French-speaking countries prepare for Cancun conference

Paris- France (PANA) -- A meeting of top officials from French- speaking countries involved in the World Trade Organisation (WTO) talks opened here Wednesday with focus on the stakes of the Cancun (Mexico) conference for the French-speaking world.
The meeting holding under the auspices of the International Francophonie Agency (AIF) aims to define the priority actions of French-speaking countries in the WTO negotiations, on the eve of the Cancun conference scheduled for 11-14 September 2003.
At the opening ceremony, AIF general administrator Roger Dehaybe said the majority of French-speaking countries were poorly represented in Geneva, mainly in talks held essentially in English, hence were not well informed about the stakes of the international trade talks.
He recalled that during various consultations, these countries recommended that the AIF ensure better participation of French- speaking countries of the South, particularly Least Developed Countries (LDCs) in trade talks, and to focus more on the issue of cultural diversity.
About thirty African delegations led by top Trade ministry officials and representatives of international organisations such as the European Commission, the Africa, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) group and the WTO are taking part in the meeting in Paris, which continues through Friday.
Delegates from the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC), the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UMEOA) and the Indian Ocean Commission are also in attendance.

26 june 2003 19:26:00




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