Katherine Tai and Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala discuss global trade ahead of 12th Ministerial Conference in Geneva

The United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai on Wednesday spoke with World Trade Organization (WTO) Director General Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and both discussed global trade ahead of the 12th Ministerial Conference in Geneva later this year.

The Ministerial Conference, 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 WTO, the Ministerial Conference is to meet at least once every two years.

Katherine Tai 
Katherine Tai

The 12th Ministerial Conference (MC12) will take place from 30 November to 3 December 2021 in Geneva, Switzerland. It was originally scheduled to take place from 8 to 11 June 2020 in Kazakhstan’s capital, Nur-Sultan, but was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Conference will be chaired by Kazakhstan’s Minister of Trade and Integration, Bakhyt Sultanov, as approved by WTO members in December 2019.

“Ambassador Tai and Director General Ngozi agreed that the WTO must remain a relevant force for good and demonstrate its ability to advance a global trade agenda that increases shared prosperity,” the Office of the United States Trade Representative said in a statement. “They committed to sustained dialogue in the months ahead.”

The statement said their conversation centered around their shared commitment to making the MC12 meeting later this year a success.

“Ambassador Tai thanked Director General Ngozi for her strong leadership in the first few months of her tenure and acknowledged the difficult logistical challenges that could shape the format of the MC12,” added USTR.

Chief White House Correspondent for

Simon Ateba is Chief White House Correspondent for Today News Africa. Simon covers President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, the U.S. government, the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other financial and international institutions in Washington D.C. and New York City.

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