12th WTO ministerial meet in Geneva: Members reach historic agreement The World Trade Organization ministers reach historic agreements on response to fishing subsidies, food insecurity and Covid-19 vaccines in a landmark bundle of agreements secured through hectic round-the-clock talks.
June 17, 2022 / 12:59 PM IST
The World Trade Organization ministers reach historic agreements June 17 on response to fishing subsidies, food insecurity and Covid-19 vaccines in a landmark bundle of agreements secured through hectic round-the-clock talks. With ministers struggling to conclude agreements on each topic separately, countries began making trade-offs in a bid to get several measures through in a grand bargain. (Image: Twitter @wto)
The talks at the global trade body's Geneva headquarters began on June 12 and were due to wrap up on June 15. But instead the WTO's 164 members went straight through on into Friday, finally concluding at around 5:00 am (0300 GMT). (Image: AP)
"Not in a long while has the WTO seen such a significant number of multilateral outcomes,” the WTO director-general Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said. "The package of agreements you have reached will make a difference to the lives of people around the world. The outcomes demonstrate that the WTO is in fact capable of responding to the emergencies of our time." (Image: AP)
“WTO members have for the first time, concluded an agreement with environmental sustainability at its heart,” Okonjo-Iweala said. “This is also about the livelihoods of the 260 million people who depend directly or indirectly on marine fisheries.” “The TRIPS waiver compromise will contribute to ongoing efforts to concentrate and diversify vaccine manufacturing capacity so that a crisis in one region does not leave others cut off,” said Okonjo-Iweala of the waiver of intellectual property protections.
"I think India has received 100 percent success. There is not one issue for which we need to return to India with any kind of worry," the Union Minister of Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal said while addressing media on June 17 after WTO's 12th Ministerial Conference in Geneva. "We succeeded in bringing regulation for those who indulge in illegal fishing or catch fish but don't report it or those who work outside regulation - indulging in illegal, unregulated, unreported fishing," he added. (Image: AP)
"Some countries are experts in this. They are responsible for finishing the fish across the world, with deep-sea fishing. India succeeded in bringing a regulation for them. This is a major victory for India," Piyush Goyal said. (Image: AP)
"There's now a package on the table at (the ministerial conference) that would provide a real boost to the credibility and strength of the WTO system," said John Denton, Secretary General of the International Chamber of Commerce, before the package passed. (Image: AP) (With inputs from AP and AFP)