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WTO's big conference postponed due to new Covid variant

  • Sun Online Desk
  • 27th November, 2021 11:58:22 AM
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Next week's World Trade Organization ministerial conference, the global trade body's biggest gathering in four years, was postponed at the last minute Friday due to the new Omicron Covid-19 variant.

The WTO hoped the four-day gathering in Geneva would breathe new life into the crippled organisation, which has been stuck for years trying to make progress on resolving issues like fishery subsidies, AFP reported.

New director-general Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala was also hoping, against the odds, to make progress towards a deal on lifting Covid vaccine patents, proving the WTO had a relevant role to play in combating the pandemic.

WTO General Council chair Dacio Castillo called an emergency meeting of all 164 member states to tell them about the Omicron situation, including travel restrictions and quarantine requirements.