8 August 2023
Canadian Custom Brokerage

WTO reports progress on talks about dispute settlement reform

At the July 28 meeting of the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) the Deputy Permanent Representative of Guatemala to the WTO, Marco Molina, reported to members in his personal capacity on the informal meetings he was asked to convene by a group of WTO members on the issue of dispute settlement reform.

The objective is to fulfil the June 2022 ministerial mandate of having a fully and well-functioning dispute settlement system accessible to all members by 2024.

Since he last reported to the DSB on May 30, Mr Molina said delegates have continued to actively participate in the intense programme of meetings on dispute reform.

Members have reached an understanding on 80% of the issues under consideration, which are now ripe to move to the drafting process, he said. Half of the issues in the remaining 20% are close to reaching the level of maturity needed for the drafting process, while the other half of that 20% refers to highly sensitive issues for which members still hold different conceptual views about how to tackle them, he added.

In addition to the conversations on the remaining issues, the drafting of a text for a potential agreement will start right after the summer break, Mr Molina said. The text will be drafted by delegates through a process that he will organize and facilitate.

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