In view of the forthcoming Hong Kong Ministerial Meeting of the WTO, to be held during 13-18 December 2005, civil society organisations which closely follow and monitor the developments of the multilateral trading regime consider it their responsibility to pursue the priorities and interests of LDCs in the current round of negotiations. The International Civil Society Forum on LDCs was organised in Dhaka during 3-5 October 2005 in view of the imperative to advance LDC interests in this context.
The Hong Kong Ministerial is an opportunity to address and highlight LDC concerns in view of the ongoing Doha Round negotiations on agriculture, NAMA, services, rules, trade facilitation and other development provisions. It is important that the Hong Kong Ministerial, in arriving at its decisions negotiated as part of the single undertaking, shows due sensitivity to the issue of marginalisation of the LDCs and the need to correct their asymmetric situation, and strives to make the Doha Round a truly ‘Development Round’.
The Dhaka LDC Forum 2005 was held to provide a platform for all relevant actors to come together, forge unity and voice their demands in view of the Hong Kong Ministerial Meeting.
The Forum was attended by 46 overseas participants from 25 countries of Asia, Africa, Europe and North America. More than 500 representatives from a large number of key national civil society institutions, eminent trade experts, development practitioners, leading business personalities, trade union activists and other civil society representatives participated in the two Panel Discussions, eight Working Sessions and the Inaugural and Concluding Sessions of the Forum. International Civil Society’s Dhaka Declaration 2005 for Advancing LDC Interests in the Sixth WTO Ministerial was adopted at the Concluding Session of the Forum on 5 October 2005.