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NGO Involvement In WTO Meeting In Qatar

Non-Government Organisation Involvement In World Trade Organisation Meeting In Qatar

New Zealand groups should take advantage of the World Trade Organisation's plans to involve non-government organisations in dialogue on issues to be discussed at its November ministerial meeting in Doha, Trade Negotiations Minister Jim Sutton said today.

He said the WTO was to run a summit in Geneva from 5-7 July for NGOs to get together with WTO officials and delegations to debate, comment and question key issues confronting the world trading system.

"This shows a commitment from the WTO to engage with all parties."

Mr Sutton said this development showed the benefits of having Mike Moore heading the WTO.

"He's doing a great job and we should be proud of him. This sort of initiative should show those opposed to the WTO that there is unprecedented commitment on the part of the Director-General, as there is from this Government, to conduct trade negotiations in as open and consultative a manner as possible.

"I encourage NGOs in New Zealand to take up the challenge and make sure they air their views".

Mr Sutton said he was also hopeful that there would be excellent representation by New Zealand NGOs at the Doha meeting.

"I encourage all considering attending to register their intention by the 2 July registration deadline."

Registration information about next month's NGO symposium and the WTO ministerial meeting in November is available on the WTO website ( www.wto.org).

It is also linked through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade's website (www.mfat.govt.nz).


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