Purpose

The Conference is organised primarily for parliamentarians who specialise in international trade issues.

It provides them with an opportunity to examine the main issues arising from the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and to obtain first-hand information on relevant subjects from WTO leaders.

The Conference also offers opportunities to exchange views and experiences with colleagues in other parliaments, to interact with government representatives directly involved in the process of multilateral trade negotiations, and to discuss with representatives of leading international agencies carrying out programmes in the field of international trade.

History

The Conferences were initiated by parliamentarians participating in the Fourth Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in Doha in November 2001. There they adopted a declaration calling for strengthening the transparency of the WTO through the greater involvement of parliaments.

The Post-Doha Steering Committee was established at the same meeting in order to prepare a parliamentary conference on trade issues. During the first two sessions, held in Brussels and in Geneva during 2002, a number of practical decisions were taken on the Conference.