Senior capital-based government officials from all WTO members will be invited to Geneva on 23-24 October to provide the “necessary political push” and “help solve specific problems” to advance work in preparation for the ministerial conference. “If we get this right, it will be a boost for a successful MC13,” DG Okonjo-Iweala said.

MC13 is due to take place in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, during the week of 26 February 2024.

The DG noted that the senior official meeting will provide an opportunity “to take stock of where we are” and identify “the challenges, gaps and opportunities.” She called on capital-based government officials to come to Geneva not with “well-known positions”, but with “realistic expectations of what is truly doable” for MC13."

Calling on members to redouble efforts to formally accept the Fisheries Subsidies Agreement, DG Okonjo-Iweala said: “I have received 14 instruments of acceptance, putting us close to one-third of what we need for the Agreement to enter into force by MC13. This is very encouraging progress, and I truly believe we can do it. … These ratifications send an important signal that members are willing to get this done.”

Two-thirds of WTO members must formally accept the Protocol of the Agreement for it to come into force. The list of members that have deposited their instruments of acceptance with the WTO can be found here.

The DG's intervention was preceded by update reports from the chairs of the WTO negotiations on fisheries subsidies (Ambassador Einar Gunnarsson of Iceland), trade and agriculture (Ambassador Alparslan Acarsoy of Türkiye), trade and development (Ambassador Kadra Hassan of Djibouti) and trade in services (Ambassador Zhanar Aitzhan of Kazakhstan).




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