What is the WTO Ministerial Conference? When it will be?

The WTO Ministerial Conference, which usually meets every two years, will take place in late 2021.

After rescheduling twice, the WTO reported that the Twelfth Ministerial Conference (MC12) of the World Trade Organization (WTO) will be held in Geneva, Switzerland, the week of November 29, 202

At the global level, the WTO is the most important trade forum.

Ministerial Conference

Likewise, the WTO is the only institution that deals with the rules that govern international trade between countries, through a multilateral framework of disciplines that establish the principles of liberalization, as well as the flexibilities allowed.

Its main function is to ensure that trade operates as smoothly, predictably and freely as possible.

Meanwhile, the Ministerial Conference is the most important decision-making body in the WTO.

All WTO Members are represented in it, which are either countries or customs unions.

The Ministerial Conference can make decisions on all matters falling within the scope of any of the Multilateral Trade Agreements.

OMC Conferences:

  • Geneva, the week of November 29, 2021
  • Buenos Aires, December 10-13, 2017
  • Nairobi, December 15-19, 2015
  • Bali, 3-6 December 2013
  • Geneva, December 15-17, 2011
  • Geneva, November 30 – December 2, 2009
  • Hong Kong, December 13-18, 2005
  • Cancun, September 10-14, 2003
  • Doha, 9-13 November 2001
  • Seattle, November 30 – December 3, 1999
  • Geneva, May 18-20, 1998
  • Singapore, Dec 9-13, 1996

Second level: the General Council in three forms

Between ministerial conferences, the day-to-day work is carried out by three bodies:

  • General advice.
  • Dispute Settlement Body.
  • Trade Policy Review Body.

Actually, all three are the same: in the Agreement establishing the WTO it is said that all of them are the General Council, although when they meet they have different mandates.

In this case too, they are made up of all WTO Members. They must report to the Ministerial Conference.

The General Council acts on behalf of the Ministerial Conference on all WTO matters. It meets as the Dispute Settlement Body and the Trade Policy Review Body to supervise the dispute settlement procedure between the Members and to analyze the trade policies of the Members, respectively.


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