WTO seeks to trade in early 2022, despite postponing major meetings


Geneva — The World Trade Organization should be able to conclude negotiations on fishing subsidies and a response to the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2022, even after postponing this week’s ministerial meeting, the Secretary said Tuesday.

Ngozi Okonjoi Wara addressed a briefing on the day the Council of Ministers (MC12) is due to begin, postponing “all 48 hours” momentum, and Geneva-based trade groups are now back in action. Said that.

The WTO is considering reschedule the MC12 in early March after the MC12 has been postponed due to a coronavirus travel ban. Members are expected to discuss what to do next later this week.

Two of the most advanced negotiations are the reduction of subsidies to the fishing industry to save global fish inventories and the trade response to the COVID-19 pandemic on how to increase vaccine supplies, especially to low- and middle-income countries. It’s about offering.

India and South Africa have proposed to waive their intellectual property rights in COVID-19 vaccines and treatments, but face opposition from developed countries such as the European Union, the United Kingdom and Switzerland. They say it is better to use flexibility in existing WTO rules that allow countries to license local producers.

“We hope we can work now, come back after the holidays, and continue to at least finish our pandemic and fishing response early next year,” Okonjoi Wara said.

The WTO had to change its way of operation and the ambassador had to be given more power to make decisions, the Secretary said. It is also possible to use the minister’s virtual meeting to congratulate the text upon completion.

“We don’t know the trajectory of this pandemic, so we need to rethink our way of working … not everything is aimed at” wait for the minister. ” Then suddenly you start working hard and get results. “Okonjoi Wara said.