© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A brand is pictured exterior the World Commerce Group (WTO) in Geneva, Switzerland September 28, 2021. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse
By Emma Farge
GENEVA (Reuters) – The top of the World Commerce Group mentioned on Tuesday the 164-member physique might negotiate extra formidable agreements, resembling on agriculture, local weather change and inner reform at its subsequent main assembly, after concluding a sequence of commerce agreements in June.
The offers had been the primary for the commerce watchdog in years and included a fishing deal and one to extend the provision of COVID-19 vaccines, though there have been many compromises and a few areas stay unresolved. resolved.
“I imagine this (the Geneva package deal) will present a foundation for extra confidence that we are able to do multilateral work collectively,” Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala instructed Reuters on the opening of a discussion board at headquarters. of the WTO in Geneva.
“(It) gives a foundation of hope that we are able to transfer ahead and contemplate different troublesome points,” she mentioned, including that she hoped for agreements on sure topics by the following assembly. (MC13), scheduled for March 2024 on the newest.
One in every of these areas is updating the WTO’s personal guidelines.
The WTO’s high dispute settlement physique has been crippled since 2019, when Washington blocked the appointment of latest judges. Discussions are underway to restart it.
“I hope that at MC13 we will ship slices of the WTO reform agenda,” Okonjo-Iweala mentioned.
Delegates say one of the vital troublesome areas of future negotiations would be the extension of a hard-won settlement on a partial waiver of mental property rights for COVID-19 vaccines to medicine and exams, as requested by the India and others.
“What I really feel is it’ll be robust, however we now have a deadline to satisfy and we’re working exhausting,” she mentioned.
WTO members have reached an settlement to scale back subsidies that contribute to overfishing, however it can require two-thirds of nations to ratify. Okonjo-Iweala mentioned she hoped it might be carried out inside six to 9 months.