Ministers from 44 WTO members issued a joint statement on 11 December underlining their support for the WTO and reaffirming the “centrality” of the rules-based multilateral trading system.

Eleventh WTO Ministerial Conference

“We, the Ministers from 44 developing and developed Members that are strongly supportive of the multilateral trading system, are concerned that the World Trade Organization is facing challenges,” they declared. “We reaffirm the principles and objectives set out in the Marrakesh Agreement Establishing the WTO and the centrality of the rules-based multilateral trading system.”

The group also said they “greatly value the WTO’s framework of rules, which has helped to foster international trade and development, facilitate the peaceful settlement of trade disputes, and served as a bulwark against protectionism. This has contributed to the strength and stability of the global economy.”

Signatories to the statement were: Argentina; Australia; Benin; Canada; Chile; Colombia; Costa Rica; Côte d’Ivoire; Dominican Republic; Guatemala; Hong Kong, China; Iceland; Israel; Kazakhstan; Korea; Kuwait; Laos; Liberia; Liechtenstein; Mauritania; Mexico; Montenegro; Myanmar; Moldova; New Zealand; Nigeria; Norway; Pakistan; Panama;  Paraguay; Peru; Qatar; the Russian Federation; Senegal; Singapore; Switzerland; Chinese Taipei; Thailand; the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia; Turkey; Ukraine; Uruguay; and Viet Nam.

The statement of support came on the second day of the WTO’s 11th Ministerial Conference (MC11) in Buenos Aires. The biennial meeting is bringing together hundreds of senior trade diplomats from the WTO’s 164 members to take stock of the progress made at the WTO in recent years and to discuss the future direction of the organization.

To read the text of the Ministerial Statement click here

Source: WTO

Image: WTO