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12th WTO Ministerial Conference 2022

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.


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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.

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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-
    • Pandemic,
    • 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 Conference and the Doha Development Agenda


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
MC3 Seattle 1999
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.
MC5 Cancun 2003
MC6 Hong Kong 2005
MC7 Geneva 2009
MC8 Geneva 2011
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


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