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Letter from 125 Civil Society Groups Worldwide Calling on the WTO to Cancel Exclusive “Mini-Ministerial”

Re: Using Non-inclusive Ministerials to Conclude the Doha Round

By Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch

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Dear Mr. Lamy, We are deeply concerned about your call for some Ministers to meet in Geneva in late April and early May. We are opposed to such a Mini-Ministerial meeting that could lead to critical decisions being made by only a handful of Ministers. It is now too late for the majority of Ministers to make their way to Geneva, especially when it remains unclear what the agenda of the meeting will be, and therefore unclear if it will be worth Ministers’ scarce financial resources and time. Therefore, we are calling on you as WTO Director General and chair of the TNC to cancel this ad hoc exclusive Ministerial-level gathering and ensure that all WTO member delegations are fully involved in any negotiations regarding the Doha Round. Your proposal at the recent TNC that “the establishment of modalities as foreseen by the Hong Kong Declaration will require some sort of Ministerial involvement during the last week of April, with a safety net beginning of May” contradicts your previously stated commitment to a bottom-up approach to the negotiations. Any negotiations or decision-making process that happens at the end of April or at any time should be all-inclusive, transparent, and with the full participation of all members, as per the WTO mandate.