I propose to take Questions Nos. 126, 128, 130, 131 and 134 together.
It is expected that the third ministerial meeting of the World Trade Organisation, scheduled to be held in Seattle from 30 November to 3 December 1999, will take the necessary decisions to launch a millennium round of trade negotiations in the WTO in 2000. The European Union has been, and is, engaged in the detailed work, within the WTO, preparing for these negotiations. Ireland has participated fully in the preparation of EU positions.
The EU is firmly convinced that a comprehensive trade round, involving a broad range of issues is the best way to address the challenges resulting from rapid and far-reaching economic changes, to manage properly and effectively the globalisation process, to promote equitable growth and development and to respond in a balanced manner to the interests of all WTO members, in particular the developing countries.
Eight rounds of trade liberalisation and strengthening of multilateral trade rules have made a major contribution to global prosperity, development and rising living standards. Since 1951, global trade has grown 17 fold, world production has more than quadrupled, and world per capita income has doubled. The multilateral system has helped a large number of developing countries to successfully integrate into the international economy and developing countries' share of world export trade has increased by almost 50 per cent over the past three years.