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Claude Chase

Claude Chase is an associate in Baker McKenzie Geneva office.

Discussions at the World Trade Organization on key issues concerning the regulation of international trade are intensifying in the lead up to the 13th biennial meeting of the highest decision making organ of the organization — the Ministerial Conference — scheduled to take place from 26-29 February 2024 in Abu Dhabi.

In the early hours of 17 June 2022, the Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization adopted a package of decisions after five days and nights of intense negotiations that appeared to be teetering on the brink of collapse. With the WTO’s credibility on the line, trade ministers were able to compromise and reach consensus at the last minute, reaffirming the WTO’s capacity to deliver multilateral trade rules and provide trade-related responses to some of the most pressing global issues. The “Geneva Package” includes decisions on: (i) fisheries subsidies; (ii) a partial waiver of patent protections under the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights in relation to COVID-19 vaccines; (iii) a moratorium on customs duties on electronic transmissions; and (iv) WTO reform.