooms through the Geneva Tourism OfficeHTML [English] [French]
Advance information letterPDF [English] [French]
Steering Committee of the ConferenceHTML [English] [French]
Rules of Procedure of the ConferenceHTML [English] [French]
PDF [English] [French]


RELATED SITES AND DOCUMENTS

Discussion paper co-authored by Mr. Pradeep Singh Mehta, Secretary General of CUTS International,
Member of the Panel designated by the WTO Director-General to define the future of tradeNew!
PDF [English] [French]
World Trade Organization
Committee on International Trade, European Parliament
WTO Public Forum 2012 "Is Multilateralism in Crisis?" (Geneva, 24-26 September 2012)
Parliamentary Panel within the framework of the WTO Public Forum 2011 (Geneva, 20 September 2011)
Annual 2011 session of the Parliamentary Conference on the WTO (Geneva, 21-22 March 2011))
Parliamentary Panel within the framework of the WTO Public Forum 2010 (Geneva, 16 September 2010)
Enlarged session of the Steering Committee of the Parliamentary Conference on the WTO (Geneva, 1 December 2009)
Annual 2008 session of the Parliamentary Conference on the WTO (Geneva, 11-12 September 2008)
Annual 2006 session of the Parliamentary Conference on the WTO (Geneva, 1-2 December 2006)
Hong Kong session of the Parliamentary Conference on the WTO (Hong Kong, 12 and 15 December 2005)
Brussels session of the Parliamentary Conference on the WTO (Brussels, 24-26 November 2004)
Cancún session of the Parliamentary Conference on the WTO (Cancún, 9 and 12 September 2003)
Annual 2003 session of the Parliamentary Conference on the WTO (Geneva, 17 and 18 February 2003)

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ANNOTATED PROVISIONAL AGENDA
1.  Adoption of the agenda
2. Debate on substantive theme.
  Trade as a tool of economic growth, job creation and poverty alleviation
 To bear fruit, trade policies must be shaped to reflect broader development objectives and be complemented by appropriate macroeconomic measures. How can legislators contribute to the formulation of integrated and coherent national trade, industrial, labour market and social policies? In times of economic crisis, can trade be a driver for prosperity?
3.Policy dialogue with members of the high-level panel designated by the WTO Director-General to define the future of trade.
  Analysing 21st century trade challenges
 In April 2012, the WTO Director-General mandated a panel of 12 world-renowned experts to discuss the state of the multilateral trading system, analyse the drivers of today’s and tomorrow's trade and examine the implications of open global trade in the 21st century. Although the panel’s prognosis will only be available in 2013, some members of the panel have agreed to meet with legislators to test some of their ideas among a parliamentary audience.
4. Hearing with the WTO Director-General
 It has become customary for the WTO Director-General to meet with parliamentarians specializing in international trade. During this interactive session, which is not unlike traditional parliamentary hearings, the Director-General will field questions and listen to brief comments from the delegates.
5. Panel discussion.
  Trade in services: Time for political decisions
 The services sector is not only important in its own right but can help improve efficiency and competitiveness in other sectors of the economy. Liberalization of trade in services is part and parcel of the Doha mandate, with a potential to yield gains for both developed and developing countries. This interactive panel will focus on the on-going discussion, the difficulties encountered in the negotiations on trade in services and on a possible role of parliaments in the efforts to accelerate the process.
6.Adoption of the outcome document
 At the end of the session, the participants will be invited to adopt an outcome document, the draft of which will be prepared by the Conference Steering Committee.

Updated on 16 November 2012   
PROGRAMME
THURSDAY, 15 NOVEMBER
09:00 - 12:30Pre-Conference session of the Steering Committee (in camera meeting, IPU Headquarters)
10:00 - 18:00Registration of participants
15:00 - 15:30Inaugural session
 
  • Senator Donald H. Oliver (Canada), Member of the IPU Executive Committee
  • Mr. Georgios Papastamkos, Vice-President of the European Parliament
  • Ambassador Shahid Bashir (Pakistan), Chairperson of the WTO Dispute Settlement Body
15:30 - 16:30Presentation of reports and interactive debate on substantive theme
Trade as a tool of economic growth, job creation and poverty alleviation
 Rapporteurs
  • Mr. Panacheril C. Chacko, MP (India)
  • Mr. Paul Rübig, Member of the European Parliament
  Discussants
  • Ms. Marion Jansen, Counsellor, WTO Secretariat
16:30 - 18:00 Policy dialogue with members of the high-level panel designated by the WTO Director-General to define the future of trade
Analysing 21st century trade challenges
  Moderator
  • Mr. Jörg Leichtfried, Member of the European Parliament
 Panelists
  • Mr. Pradeep Singh Mehta, Secretary General, CUTS International
  • Ms. Sharan Burrow, Secretary-General of the International Trade Union Confederation
18:00 - 19:30 Reception at the WTO
20:00 - 22:00Steering Committee (in camera meeting, IPU Headquarters)
 
FRIDAY, 16 NOVEMBER
10:00 - 11:00 Hearing with the WTO Director-General
11:00 - 13:00Continuation of interactive debate on substantive theme
Trade as a tool of economic growth, job creation and poverty alleviation
13:00 - 15:00Lunch break
15:00 - 16:30Panel discussion
Trade in services: time for political decisions
 Panelists
  • Ambassador Fernando De Mateo y Venturini, Permanent Representative of Mexico to the WTO, Chairperson of the Special Session of the Council for Trade in Services
  • Ambassador Joakim Reiter, Permanent Representative of Sweden to the WTO, Chairperson of the WTO Council for Trade in Services
  • Mr. Niccolò Rinaldi, Member of the European Parliament
  • Mr. Pascal Kerneis, Managing Director, European Services Forum
16:30 - 17:30 Conclusion of interactive debate on substantive theme
Trade as a tool of economic growth, job creation and poverty alleviation
17:30 - 18:00 Closing session: adoption of the outcome document
  Rapporteur
  • Mr. Benoît Ouattara, MP (Burkina Faso)

STEERING COMMITTEE

The Steering Committee of the Conference is currently composed of representatives of the following parliaments and international organizations:

Belgium, Benin, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Canada, China, Egypt, France, India, Japan, Jordan, Namibia, Panama, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, South Africa, Sweden, Uganda, United Kingdom, Uruguay, Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, European Parliament, Inter-Parliamentary Union, Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and World Trade Organization.


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