12th WTO Ministerial Conference extended by one more day

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Geneva [Switzerland], June 15 (ANI): The World Trade Organization (WTO) has announced the extension of its ongoing four-day ministerial by a day, till June 16.

The WTO 12th Ministerial Conference (MC12) that began on June 12 was scheduled to end on June 15.

This decision was to extend the high-level meeting till June 16, 3 pm was taken following consultations with the MC12 Chair, Vive Chairs and Minister Facilitators.

A day earlier Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO), Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala had proposed to extend the ministerial meeting in Geneva by another day.

The WTO’s 12th Ministerial Conference (MC12) started on June 12 and was scheduled to last on June 15 at WTO headquarters in Geneva.

However, after the proposal by DG WTO, it may continue till June 16. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is the first African official and the first woman to hold the position.

At the ongoing ministerial, India made a strong pitch for protecting the interests of the developing and under-developed countries at the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Union Minister of Commerce and Industry, Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution and Textiles, Piyush Goyal on Monday did some plain speaking at the 12th Ministerial Conference of the WTO in Geneva.

He raised concerns about the “skewed” WTO reforms proposal, the imperative need to retain the Special and Differential Treatment (S&DT) provisions for the developing world, global inequities in COVID vaccination and Public Stockholding of food grains, read Ministry of Commerce & Industry press statement.

He also highlighted the COVID-19 pandemic that exposed the inability of the world to promptly respond to any crisis, whether on food security or health, economic well-being or open supply chains. Goyal argued that while negotiating the fisheries subsidies, the livelihood of traditional fishermen cannot be compromised.

Further, a delegation of parliamentarians presented Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala with a statement on Tuesday, expressing strong support for the multilateral trading system and calling for the 12th Ministerial Conference (MC12) to act as a starting point for modernizing the WTO.

The statement was submitted to the DG by MEP Bernd Lange, Co-Chair of the Steering Committee of the Parliamentary Conference on the WTO, who was accompanied by three other members of the Committee.

Ministers from across the world use this event to review the functioning of the multilateral trading system, make general statements and to take action on the future work of the WTO. The Conference is 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 World Trade Organization (WTO) is the only global international organization dealing with the rules of trade between nations. At its heart are the WTO agreements, negotiated and signed by the bulk of the world’s trading nations and ratified in their parliaments.

The WTO has 164 members (including European Union) and 23 observer governments (like Iran, Iraq, Bhutan, Libya etc).

The structure of the WTO is dominated by its highest authority, the Ministerial Conference, composed of representatives of all WTO members, which is required to meet at least every two years and which can take decisions on all matters under any of the multilateral trade agreements. (ANI)

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