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World Trade Organization — Latest news
  • Items proposed for consideration at the next meeting of Dispute Settlement Body
    The WTO Secretariat has circulated a meeting notice and list of items proposed for the next meeting, on 16 July 2019, of the Dispute Settlement Body, which consists of all WTO members and oversees legal disputes among them. The meeting notice is circulated in the form of a document officially called an “airgram”.

  • Azevêdo: WTO reform is already happening
    At a meeting of the full WTO membership on 19 July, Director-General Roberto Azevêdo reported on the debate about reform of the WTO. He said that discussions focused on three areas: addressing issues in the Dispute Settlement System, including the impasse in appointments to the Appellate Body; strengthening the work of the WTO’s regular bodies; and improving the WTO’s negotiating work. He also urged delegations to show flexibility in the ongoing negotiations to limit harmful fisheries subsidies, and to start identifying realistic deliverables for next year’s Ministerial Conference in Kazakhstan.

  • DG Azevêdo welcomes progress in discussions on investment facilitation
    Speaking at a meeting of the Structured Discussions on Investment Facilitation for Development on 18 July, Director-General Roberto Azevêdo welcomed the progress made in the talks to date and commended participants for advancing in an open, transparent and inclusive manner. He said the discussions have succeeded in enhancing participants’ understanding of the growing linkages between trade and investment and how investment serves as a catalyst for trade. This is what he said:

  • “WTO Ministerial Conferences: Key Outcomes” book launch
  • New book highlights key outcomes from WTO Ministerial Conferences
    A new book containing all the key results from WTO Ministerial Conferences since the organization was established in 1995 was unveiled at the WTO on 18 July. Spanning 11 Ministerial Conferences held between 1996 and 2017, “WTO Ministerial Conferences: Key Outcomes” includes Ministerial Decisions and Declarations as well as Conference Chairpersons’ statements. The publication also reproduces relevant ministerial outcomes from the Uruguay Round of trade negotiations adopted in connection with the establishment of the WTO.

  • WTO members prepare for intensified fisheries subsidies negotiations in September
    At the 8-12 July meetings on fisheries subsidies of the Negotiating Group on Rules, WTO members endorsed working papers and the schedule of meetings for September to December in preparation for intensifying work for the rest of the year. Heads of WTO member delegations commented positively on fresh efforts to forge compromises at a later meeting on 17 July but also noted that a lot still needs to be done if members are to meet the end-2019 target for a successful outcome.

  • STDF responding to needs of developing countries in building SPS capacity, evaluation says
    The Standards and Trade Development Facility (STDF) is responding to the needs of developing countries by improving their capacity to meet sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) standards and to unlock trade opportunities, according to an independent evaluation published on 17 July 2019. The report covers the performance of the STDF over the last five years.

  • WTO launches “Trading for Impact” video contest
    The WTO is inviting young people to take part in a video contest aimed at showcasing their stories, hopes and aspirations for world trade. The winners will be announced at the WTO’s Public Forum to be held from 8 to 11 October in Geneva. All videos must be submitted by 30 August 2019.

  • DDG Agah: International community must redouble efforts to help meet SDGs
    Speaking at the United Nations’ High-level Political Forum on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in New York on 16 July 2019, Deputy Director-General Yonov Frederick Agah called for greater cooperation among international organizations to help revitalize the global partnership for development and to deliver the SDGs. His remarks were delivered at a side-event co-organized with the UN Conference on Trade and Development and the International Trade Centre to discuss progress on making trade better contribute to sustainable development.

  • DDG Wolff: The opportunity for reform of the trading system must not be squandered
    Speaking at an event held at the Banque de France Conference Centre in Paris on 16 July to mark the 75th Anniversary of the Bretton Woods Agreements, Deputy Director-General Alan Wolff called on leaders to ensure “open trade under agreed global rules is an essential part of a revitalized international economic order that can continue to deliver the benefits that its founders envisioned”. An opportunity for reform of the WTO has been created, he said, which should result in the creation of an updated and strengthened multilateral trading system.

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