To be officially opened by the President of the Republic of Indonesia, Soesilo Bambang Yudhoyono onTuesday, 3rd December, other speakers addressing the WTO Ministerial Conference will be: Conference Chairman, Indonesia's Trade Minister Gita Wirjawan; Director-General Roberto Azevêdo; and Chairman of the General Council, Ambassador Shahid Bashir (Pakistan).
Officers of the Conference are: Chairman: H.E. Gita Wirjawan (Indonesia); Vice-Chairs: H.E. François Kanimba(Rwanda); H.E. Stephen Green (United Kingdom); and H.E. Ms Magali Silva Velarde-Álvarez (Peru).
The Plenary Session will start at 9.30 am. Central Indonesia Time on Wednesday, 4th December and will continue over the following days. As at past Ministerial Conferences, the Plenary will provide an opportunity for Ministers to make prepared statements.
The Closing Session will take place at 3 pm. Central Indonesia Time on Friday 6th December.
Marking the fifth Ministerial Conference since the launch of the Doha Round of trade negotiation in 2001, the conference aims to finalize some key elements of the Round. The conference will address the following issues:
While not formally part of the Doha Round there are also other issues on the agenda for the meeting, the most important of these being the expansion of the WTO International Technology Agreement (ITA).
A successful outcome in Bali will give the WTO a needed boost of confidence as a trade negotiating forum. A successful outcome in Bali will also raise the question of what is next for the Doha Round—whether to conclude the outstanding issues on the Doha Round, introduce new trade issues for negotiation, or accept a period of stasis as countries seek to conclude mega-regional free trade agreements (FTAs) such as the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations and the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations.
The WTO Ministerial Conference is the topmost decision-making body of the World Trade Organization which regularly convenes every two years. It brings together all members of the WTO, all of which are countries or customs unions. The Ministerial Conference can take decisions on all matters under any of the multilateral trade agreements.
The WTO is run by its member governments. All major decisions are made by the membership as a whole or by their ambassadors or delegates (who meet regularly in Geneva). Decisions are normally taken by consensus. In this respect, the WTO is different from some other international organizations such as the World Bank and International Monetary Fund. In the WTO, power is not delegated to a board of directors or the organization’s head.
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