MINISTERIAL CONFERENCES

Information for the media

On 1 March 2021 WTO members agreed that the Twelfth Ministerial Conference (MC12) would take place in Geneva, Switzerland and later agreed on 30 November — 3 December as the dates for the meeting.  MC12 was originally scheduled to take place from 8 — 11 June 2020 in Kazakhstan's capital, Nur-Sultan, but was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. MC12 will be chaired by Kazakhstan's Minister of Trade and Integration, Bakhyt Sultanov.

Important Notice: 

COVID-19 continues to be a concern and the WTO will follow the health requirements and guidelines of the Swiss authorities.  While preparations are taking place on the basis that journalists will be able to attend in person, please be aware that the situation can change rapidly and that limits may be placed on physical participation if circumstances require. Please refer back to this page for updates.

Accreditation

Members of the media who wish to attend MC12 can now apply for accreditation. The deadline for receiving applications is 16 November 2021 (midnight, CET).

Before submitting the details for accreditation, media representatives are requested to make sure they fulfil the criteria specified on the WTO website. Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have a separate accreditation process. Delegations should apply through their designated channels.

Journalists and other media representatives are required to submit a scanned copy of the letter of assignment from their editor on an official letterhead and a passport photo. Once the application has been considered, a confirmation letter will be sent by e-mail.

A detailed explanation of the media accreditation procedure is available here.

Attendees may only be accredited as either journalists, NGO representatives or delegates. Attempts to gain accreditation as multiple categories will be detected by the system and declined.

Accreditation for attending MC12 does not automatically grant entry into Switzerland and a visa might be required. Information on visa requirements to enter Switzerland is available here.

Events open to the media

The following events will be open to accredited journalists.  These events will be webcasted on the WTO website:

  • All press conferences and media background briefings .
  • Opening session
  • Plenary session — speeches by ministers
  • Closing session

Please note that due to space restrictions, a limited number of places will be available to journalists who wish to attend the Opening and Closing sessions in person. Further information will be communicated at a later stage.

Background information

The Ministerial Conference is the WTO's top decision-making body. The Marrakesh Agreement establishing the organization instructs members to hold one at least every two years. The event is attended by trade ministers and other senior officials from the 164 members of the organization.

Typically at these gatherings, ministers review the current work of the WTO, take decisions on issues which the WTO delegations have put before them and on occasion take action to bring new members into the WTO.

For more details, check on news about the Ministerial Conference.

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