Coronavirus impact: WTO's 12 ministerial conference in Kazakhstan cancelled

Our Bureau | Updated on March 13, 2020

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The conference was supposed to have taken place from June 8 to June 11

The World Trade Organisation’s (WTO) 12 ministerial conference in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan, from June 8-11, is cancelled  due "the current situation with COVID-19 and the WHO declaration of a pandemic".

In an urgent email sent to members on Thursday, the, WTO General Council Chair Ambassador David Walker and the Director General Roberto Azevedo said, “We have been informed by the Government of Kazakhstan that, in connection with the current situation with COVID-19 and the WHO declaration of a pandemic, it would be appropriate form Members to revisit the decision to hold MC12 from 8-11 June in Nur-Sultan.”

“In consultation with the Delegation of Kazakhstan, it is our considered view that holding MC12 as previously agreed will not be feasible.” Messrs Walker and Azevedo urged  urged members to inform them if “any Delegation hold a different view” through an email by Monday, March 16.

In effect, the Kazakh government has almost washed off its hands from convening the MC12 (the 12 Ministerial Conference) in Nur-Sultan from June 8-11. It remains to be seen if the MC12 (the WTO's 12th ministerial conference) will be held in Geneva, Switzerland, as it is the headquarters for the WTO, with new dates, said trade envoys, who preferred not to be identified.

Published on March 13, 2020

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