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World Trade Organization Ministerial Conference of 1999 is located in Earth
Location of Seattle

The WTO Ministerial Conference of 1999 was a meeting of the World Trade Organization, convened at the Washington State Convention and Trade Center in Seattle, Washington, USA, over the course of three days, beginning November 30, 1999. A week before the meeting, delegates admitted failure to agree on the agenda and the presence of deep disagreements with developing countries.[1] Intended as the launch of a new round of trade negotiations that would have been called "The Millennial Round", the negotiations were marred by poor organization and controversial management of large street protests.[2] Developing country representatives became resentful and uncooperative on being excluded from talks as the United States and the European Union attempted to cement a mutual deal on agriculture. The negotiations collapsed and were reconvened at Doha, Qatar, in November 2001. The Doha venue enabled on-site public protest to be excluded. Necessary agenda concessions were made to include the interests of developing countries, which were learning how to form their own powerful negotiating blocs. Thus, the current round is called the Doha Development Round.

Anti-globalization activists made headlines around the world in 1999, when they forced the Seattle WTO Ministerial Conference of 1999 to end early with direct action tactics. The goal that they had, shutting down the meetings, was directly accomplished by placing their bodies and other debris between the WTO delegates and the building they were meant to meet in. Activists also engaged in property destruction as a direct way of stating their opposition to corporate culture.

See also


  1. ^ "Pascal Lamy, EU trade commissioner, said yesterday there was a serious risk that the meeting would be unable to launch a world trade round. However, Mike Moore, WTO director-general, said he was still confident that next week's talks would not fail. Weeks of negotiations in the WTO have been unable to bridge deep disagreements, particularly over agriculture and developing countries' concerns about their WTO obligations." —David Wighton World leaders resist joining Seattle talks, Financial Times, 24 Nov 1999
  2. ^ "''Week of division on and off streets''–London Guardian, 4/12/1999". Guardian. Retrieved 2009-07-13.  

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