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Charting a Path Forward: Beyond the WTO 12th Ministerial Conference
The postponement of the World Trade Organization (WTO) 12th Ministerial Conference (MC-12) has thrown a curveball at global efforts to advance negotiations on a broad range of critical trade issues. Nevertheless, work is continuing in Geneva on issues such as fisheries subsidies, pandemic response, including a potential WTO Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) for vaccines, e-commerce, sustainable trade, and reforming the WTO dispute settlement system.

Moreover, some progress has already been achieved, including the successful conclusion of negotiations on services domestic regulation, the announcement of shared commitments of three new environmental initiatives, and efforts to conclude e-commerce negotiations by the end of 2022. However, given the obstacles currently facing the global trading system, members will need to act swiftly to proceed with negotiations in other areas, and not wait for the postponed ministerial to commence. The WTO’s Director General, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has urged negotiations to continue with delegations in Geneva “fully empowered to close as many gaps as possible.”

Jan 25, 2022 09:00 AM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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