Over four days, participants in the seminar learned about current issues at the WTO and global trade first hand. The topics covered included preparations for the Ministerial Conference in Geneva from 30 November to 3 December, the negotiations on fisheries subsidies and agriculture, and the joint initiatives on e-commerce, investment facilitation for development and services domestic regulation. There were also presentations on the relationship between trade and the environment, and on trade facilitation policies.
The involvement of Latin American Members in the Organization was apparent with the participation of four ambassadors: Ambassador Dacio Castillo of Honduras, Chair of the General Council, Ambassador Gloria Abraham Peralta of Costa Rica, Chair of the agriculture negotiations, Ambassador Santiago Wills of Colombia, Chair of the fisheries subsidies negotiations, and Ambassador Mathias Francke of Chile, Coordinator of the negotiations for an agreement on investment facilitation for development.
Jaime Coghi of Costa Rica, Chair of the negotiations on services domestic regulation, and Manuel Chacón of Colombia, a participant in the e-commerce negotiations, briefed journalists on the progress of these joint initiatives. Journalists were also briefed on the role of intellectual property vis-à-vis COVID-19 and how the WTO and other stakeholders can help to ensure safe and rapid access to vaccines and other medical products needed to combat the pandemic.
The seminar enjoyed logistical support from the Institute for Training and Technical Cooperation (ITTC) and also included meetings with representatives from the Quaker United Nations Office to discuss trade and environmental sustainability, as well as the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) to discuss trade facilitation.
The participating journalists work in the written press, radio and television in the following countries: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay.