In the run-up to the 5th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO), which will take place in Cancun, Mexico from September 10 to 14 September, the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) will gather Arab ministers concerned with trade issues in a meeting to be held on July 24-25 at the United Nations House, Riad Solh Square, Beirut.
The Meeting, which will be opened by Lebanese Deputy Prime Minister Issam Fares, aims to clarify the position of Arab countries on issues under discussion in the WTO 5th Ministerial Conference. It also aims to discuss the progress made in the current negotiations in WTO and the relevant issues of priority concern to Arab countries including energy services.
The Arab Ministerial Meeting, organized in cooperation with the World Bank, the League of Arab States (LAS), the International Development Research Centre-Canada (IDRC) and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), will be preceded by an expert group meeting to be held under the auspices of Lebanese Minister of Economy Marwan Hamade on July 24-25.
The Expert Group Meeting will focus on diverse issues, including progress made in negotiations on the Doha Agenda and issues of priority to Arab countries, in order to prepare a general framework of issues in the multilateral trading system.
It is worth noting that 11 Arab countries, Mauritania, Morocco, Djibouti, Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Jordan are WTO members. Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Algeria, Yemen and Lebanon are in process for WTO accession, and Libya, Iraq, Comoros, Somalia and Palestine have not submitted their accession demand.
Syria submitted its demand following the Arab Ministerial Meeting organized by ESCWA at the UN House, Beirut, prior to the WTO 4th Ministerial Conference held in Doha, Qatar in November 2001. — (menareport.com)
© 2003 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )