Building capacity to help Africa trade better

11th WTO Ministerial Conference – Buenos Aires: Resource box


11th WTO Ministerial Conference – Buenos Aires: Resource box

11th WTO Ministerial Conference – Buenos Aires: Resource box
Photo credit: WTO | Cuika Foto

World Trade Organisation (WTO) members wrapped up their 11th Ministerial Conference (MC11) in Buenos Aires, Argentina on 13 December 2017, having brought together nearly 4,000 ministers, senior trade officials and other delegates from the WTO’s 164 members and observers as well as representatives from civil society, business and the global media for four days of discussions on the future of the multilateral trading system.

A number of ministerial decisions were reached, including a commitment to secure a deal on fisheries subsidies which delivers on Sustainable Development Goal 14.6 by the end of 2019; new initiatives to advance talks at the WTO on the issues of electronic commerce, investment facilitation and micro, small and medium size enterprises (MSMEs); as well as a commitment to continue negotiations in all areas.

However, no agreement was possible in a number of the substantive issues that were under discussion at the conference. One key area where no agreement was possible was public stockholding for food security purposes. Other issues under the agricultural negotiations pillar also were not concluded.

WTO MC11 logo

If we really all support the WTO, if we really do, we have to bear in mind that multilateralism doesn't mean that we get what we want. It means we get what is possible.... The system is not perfect. But it is the best we have. And we are all going to regret very deeply should it ever cease to function. From what I saw here in Buenos Aires, we have the seed of an organization which can work better. An organization that can be vibrant, flexible and nimble. But for that to happen, we all have to believe in that vision.”

Roberto Azevêdo, WTO Director-General, MC11 Closing ceremony

Draft Ministerial Decisions, 13 December 2017

In the News

Pre-MC11 news available below. Official news from the WTO is available here.

Ministerial statements

Pacific Group Ministerial Declaration, 13 December 2017

Joint Statement on Electronic Commerce, 13 December 2017

Joint Declaration on Trade and Women’s Economic Empowerment, 12 December 2017

Fossil fuel subsides reform Ministerial statement, 11 December 2017

Trade in Food and Agricultural Products: Joint Statement of undersigned Ministers, 11 December 2017

MIKTA (Mexico, Indonesia, the Republic of Korea, Turkey, Australia) Ministerial Communiqué, 11 December 2017

Joint Declaration in support of the Multilateral Trading System, 11 December 2017

Landlocked Developing Countries (LLDCs) Declaration, 11 December 2017

Ministerial Declaration adopted at the first meeting of Trade Ministers of the G7+ WTO Accessions Group, 10 December 2017

Presidential Declaration: Opening ceremony of the Eleventh WTO Ministerial Conference, 10 December 2017

Ministerial Communication of the Group of Article XII Members, 10 December 2017

G-33 Ministerial Communiqué, 9 December 2017

Ministerial Declaration of the Informal Group of Developing Countries, 9 December 2017

Ministerial Conference documents and submissions

Disciplines on domestic regulations: Communication from Albania and others (Revision), 13 December 2017

Proposed permanent solution on public stockholding: Proposal by the Philippines, 11 December 2017

Recognition of the need for flexibilities for Caribbean and Small and Vulnerable Economies recovering from natural disasters: Proposal by Antigua and Barbuda and others, 10 December 2017

Draft G90 Ministerial Decision: Special & differential treatment (Revision), 9 December 2017

Special and differential treatment: Submission by Rwanda on behalf of the ACP Group, the African Group and the LDC Group, 5 December 2017

Fisheries Subsidies: Working documents on prohibited subsidies relating to IUU fishing, overfished stocks, overcapacity, capacity-enhancing subsidies, and overfishing; notifications and transparency; and special and differential treatment (Revision), 5 December 2017

Draft Ministerial Decision on improvement of transparency for regional trade agreements: Communication from the Russian Federation, 8 December 2017

Ministerial Decision on transparency of regulatory measures for trade in goods: Communication from Australia and others, 5 December 2017

Draft Ministerial Decision on Electronic Commerce: Communication from the African Group, 6 December 2017

The Work Programme on Electronic Commerce: Statement by the African Group, 6 December 2017

Africa and development: Proposal by the African Group, 5 December 2017

Questions on domestic regulation: Submission by the African group, 5 December 2017

Disciplines on domestic regulation: African Group elements for Ministerial Decision, 4 December 2017

Draft Ministerial Decision on Investment Facilitation for development, 5 December 2017

Draft Ministerial Decision on establishing a Work Programme for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in the WTO: Proposal by the Group of Friends of MSMEs, 6 December 2017

Work Programme on Small Economies: Draft Decision, 1 December 2017

Negotiating Group on Market Access: Report by the Chairman, Ambassador Didier Chambovey, to the Trade Negotiations Committee, 27 November 2017

Negotiations on Trade in Services: Report by the Chairman, H.E. Ambassador Hector Marcelo Cima, to the Trade Negotiations Committee, 27 November 2017

Draft Ministerial Decision on Electronic Commerce: Communication from Australia and Others (Revision), 14 November 2017

Abuja Statement: “Deepening Africa’s Integration in the Global Economy through Trade and Investment Facilitation for Development”, 7 November 2017

ACP Group Ministerial Declaration on the Eleventh WTO Ministerial Conference, 26 October 2017

WTO Sub-Committee on Least-Developed Countries: Market access for products and services of export interest to LDCs | Note by the Secretariat (Revision), 24 October 2017

WTO Committee on Agriculture: Preparing the ground for success at MC11 | Report by Ambassador Stephen Ndũn’gũ Karau, 19 October 2017

E-Commerce elements for MC11: Communication from China, 19 October 2017

Statements and position papers from NGOs, business associations

Global Civil Society Reactions to End of WTO Ministerial Conference, 13 December 2017

Our World is Not for Sale (OWINFS): Final Statement on MC11, 13 December 2017

African Youth Position Paper, 10 December 2017

WTO MC11 – Inject fresh momentum for trade and development | Joint Statement by Business Associations Worldwide, 8 December 2017

Communication from the International Customs Community on Cross-Border E-Commerce, 8 December 2017

Business 20 (B20) Recommendations for a Modern WTO, 6 December 2017

Advancing the WTO Agenda: Why does the WTO matter? | The Federation of German Industries (BDI) Position, 5 December 2017

A strong WTO – against protectionism, for the benefit of all | Business Europe Statement, 1 December 2017

The fourth industrial revolution will deepen the digital divide | Alliance Sud Position on MC11, 30 November 2017

Letter from Global Civil Society about the Agenda of the WTO Towards the 11th Ministerial, 6 October 2017

Pre-MC11 News

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