President Tokayev Reaffirms Commitment to Chair WTO Ministerial Conference in Fall

NUR-SULTAN – Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev reaffirmed his country’s commitment to chair the 12th World Trade Organization Ministerial Conference scheduled to be held in the end of November and beginning of December during his virtual meeting with WTO Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala on Monday, reports the Akorda press service. 

The 12th Ministerial Conference was initially supposed to take place in Nur-Sultan in 2020, based on the WTO members’ decision in July 2018. Photo credit: Akorda press service

The meeting focused on the preparations ahead of the ministerial conference. 

Tokayev said his country is proud to chair the ministerial conference. 

“I would like to assure you that my government will actively engage with the WTO Secretariat to work out all substantive and organizational issues in preparation for our joint event. As an active supporter of the multilateral trading system, Kazakhstan is interested in the conference bringing substantive results and, for its part, is ready to make a constructive contribution to the discussion of all outstanding issues on the agenda,” Tokayev said.

Speaking about the preparations for the upcoming conference, the WTO Director-General invited Tokayev to consider the possibility of Kazakhstan’s participation to organize a business forum as part of the conference.

During the meeting, Tokayev congratulated Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala on her recent election as WTO Director-General and said close cooperation with the WTO is among Kazakhstan’s priorities.

The sides discussed the ways to strengthen cooperation between Kazakhstan and the WTO. 

President Tokayev informed the WTO Director-General about the measures taken by Kazakhstan to tackle the coronavirus. The two also discussed global efforts to tackle the pandemic, including those aimed at ensuring universal access to vaccines and medical goods.

Tokayev expressed support for the constructive dialogue led by WTO Director-General with the member states of the organization, vaccine producers and countries that need affordable vaccines.

“We believe that WTO has to play a valuable role in securing supply chains for critical medical goods and equitable access to vaccines. In this regard, I instructed my government to develop our position towards the Trade and Health initiative. I asked the government to contribute constructively to the development of the relevant MC-12 decision,” he said. 

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala praised Kazakhstan’s efforts to tackle COVID-19.

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