WTO Postpones Meeting In Geneva Amid Spread Of COVID-19 Variant Omicron

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Geneva: Amid the outbreak of Omicron variant, the World Trade Organization has postponed its in-person ministerial conference here.

“@wto #MC12 has been postponed. The full membership is behind the decision of the General Council Chair @CastilloDacio and DG @NOIweala. Health, fairness and inclusiveness informed the call. It is the right decision. Work will and must continue,” WTO deputy DG Anabel Gonzalez said in a tweet.

The MC12 conference at WTO headquarters in Geneva was set to take up key issues like a long-awaited agreement on subsidies for fisheries, seen as a major way to prevent overfishing in the world’s seas, and an effort to waive patent and other intellectual property protection linked to COVID-19 vaccines.

It was set to take place from 30 November to 3 December 2021 in Geneva, Switzerland, the official website of the World Trade Organisation informed.

During the meeting, ministers from across the world were set to review the functioning of the multilateral trading system, to deliver prepared statements and to take action on the future work of the WTO, the official website said.

The Omicron variant was first reported to the WHO from South Africa on Friday.

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