The Seattle Ministerial Conference, 1999

image of The Seattle Ministerial Conference, 1999

The principal lesson from the failure of the talks at the Seattle Ministerial in November 1999 was that ministers could not possibly negotiate on the broad agenda, covering many sensitive topics, that was now before the WTO (and would continue until CancĂșn) without detailed preparation at the WTO in Geneva. This advance preparation would need to clarify the extent of the commitments that might be required when the negotiations were concluded. The various distractions and disagreements which arose during the preparatory period for the Ministerial Conference had hindered this process of preparation to the extent that ministers did not feel confident about launching negotiations.

Related Topics: The WTO
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