WTO -12th ministerial conference (MC12)

The 12th Ministerial Conference of World Trade Organization (WTO) started on June 12, 2022.

Highlights

  • It is being held at WTO headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.
  • The conference will be concluded on June 15, 2022.
  • It was due to take place in 2021 but got postponed due to covid-19 pandemic.

Agenda of the conference

  • Chief of World Trade Organization, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, expressed optimism that over 100 trade ministers would be achieving one or two global deals this week.
  • They will discuss about vaccine distribution, trade facilitation, export restrictions, and improved transparency in medical supply chains.
  • Saving Fish Stock- Apart from that, ministers would also take up the issue of fisheries sector, where there is anti-development text in fisheries subsidies.
  • Prohibitions (Temporary in nature) on customs duties on electronic transmissions will also be discussed.
  • Developed countries are likely to push a “WTO reform” agenda, which threatens the basis of WTO namely multilateralism and consensus.
  • Two members of WTO will also issue a joint declaration on improving gender-disaggregated data, for ensuring gender-mainstreaming and better trade policymaking in WTO’s development work.

Which countries are taking part?

Around 50 civil society from 22 countries are representing in person at MC12 namely Indonesia, India, Philippines, Pakistan, Ghana, Pacific Islands, Morocco, Malawi, Uganda, South Africa, Argentina, Zimbabwe, USA, Brazil, Uruguay, France, Belgium, Norway, Germany, Switzerland, Netherlands, and the UK.

What is WTO Conference?

WTO Ministerial Conference is the highest decision-making body of the WTO. This conference is usually held every two years. So far, 11 ministerial conferences have been held. Main purposes or objectives of the conference are listed below:

  1. Settle trade disputes between members
  2. Analyse trade policies of Member countries such as anti-dumping measures, subsidies, market access, agricultural policies, etc.

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