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WTO reform key agenda in next ministerial conference

Miraj Shams
30 Jan 2023 00:00:00 | Update: 30 Jan 2023 00:59:20
WTO reform key agenda in next ministerial conference

The reform process of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) will be the key agenda in the upcoming 13th ministerial conference (MC) of the world trade body.

Other key topics of the conference will be agriculture, trade and health, climate change and e-commerce, said WTO Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala after a meeting with Swiss Confederation President Alain Berset on January 26.

According to the WTO, they discussed the importance of multilateralism and the successful outcomes achieved at the WTO’s 12th ministerial conference in June 2022. They also discussed how to build on those positive results in preparing for the weeklong 13th ministerial conference, to be hosted by the United Arab Emirates in Abu Dhabi from February 26, 2024.

DG Okonjo Iweala complimented Switzerland for being the first WTO member to formally submit its acceptance of the WTO’s new agreement on fisheries subsidies on January 20, paving the way for this historic agreement to enter into force. The WTO’s 12th ministerial conference (MC12) took place in June 2022, at its headquarters in Geneva. Ministers from across the world attended the conference to review the functioning of the multilateral trading system, make general statements and take action on the future work of the global trade body.

The conference was co-hosted by Kazakhstan and chaired by Timur Suleimenov, deputy chief of staff of Kazakhstan’s president. Kazakhstan was originally scheduled to host MC12 in June 2020 but the conference was postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The 14th ministerial conference of WTO will be held in Cameroon, the world trade body said after a meeting of its general council. Trade ministers from WTO’s 164 members meet at ministerial conferences to discuss new global rules and challenges that the world economy faces. The WTO recently projected that global trade growth is expected to slow down in the closing months of this year and early next year.