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DG Okonjo-Iweala calls on WTO members to deliver tangible outcomes for LDCs at MC12

Delivering results at the 12th Ministerial Conference (MC12) to enable least-developed countries (LDCs) to become more resilient and more integrated into the global economy is critical for meeting sustainable development goals, Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala told Geneva-based ambassadors from LDCs on 16-17 September in Montreux, Switzerland. DG Okonjo-Iweala was speaking at the South-South Dialogue on LDCs and Development sponsored by China.

ICC Prosecutor Mr Karim A.A. Khan QC appoints Seventeen Special Advisers

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Sweden donates CHF 2 million to help developing countries strengthen negotiating skills

The government of Sweden has contributed SEK 19,200,000 (approximately CHF 2 million) in 2021 to help developing countries and least-developed countries (LDCs) play a more active role in multilateral trade negotiations. This donation to the WTO’s Global Trust Fund will finance training and other capacity-building activities for government officials to help them better understand and implement WTO agreements and to enhance their trade negotiating skills.

DDG Paugam: WTO rules no barrier to ambitious environmental policies

Speaking to a European Economic and Social Committee public hearing on 16 September regarding carbon border adjustment measures, Deputy Director-General Jean-Marie Paugam underlined that multilateral trade rules are no barrier to the adoption of ambitious environmental policies, provided that they do not discriminate between WTO members and are not disguised protectionism. DDG Paugam also stressed that the first best solution for addressing the issue of carbon “leakage” is a global agreement on carbon pricing. His remarks are below.

WTO, WIPO launch book on competition policy and IP in today’s global economy

Senior officials from the WTO and the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) launched a new book entitled “Competition Policy and Intellectual Property in Today’s Global Economy” on 16 September at a virtual event also attended by the editorial team and an international range of authors. The new publication looks at the positive linkage between intellectual property (IP) and competition in jurisdictions around the world, surveying developments and policy issues from an international and comparative perspective.

Trade Policy Review: Argentina

The fifth review of the trade policies and practices of Argentina takes place on 15 and 17 September 2021. The basis for the review is a report by the WTO Secretariat and a report by the Government of Argentina.

E-commerce talks: two “foundational” articles cleaned; development issues discussed

Participants in e-commerce negotiations welcomed two more clean articles — on open government data and online consumer protection — at a meeting on 13 September.

International organizations, vaccine manufacturers agree to intensify cooperation to deliver COVID-19 vaccines

The heads of the International Monetary Fund, World Bank Group, World Health Organization and World Trade Organization met with the CEOs of leading vaccine manufacturing companies to discuss strategies to improve access to COVID-19 vaccines, especially in low— and lower middle-income countries and in Africa. The Task Force expressed concerns that without urgent steps the world is unlikely to achieve the end-2021 target of vaccinating at least 40% of the population in all countries — a critical milestone to end the pandemic and for global economic recovery.

DDG Ellard stresses need to reduce trade barriers for environmental goods and services

On 14 September, Deputy Director-General Angela Ellard participated virtually in an “armchair dialogue” at the World Circular Economy Forum 2021, which explored how to transition to a circular economy in order to achieve the global climate and UN Sustainable Development Goals targets. DDG Ellard presented a vision of a circular economy that is global, safe and inclusive, and shared her views on how the WTO can help to achieve this vision. Her speaking points are below.