Franck Riester, Minister Delegate for Foreign Trade and Economic Attractiveness, attached to the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, is participating in the WTO’s 12th Ministerial Conference taking place from June 12 to 15 in Geneva. He is representing France as chair of the EU foreign affairs ministers responsible for trade.
During a dedicated ministerial event yesterday, the minister delegate reaffirmed the EU’s support for Ukraine over the past several months, particularly the suspension of EU import duties for Ukrainian products.
In light of the Russian aggression in Ukraine and the Covid-19 pandemic, the minister delegate will urge the WTO Ministerial Meeting to take concrete action on the trade portion of the European FARM initiative on food security in order to ease tensions on agricultural markets and thereby avoid export restrictions. He will call for stepping up the WTO response to the pandemic with regard to facilitating trade in essential medical products and access to intellectual property. And he will work to move forward on current negotiations on fisheries aimed at eliminating subsidies that contribute to overcapacity and overfishing.
Mr. Riester will also reiterate that France and the EU hope for a formal discussion on ways to improve the functioning of the organization, particularly the WTO dispute resolution mechanism.