Argentina to host 2017 WTO Ministerial Conference


WTO members have agreed at a meeting of the WTO’s General Council today (October 3) to accept Argentina’s offer to host the organisation’s Eleventh Ministerial Conference (MC11) next year in Buenos Aires.

Argentina will be the first South American country to host the biennial event.

The MC, which is attended by trade ministers and other senior officials from the organization’s 164 members, is the highest decision-making body of the WTO.

Under the Marrakesh Agreement establishing the World Trade Organisation (WTO), the MC is to meet at least once every two years. The last MC took place in Nairobi, Kenya, in December 2015.

The dates for MC11 have not been fixed, but the meeting is likely to take place in early December 2017, said a press release.

Director-General Roberto Azevêdo thanked both Argentina and Uruguay for offering to host the meeting. Uruguay withdrew its offer to host the meeting in advance of the General Council meeting.

DG Azevêdo said that the consensus decision on the venue for MC11 “will put us on an excellent path” to follow up on the WTO’s earlier successful ministerial conferences in Bali in 2013 (MC9) and Nairobi (MC10).

It will “also focus minds on identifying deliverables” for the meeting in Buenos Aires, he added.

Argentina’s ambassador to the WTO, Hector Marcelo Cima, thanked members who voiced their support for Argentina’s bid and expressed the hope that the WTO members would have a successful conference.

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