Food security to be top of the agenda at WTO conference

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The fallout on food security from the war in the Ukraine will be at the forefront of discussions at the World Trade Organisation’s 12th Ministerial Conference, which takes place later today in Geneva and will run until 15 June.

The Russian blockade of grain exports from the Black Sea threatens global food supplies – but member states are taking differing approaches to dealing with Moscow.  While countries like the UK and USA are cutting commercial ties with Russia, other states, such as Turkey and India, are still very reliant on it for staples such as wheat and oil.

Ongoing debates about fishing rights and whether there should be patent protection wavers for Covid vaccines will also be on the agenda, as will potential changes to the operations of the WTO itself.

Leading up to the Conference, WTO Director-General, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, and Mr Sandagdorj Erdenebileg of the UN High Representative for Least-Developed Countries signed a partnership agreement yesterday in Geneva aimed at strengthening cooperation to boost the participation of least-developed countries in the global trading system.


This Conference will be co-hosted by Kazakhstan which was originally going to host the 12th Ministerial Conference in June 2020 which was postponed dure to the coivd-19 outbreak, and will be chaired by Mr Timur Suleimenov, Deputy Chief of Staff of Kazakhstan’s President.