The WTO Mandate as contained in the 2001 Doha Ministerial Declaration

In November 2001, Trade Ministers at the WTO’s Fourth Ministerial Conference in Doha, Qatar, agreed to launch the “Doha Round” of negotiations and more specifically, to commence negotiations on a number of environment and trade issues. These negotiations are to be conducted “with a view to enhancing the mutual supportiveness of trade and environment

In accordance with paragraphs 31, 32 and 33 of the Doha Ministerial Declaration adopted on 14 November 2001, members of the WTO agreed, within their work programme, on a trade and environment mandate focusing on three related legal and policy areas: (i) clarifying the relationship between WTO rules and trade measures in MEAs; (ii) developing procedures for information exchange between MEA Secretariats and relevant WTO Committees and criteria for granting observer status; and (iii) liberalization of trade in environmental goods and services.

Since the beginning of the Doha Round negotiations, Trade Ministers met again several times in Cancún (2003), Honk Kong (2005) and Geneva (2008 and 2009), on the occasion of Ministerial Conferences, which are the WTO highest decision-making body as per the 1994 Marrakesh Agreements establishing the WTO. The Ninth Ministerial Conference is to be held in Bali in December 2013 to continue the trade negotiations launched in 2001.