DEPUTY DIRECTOR-GENERAL JEAN-MARIE PAUGAM
DDG Paugam outlined the WTO's pivotal role in opening up trade and strengthening the global trade environment. The WTO rulebook promotes market transparency, which is a “must-have to alleviate pressure on prices,” he said. The WTO is committed to keeping markets open and limiting trade restrictions to the extent possible, he added.
“If restrictions need to be implemented, dialogue with the affected countries, especially the most vulnerable ones, is essential to find solutions. The WTO Committee on Agriculture provides an effective forum for these discussions,” he said.
Furthermore, DDG Paugam pointed out the WTO's ongoing efforts to support the most vulnerable countries and to reform trade-distorting agricultural policies. Noting agriculture negotiations have been stalled for some time, he stressed the need to update, rebalance and “green” the existing commitments in the WTO rulebook.
In conclusion, DDG Paugam urged agriculture and trade ministers to work together to advance agriculture negotiations so that concrete results can be achieved at the next WTO Ministerial Conference slated for February 2024. He underlined the importance of finding a triple-win outcome for trade, food security and sustainability of food systems. “Coherence is essential to align all policy instruments, as stressed in the GFFA Ministerial Declaration,” he said.