Swiss federal Office for Agriculture chairs high-level G10 Gathering

 

Senior officials of G10 Members (Iceland, Israel, Japan, Korea, Principality of Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland and Chinese Taipei) met on 13 June 2022 on the fringes of the 12th Ministerial Conference (MC12) of the World Trade Organisation in Geneva, Switzerland. Upon invitation from Switzerland, the G10 Members assessed current issues in the WTO negotiations on agriculture. They emphasized their willingness to engage constructively in agricultural talks at MC12.

The G10 is a group coordinated by Switzerland, which defends common and mostly defensive positions in the agricultural negotiations at the WTO. Jean-Marc Chappuis, Deputy Director of the Swiss Federal Office for Agriculture, chaired a meeting of high-level representatives of G10 Members. Underlining their common support for a well-functioning and rules based multilateral trading system, G10 Members exchanged views on possible outcomes of the agricultural negotiations at MC12. They expressed their support for a successful conclusion of MC12 while acknowledging that current circumstances may not allow for the conclusion of substantial reform decisions. Under the precondition that their sensitivities are taken into account, G10 Members confirmed their ongoing efforts to engage constructively in these talks at MC12 and beyond.

As net-food importing countries, G10 Members recalled the importance of an outcome in the area of export restrictions also as a contribution to global food security. There was particularly strong support for an exemption from such measures in favour of the World Food Program. Any decision in this regard would strengthen global food security and benefit in particular the poorest and most vulnerable populations. The Group remains concerned about the current risk of global food insecurity, supply disruption and prices at a record high and supported the need for the WTO to make a meaningful contribution to ensure global food security and predictability of international markets. Furthermore, G10 Members noted that any work program resulting from MC12 should be balanced and not prejudge the outcome of future negotiations.

G10 Members agreed to continue to cooperate closely in WTO negotiations as well as to emphasize the concerns of net-food importing Members and to contribute towards a transformation to sustainable food systems.

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