GS Paper – 2 (International Relations)

The World Trade Organization's 164 members approved a series of trade agreements early on 17 June 2022 that included commitments on fish and pledges on health and food security after more than five gruelling days of negotiations.

About agreement

  1. The deals were ground out over five days of bargaining at a conference of more than 100 trade ministers that was seen as a test of the ability of nations to strike multilateral trade deals amid geopolitical tensions heightened by the Ukraine war.
  2. Delegates cheered after they passed the package of six agreements just before dawn on 17 June 2022.
  3. The package included the two highest profile deals under consideration - on fisheries and on a partial waiver of intellectual property (IP) rights for COVID-19 vaccines.
  4. The accord to curb fishing subsidies is only the second multilateral agreement setting new global trading rules struck in the WTO's 27-year history and is far more ambitious than the first, which was designed to cut red tape.
  5. The fishing subsidies deal has the potential to reverse collapsing fish stocks. Though pared back significantly, it still drew approval.
  6. The deal on a partial IP waiver to allow developing countries to produce and export COVID-19 vaccines has divided the WTO for nearly two years, but finally passed.
  7. One agreement had also been reached on 16 June 2022, on maintaining a moratorium on e-commerce tariffs, which is considered vital to allow the free flow of data worldwide.