The 12th World Trade Organisation Ministerial Conference Concludes

WTO members successfully concluded the 12th Ministerial Conference (MC12) in Geneva on 17th June after several days of intense negotiations securing multilateral outcomes on a series of key trade initiatives dubbed the “Geneva Package”. This package consists of a series of unprecedented decisions on fisheries subsidies, WTO response to emergencies, including a waiver of certain requirements concerning compulsory licensing for COVID-19 vaccines, food safety and agriculture, and WTO reform.

According to the Hon E. P Chet Greene, Minister of Foreign Affairs, “the package achieved reaffirms the critical importance of the multilateral trading system including the pertinent roles of the WTO and international trade in addressing some of the world’s most pressing issues and providing global solutions.”

The package adopted by members include: 

  • A Ministerial Declaration on the Emergency Response to Food Insecurity;
  • A Ministerial Decision on World Food Programme (WFP) Food Purchases Exemptions from Export Prohibitions or Restrictions; 
  • A Ministerial Declaration on the WTO Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic and Preparedness for Future Pandemics;
  • A Ministerial Decision on the Agreement on Trade-related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights;
  • A Decision on the E-commerce Moratorium and Work Programme; and
  • An Agreement on Fisheries Subsidies.

Additionally, ministers adopted two decisions, firstly, on the Work Programme on Small Economies and the TRIPS non-violation and situation complaints and secondly, a Sanitary and Phytosanitary Declaration for the Twelfth WTO Ministerial Conference: Responding to Modern SPS Challenges. 

The Ministerial Conference also requested of the General Council to hold consultations with a view to deciding on the date and venue of the 13th WTO Ministerial Conference (MC13).

Antigua and Barbuda’s delegation to MC12 comprised of the Hon. E.P Chet Greene, Minister of Foreign Affairs, H.E Colin Murdoch, Permanent Representative to the WTO and Miss Joy-Marie King, Director of International Trade.


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