13 June 2022

On the opening of the 12th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization in Geneva

The 12th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO), a meeting of the WTO’s highest governing body, is being held in Geneva (Switzerland) from June 12 to 15 this year.

The event is attended by trade ministers of WTO member countries and observer states, as well as heads of international organizations.

On June 12 of this year, the opening ceremony and plenary session were held within the framework of the program, during which topical issues of the multilateral trading system were discussed, including the fight against the consequences of the coronavirus, refusal to apply the provisions of the Agreement on Trade Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) in the production of vaccines against various strains of COVID-19, agricultural development, optimization of subsidies for fisheries, reform of WTO activities and others.

In his online speech during the Ministerial Conference, Deputy Prime Minister – Minister of Investment and Foreign Trade S. Umurzakov noted the important role of the WTO in combating the consequences of the coronavirus, solving the food crisis, developing agriculture and strengthening the multilateral trading system.

The absolute priority of Uzbekistan’s accession to the WTO as one of the main directions of the country’s foreign economic policy in the framework of the New Uzbekistan Development Strategy for 2022-2026 was emphasized.

In addition, readiness was voiced to actively promote the process of accession of Uzbekistan to the WTO, including during the upcoming 5th meeting of the Working Group of the Organization, which will be held on June 21-22 of this year.

Also, on the sidelines of the Ministerial Conference chaired by Uzbekistan, a regular meeting of the Informal Group of Countries Joining the WTO (IGAG) was held at the level of heads of ministerial delegations. Within its framework, topical issues of the joining countries were discussed. There was a practical exchange of experience and views on the key challenges and challenges faced by candidate countries in the process of negotiating accession to the Organization.

For reference: the Ministerial Conference is the highest body of the WTO. Meetings of the ministerial conference are held in accordance with article 4 of the “Marrakech Agreement on the Establishment of the World Trade Organization” of April 15, 1994 every two years or more often. To date, 11 conferences have been held.