WTO members agree on key issues at ministerial conference

Members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) have agreed on key issues such as pandemic response, TRIPS (Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights) waiver related to Covid-19, food security, World Food Programme Food Purchases Exemption, fishery subsidies, e-commerce and WTO reforms.

The agreement came as the 12th Ministerial Conference (MC12) concluded on Friday at the WTO headquarters in Geneva, reports Xinhua news agency.

These multilateral outcomes are achieved in the form of ministerial declaration and ministerial decision.

WTO Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said that she is “delighted” and “excited” about the outcomes of the MC12, which proves that “WTO can deliver multilateral outcomes”.

Through the joint efforts of all WTO members, the MC12 has made breakthroughs on a number of key issues, demonstrating that the multilateral trading system can play a key role in addressing global challenges, she said.

The Ministerial Conference, which is attended by trade ministers and other senior officials from the organization’s 164 members, is the WTO’s highest decision-making body, and is generally held every two years.

The MC12, which opened Sunday, was extended by a day, in order to facilitate outcomes on the main issues under discussion.

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