The role and responsibilities of parliamentarians scrutinizing world trade talks were stressed at the opening of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Parliamentary Conference in Bali, Indonesia on Monday by MEP and conference co-chair Vital Moreira. His co-chair, Phairoj Tanbanjong of the Thai parliament, stressed that multilateral trade must be governed by ethical criteria such as equity, sustainability and transparency. The conference is taking place on 2 and 5 December.
"I emphasize the special role that parliamentarians play in the process of international trade negotiations. As representatives of our peoples, we are well placed to take on board their concerns when scrutinizing legislation. We have a responsibility to do this, as well as a responsibility to explain to the public at large the issues at stake”, said Mr Moreira in his opening speech to some 250 parliamentarians from across the world.
The WTO Parliamentary Conference, co-organised by the European Parliament and the Inter-Parliamentary Union, is important for "creating legitimacy in the global trade system", he added.
The mission of parliaments in world trade negotiations is to “make the trading system work for the poor” said conference co-chair Phairoj Tanbanjong of the Thai Parliament. The parliamentary tradition and role is to focus "first and foremost on our fellow human beings. We must therefore strive to ensure that multilateral trade relations are governed by ethical criteria and guided by equity, sustainability and transparency", he explained.
The WTO Parliamentary Conference has brought together 250 parliamentarians from across the world to debate world trade issuessuch as bilateralism versus multilateralism with ministers and senior WTO officials and vote an outcome document setting out a political message for government trade negotiators.
European Parliament at WTO 9th Ministerial
Ten Members of European Parliament are attending the WTO 9th Ministerial Conference to make the case for strengthening the role of elected representatives in world trade and help to prevent a breakdown in multilateral trade talks. Chaired by Vital Moreira (Portugal), the other members of the delegation are from Germany (Daniel CASPARY, Helmut SCHOLZ), Austria (Paul RÜBIG, Jörg LEICHTFRIED), Lithuania (Laima Liucija ANDRIKIENĖ), Romania (Iuliu WINKLER), France (Henri WEBER), Italy (Niccolò RINALDI), and the UK (Robert STURDY).
Info for journalists
A press conference following the conclusion of WTO Parliamentary Conference on Thursday 5 December 18.30 (Bali time) will be held at the WTO Press Center, Room "Mengwi 6.7".