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WTO ministerial conference extends sessions in search of agreement


WTO ministerial conference extends sessions in search of agreement

Geneva, Jun 15 (Prensa Latina) The 12th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO) will extend its sessions until tomorrow, with the purpose of seeking agreement on issues such as fishing and anti-Covid-19 vaccine patents, it was reported today.

The meeting should have ended on Wednesday, but according to statements made to the press by spokesman Dan Pruzin, the prospects for concrete action in these areas are favorable and it was decided to continue the discussion, especially in small groups.

The day before, WTO Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala called on WTO members to make an extra effort to achieve convergence on the various issues at stake at the Conference.

Keep in mind that time is running out to conclude meaningful agreements, she said, referring to the long-awaited agreement on the reduction of harmful fishery subsidies, as well as the intention to reach consensus on the agriculture texts.

The directive urged the ministers to take decisions, given the possibility that this meeting, like the last one held in Argentina in 2017, will end in failure due to the lack of precise actions.

Several disagreements persist in the discussions, as countries such as Switzerland and the United Kingdom oppose the lifting of patents on immunogens against Covid-19, while others consider that the document should commit itself to much more than that.


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