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  Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, WTO Director-Genera:

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"MC12 is coming to a close - a bit later than expected but with an unprecedented package of deliverables. Not in a long while has the WTO seen such a significant number of multilateral outcomes."

"Excellencies, you are not going home empty-handed. You stepped up and delivered in every area we have been working on. For much of this week, you have worked day and night. You have waited patiently for long hours as others tried to get through a negotiation."

"The package of agreements you have reached will make a difference to the lives of people around the world. The outcomes demonstrate that the WTO is, in fact, capable of responding to the emergencies of our time. They show the world that WTO members can come together, across geopolitical fault lines, to address problems of the global commons, and to reinforce and reinvigorate this institution."

"In response to the ongoing shocks from COVID-19, the declaration you just adopted will make access to medical supplies and components more predictable in this pandemic – and in the next one. The TRIPS waiver compromise will contribute to ongoing efforts to deconcentrate and diversify vaccine manufacturing capacity, so that a crisis in one region does not leave others cut off. In response to the worst food security crisis in decades, you have taken steps to make trade in food and agricultural inputs more predictable, and hence prices less volatile."

"On fisheries subsidies, WTO members have for the first time concluded an agreement with environmental sustainability at its heart. This is also about the livelihoods of the 260 million people who depend directly or indirectly on marine fisheries."

"You have initiated a member-driven process of institutional reform. You recognized the role trade and the WTO can play in empowering women, achieving environmental goals, and expanding opportunities for micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises."

"Among ministers this week and ambassadors, we have seen genuine give-and-take. A willingness to listen to others' concerns, to depart from long-held positions, to try to overcome the trust deficit and find middle ground. Instead of asking themselves "is this everything we wanted?" members began to ask themselves "can we live with this?"

Timur Suleimenov, Kazakhstan, MC12 Chair:

"This week you have all contributed to making what seemed impossible come to fruition. We have all engaged in frank and sometimes very difficult conversations. We may not have achieved everything that we set out for, but we have delivered. And this is something that we all should be proud of. Congratulations to you all, congratulations going beyond your national interests and looking to the common good that the organisation itself embodies and in doing so carrying out our shared responsibility to restore confidence in this organisation. It is so much needed during these difficult times."

"I now declare the 12th session of the Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization closed."

 DG Okonjo-Iweala hugs Indian minister Goyal

WTO members successfully concluded the 12th Ministerial Conference (MC12) in Geneva on 17 June, securing multilaterally negotiated outcomes on a series of key trade initiatives.

The “Geneva Package” confirms the historical importance of the multilateral trading system and underlines the important role of the WTO in addressing the world’s most pressing issues, especially at a time when global solutions are critical.

WTO members successfully concluded the 12th Ministerial Conference (MC12) in Geneva on 17 June, securing multilaterally negotiated outcomes on a series of key trade initiatives. The “Geneva Package” confirms the historical importance of the multilateral trading system and underlines the important role of the WTO in addressing the world’s most pressing issues, especially at a time when global solutions are critical.

In addition, ministers adopted two decisions - on the Work Programme on Small Economies (WT/MIN(21)/W/3) and on the TRIPS non-violation and situation complaints (WT/MIN(21)/W/4) — and a Sanitary and Phytosanitary Declaration for the Twelfth WTO Ministerial Conference: Responding to Modern SPS Challenges (WT/MIN(22)/W/3/Rev.3).

Acknowledging the “vital importance of agriculture,” DG Okonjo-Iweala noted that differences on some issues, including public stockholding for food security purposes, domestic support, cotton and market access “meant that we could not achieve consensus on a new roadmap for future work.” However, she added, “members found a renewed sense of purpose: they are determined to keep at it on the basis of existing mandates, with a view to reaching positive outcomes at MC13.”

The WTO's 12th Ministerial Conference was held in Geneva, Switzerland, from 12 to 17 June 2022. Initially scheduled to end on 15 June, the ministerial gathering was extended by two days to allow more time for negotiations and reaching agreements. Co-hosted by Kazakhstan, the Conference was chaired by Timur Suleimenov, First Deputy Chief of Staff of the Kazakh President.

In his closing remarks, Mr Suleimenov thanked the DG for never giving up. “Her determination, her leadership, her perseverance made all the difference. Dr Ngozi, the WTO owes you a great debt.”

He told members: “This week, you have all contributed to making what seemed impossible come to fruition. We have all engaged in frank and sometimes very difficult conversations. We may have not achieved everything that we set out for, but we have delivered, and this is something that all of us should be proud of.”

“Congratulations to you all. Congratulations on going beyond your national interests and looking to the common good that the WTO embodies, and in doing so, carrying out our shared responsibility to restore confidence in this organization. It is so much needed in these difficult times,” he added.