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WTO works to preserve its credibility amid rising uncertainties in global trade

PTI     January 26, 2019

Several key WTO member nations Friday expressed their resolve to work towards satisfactory solutions for preserving the credibility of the multilateral body and increase its relevance amid increasing uncertainties at global trade front.

Various issues were discussed at the meeting of 32 members of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) here on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting.

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The ministers, who participated in the meeting, emphasised on the urgency of restoring a fully-functioning appellate body, according to a statement issued by the Swiss government.

The statement assumes significance as any delay in appointment of members in the appellate body of the WTO's dispute settlement mechanism would hamper its functioning.

The US has blocked the appointment of these members.

"Ministers welcomed the process recently initiated to address concerns related to WTO's dispute settlement system.

In this regard, they underlined the urgency of restoring a fully-functioning Appellate Body," the statement said.

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The need to reform the 164-member group and to improve its functioning was widely acknowledged at the meeting.

On e-commerce, the statement said many ministers confirmed their intention to start negotiations on the issue.

"Some considered that they needed to better understand the issues at stake before taking further steps," it added.

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