Free Trade Area of the Americas - FTAA


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5 March 1999

Second Meeting of the Negotiating Group on Dispute Settlement

Miami, March 2 – 5, 1999

Press Communiqué

The second meeting of the Negotiating Group on Dispute Settlement of the FTAA (NGDS) was held in Miami between March 2 and 5. A list of participating countries is attached to this statement. Some delegates represented their respective sub-regional groups. The NGDS deliberations followed the points of the agenda, also attached.

The NGDS spent much of its time analyzing the elements of a dispute settlement system, in particular the scope, coverage and possible mechanisms. The discussion took into account the written submissions by the delegations. The identification of areas of commonality and issues, that will be subject to further discussion, started in this second meeting.

The Tripartite Committee informed the Group about the status of the Inventory on dispute settlement systems within the Hemisphere. During the next few months, comments on this document will be submitted by the delegations. The Inventory will be presented to the Group for its approval at its fourth meeting, in July 1999.

In fulfillment of its mandate and with the objective of facilitating and promoting the use of arbitration and other alternative dispute settlement procedures between private parties, it was agreed that a seminar on arbitration would be held during the next meeting of the Group.

The NGDS will meet again between May 4 and 7. The seminar would be on the first day of this meeting.

List of Participating Countries

Argentina    El Salvador
Bahamas    Guatemala
Bolivia    Jamaica
Brazil    Mexico
Canada    Panama
Chile    Paraguay
Colombia    Peru
Costa Rica    Uruguay
Dominican Republic    United States of America
Ecuador    Venezuela


Second Meeting of the Negotiating Group on Dispute Settlement

Miami, March 2 – 5, 1999


1. Approval of the Agenda.

2. Chairman’s report on the Trade Negotiations Committee (TNC) meeting in Suriname.

3. Report on the status of the Inventory of Dispute Settlement Mechanisms, Procedures and Legal Texts. Tripartite Committee (OAS)

4. Seminar on arbitration and other alternative dispute settlement methods. Proposal Tripartite Committee (OAS).

5. Analysis and discussion of the document "Guidelines for the work of the Negotiating Group on Dispute Settlement" in the following points:

Scope and Coverage

a. Parties in dispute
b. Cause of action before a DSS
c. One or several DSS structures within the FTAA.


a. Consultations
b. Mechanisms and procedures for assisted settlement.
c. DSS bodies (eventually)

6. Schedule of future meetings.

7. Press Communiqué

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