WTO Ministerial Conference 2022- Relevance for UPSC Exam
12th WTO Ministerial Conference: 12th WTO Ministerial Conference 2022 is being organized in Geneva. WTO Ministerial Conference is important for UPSC Exam as it will come under International Relations of UPSC Mains GS Paper 2 syllabus.
12th WTO Ministerial Conference in News
- The 12th ministerial conference (MC) of the World Trade Organization (WTO) is being held in Geneva.
- India said it will pitch for “fair, just and transparent discussions and outcome” at 12th WTO Ministerial Conference, amid persisting differences between the developing and the developed countries on a broad range of contentious issues.
Key Facts about 12th WTO Ministerial Conference 2022
- Background: MC12 was originally scheduled to take place in June 2020 in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan, but was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- In April 2021, members agreed that WTO Ministerial Conference 12 would take place in Geneva from 30 November to 3 December.
- However, an outbreak of a new highly transmissible strain of the COVID-19 virus and resulting travel restrictions led to a General Council decision on 26 November 2021 to postpone MC12 indefinitely.
- About: WTO Ministerial Conference 12 is being held on 12-15 June 2022 at WTO headquarters in Geneva.
- 12th WTO Ministerial conference would take place after a gap of four and half years. The last ministerial conference was held in Buenos Aires in December 2017.
- MC 12 Host: The 12th Ministerial Conference will be co-hosted by Kazakhstan and chaired by Mr Timur Suleimenov, Deputy Chief of Staff of Kazakhstan’s President.
- Important Agendas: The key areas of discussions and negotiations will include the 164-member WTO’s response to-
- Fishery subsidies,
- Agriculture issues, including public stockholding for food security,
- Reforms at the multilateral body and
- A moratorium on custom duties on electronic transmission.
WTO Ministerial Conferences
- About: WTO Ministerial Conference is the topmost decision-making body under the governance structure set up by the “Agreement establishing the WTO”.
- The WTO Ministerial Conference usually meets every two years.
- Participation: WTO Ministerial Conference brings together all members of the WTO, all of which are countries or customs unions.
- Scope of Decision Making: The Ministerial Conference can take decisions on all matters under any of the multilateral trade agreements.
List of WTO Ministerial Conferences
|Ministerial Conference (MC)||Place||Year||Important decision|
|MC1||Singapore||1996||Ministerial declaration on trade in information technology products:
Expansion of world trade in information technology products, which account for
80% of world trade in these products.
Singapore issues: transparency in government procurement, trade facilitation, trade and investment, and trade and competition.
|MC2||Geneva||1998||Declaration on Global Electronic Commerce: To establish a comprehensive work programme to examine all trade-related issues relating to global electronic commerce|
|MC4||Doha||2001||Doha Development Agenda (DDA): It covers negotiations on agriculture, Non-Agricultural Market Access (NAMA), services, dispute settlement, antidumping duties, subsidies, etc. Discussed separately below.|
|MC9||Bali||2013||Bali Package: The centrepiece of the package is a new agreement on trade facilitation aimed at reducing red tape, and facilitating customs procedures in an effort to cut down the cost of doing business.
Other — less far reaching — aspects of the deal focused on food security and a set of issues of particular interest to least developed countries including trade preferences or cotton subsidies.
|MC10||Nairobi||2015||Nairobi Package: It contains a series of six Ministerial Decisions on agriculture, cotton and issues related to least-developed countries.|
|MC11||Buenos Aires||2017||No consensus. Developed countries like US blocked a permanent solution on government stockholding for food security purposes, developing countries like India toughened its stand on new issues including e-commerce and investment facilitation.|
|MC 12||Geneva||2022||MC 12 is being held in Geneva|