Azevêdo welcomes G20 leaders’ commitment to improve the functioning of the WTO

WTO World Trade Organisation Director-General Roberto Azevêdo strongly welcomed the communiqué agreed by G20 leaders at the summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on 1 December and said he would work with all WTO members to improve and strengthen the trading system. The Director-General also called on the leaders to act urgently to address the blockage in the WTO dispute settlement system

Speaking in Buenos Aires at the close of the summit, the Director-General said: “This has been a very productive G20 summit. I have heard firm support for trade and the WTO throughout my meetings with leaders in Buenos Aires and heard a range of ideas about strengthening our work. This is reflected in the leaders’ declaration, which I strongly welcome. The declaration represents a very important moment in tackling the current challenges in global trade. With this statement, the leaders underline the vital importance of trade and of the multilateral trading system in supporting growth, productivity, innovation, job creation and development. They call for improvements and “necessary reforms” to the functioning of the WTO to ensure that it can continue playing this essential role. I will work with WTO members to take this forward in the interests of all.”

The declaration agreed by the G20 leaders is available here. The key paragraph on trade issues is as follows:

“International trade and investment are important engines of growth, productivity, innovation, job creation and development. We recognize the contribution that the multilateral trading system has made to that end. The system is currently falling short of its objectives and there is room for improvement. We therefore support the necessary reform of the WTO to improve its functioning. We will review progress at our next Summit.”