ELEVENTH WTO MINISTERIAL CONFERENCE

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In their joint statement, the group said they are “strongly supportive of the Multilateral Trading System and are concerned that the WTO is facing challenges” as it prepares for its important 11th Ministerial Conference (MC11) in Buenos Aires next December.

“In recent months, Members have submitted ideas and proposals both on longstanding negotiating issues and other topics as part of the preparatory process” for MC11, they noted. “However, to date, the political will to find compromises and to forge consensus is lacking. Even the legitimacy of discussing topics of interest to Members has been put into question.”

Other important functions of the WTO are also facing challenges, such as compliance with notification obligations and the functioning of the WTO’s dispute settlement system, the statement notes.

“We call on Members to safeguard the integrity of the open, rules-based Multilateral Trading System embodied in the WTO and to work together to ensure its sound functioning,” the group declared.  “The WTO continues to be essential to achieving inclusive and sustainable global growth and development, including through the further integration of LDCs (least developed countries) into world trade.” The full statement is available here.

Members endorsing the joint statement were Albania; Argentina; Australia; Bangladesh; Benin; Canada; Chile; Colombia; Costa Rica; the Dominican Republic; Ecuador; El Salvador; Ghana; Guatemala; Hong Kong, China; Iceland; Israel; Kazakhstan; Korea; Lao People’s Democratic Republic; Liechtenstein; Malaysia; Mexico; Montenegro; Moldova; Myanmar; New Zealand; Nigeria; Norway; Pakistan; Panama; Papua New Guinea; Paraguay; Qatar; the Russian Federation; Singapore; Sri Lanka; Switzerland; Chinese Taipei; Thailand; The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia; Tonga; Turkey; Ukraine; Uruguay; Vanuatu; and Viet Nam.

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