WTO—DDG Alan Wolff calls on WTO ministers to address coronavirus (COVID-19)

WTO—DDG Alan Wolff calls on WTO ministers to address coronavirus (COVID-19)

The World Trade Organization (WTO) has published a statement by its Deputy Director-General (DDG), Alan Wolff, calling on WTO ministers to address the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and make 2021 ‘a year of substantial accomplishments’ for the WTO by taking action on various issues, including health, sustainability, and the joint statement initiatives. Wolff’s comments were made at the WTO’s annual gathering, which, although typically hosted by Switzerland in Davos on the margins of the World Economic Forum, instead took place virtually as a result of the ongoing pandemic.

Wolff’s remarks can be found in full here.

Also during the meeting, Canadian ministers, the EU and others brought attention to a paper from the Ottawa Group, which urged members of the WTO to sign on to a ‘Trade and Health Initiative’ designed to help minimise supply chain disruptions for essential goods amid pandemics. In addition, Indian and South African ministers, among others, ‘asked for favorable consideration of a proposal that members waive intellectual property protections on COVID-19-related medical technologies’.

Source: DDG Wolff urges WTO ministers to address the pandemic and make 2021 a year of action

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