COMESA-SADC to meet to coordinate stances before Doha conference
Egypt-Regional, Politics, 7/28/2001
The two-day meeting to be held by Foreign Ministers of COMESA (common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa) and SADC (South African Development Community) starting on Monday aims mainly at coordinating African stances prior to the fourth ministerial conference of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) that will be held in Doha on September 9-13.
The African consultative meeting, at which Minister of Economy and Foreign Trade Youssef Boutros Ghali will lead Egypt's delegation, will be preceded by a three-day meeting by senior officials on Friday, according to ambassador Magda Shahin, assistant Foreign Minister for international affairs.
"The COMESA-SADC meeting comes in response to an initiative by President Hosni Mubarak at the latest COMESA summit in Cairo, and is part of Arab and African coordination efforts," she said.
"One of the most important requests that African countries will submit at the Doha conference is re-negotiating their rights in the pharmaceutical industry and other industries to be affected by intellectual property rights rules," Shahin noted.
She drew attention to the importance of striking balance between protecting patent rights and peoples' rights to have access to medicine and other public health requirements.
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