WTO postpones major meeting after new COVID-19 variant outbreak

WTO postpones major meeting after new COVID-19 variant outbreak
© Subhayan Chakraborty WTO postpones major meeting after new COVID-19 variant outbreak

The World Trade Organization (WTO) became the first major diplomatic casualty of the new coronavirus variant on November 26 when it postponed its first ministerial meeting in four years due to the deteriorating health situation.

Ministers from WTO members were due to have gathered next week for a meeting widely seen as a test of the WTO’s relevance.

The WTO said that its members had agreed late on November 26 to postpone the ministerial conference after the new variant outbreak led to travel restrictions that would have prevented many ministers from reaching Geneva. No new date has been set for a rescheduled meeting.

Also read | WHO designates new COVID-19 strain as Variant of Concern, names it ‘Omicron’

The World Health Organisation has classified the B.1.1.529 variant detected in South Africa as a “variant of concern”, saying it may spread more quickly than other forms of the virus. Scientists are also seeking to find out if it is vaccine-resistant.

Switzerland, home to the WTO, on November 26 banned direct flights from South Africa and the surrounding region, and imposed test and quarantine requirements on travel from other countries, including Belgium, Hong Kong and Israel.

The Geneva-based trade body had planned a meeting in person, but the new restrictions meant delegations of large players such as South Africa and the Brussels-based European Commission would have been limited to a largely virtual presence.

Even before the postponement the prospects were not bright.

Also read | PM Narendra Modi to chair important meeting on COVID-19 situation today

The WTO has only managed one update of its global rules in its near 27-year history, the red tape-cutting Trade Facilitation Agreement, and its 164 members looked far from agreement in its most active talks – on curbing fishing subsidies and spreading COVID-19 vaccines more widely.

India, South Africa and other developing countries are calling for a waiver of intellectual property (IP) rights for vaccines and other COVID-19 treatments. U.S. President Joe Biden said on Friday he supported a waiver for vaccines.

WTO Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said the postponement did not mean negotiations should stop.

”On the contrary, delegations in Geneva should be fully empowered to close as many gaps as possible. This new variant reminds us once again of the urgency of the work we are charged with,” she said in a statement.

Santiago Wills, the Colombian WTO ambassador who chairs the fishing subsidy talks, said the news was ”deflating, to say the least”, but pledged to keep working towards an agreement to save global fish stocks.

News Related

OTHER NEWS

Woman stabbed during argument in Harlem subway station: cops

Police respond at the scene of the stabbing in the 125th Street subway station on the 2 and 3 lines in Harlem. William Miller A woman was stabbed in the ... Read more »

Für 1,4 Milliarden Dollar: UBS kauft Online-Vermögensverwalter in den USA

Die UBS kauft in Amerika zu: Die Grossbank übernimmt den digitalen Vermögensverwalter Wealthfront für eine Barzahlung von 1,4 Milliarden Dollar. © Bereitgestellt von Blick UBS kauft Online-Vermögensverwalter in den USA ... Read more »

Sicherheit in Europa: Russland bestätigt Erhalt von US-Schreiben

© Keystone/dpa/Christophe Gateau Russland hat von den USA in schriftlicher Form eine lange erwartete Antwort auf seine Forderungen nach Sicherheitsgarantien erhalten. Das teilte das russische Aussenministerium am Mittwoch in Moskau ... Read more »

I have big trust in myself in terms of my physical shape: Iga Swiatek

© Provided by The Times of India Iga Swiatek sparked a crazy scramble on the last point of her Australian Open quarterfinal against Estonia’s Kaia Kanepi. The 20-year-old swung from ... Read more »

Die Masken dürfen fallen

Die dänische Pandemiekommission empfiehlt die Öffnung der Gesellschaft – auch wegen der hohen Infektionszahlen. Die Regierung findet das gut. Doch es gibt warnende Stimmen. © Foto: AFP In Dänemark soll ... Read more »

Zur Verlängerung von Gerber beim SCB: Noch immer einer der Besten

© Bereitgestellt von Blick Noch immer einer der Besten Das Kader? Es ist alt und satt. Der Umbruch wurde verpasst. Und statt Junioren zu fördern, kaufte man lieber für teures ... Read more »

Rohit and Kuldeep return for West Indies ODIs and T20Is

© BCCI Rohit Sharma and Kuldeep Yadav are back in the Indian team © BCCI Rohit Sharma is fit again and will lead India in the home series against West ... Read more »

Chelsea legend Terry's monkey NFT project under investigation by Blues, Premier League and UEFA

Chelsea, the Premier League and UEFA are looking into the sale of digital artwork which is being promoted on social media by legendary former England defender John Terry.  The Blues ... Read more »

The daunting Giants task for Joe Schoen: ‘It's a concern and it's real'

The Giants’ salary-cap situation is real, and it’s anything but spectacular. Thanks to a series of poor decisions by former general manager Dave Gettleman, the Giants go into the offseason with ... Read more »

The 16 best celebrity cookbooks to add some star power to your recipes

New York Post Composite Forget dancing with the stars — have you tried cooking with them? Cookbooks can be a great way to spice things up in the kitchen, especially ... Read more »

I used to love boozing – but a freak accident left me unable to drink alcohol ever again

A FORMER rugby player has told how she was forced to give up booze for good after a freak accident left her unable to touch a drop of alcohol without ... Read more »

Review: Tim Roth drops out, in paradise, in ‘Sundown'

The Associated PressThis image released by Bleecker Street shows Tim Roth in a scene from “Sundown.” (Bleecker Street via AP) A man sits on the edge of an infinity pool ... Read more »

Mozambique, Malawi, Madagascar count deaths, damage by storm

The Associated PressIn this image made from video, people stand on an overturned vehicle swept by flooding waters in Chikwawa, Malawi, Tuesday Jan. 25, 2022. Mozambique, Madagascar and Malawi are ... Read more »

Leading Turkish women targeted by Islamists and government

© Provided by DW Journalist Sedef Kabas and pop star Sezen Aksu have both been targeted by the government and Islamists Two well-known women made headlines last week in Turkey, ... Read more »

Officials: Boom aims to build supersonic jets in N. Carolina

The Associated PressFILE – This photo provided by Boom Supersonic shows an artist’s rendition of United Airlines Boom Supersonic Overture jet. A Colorado-based aviation company wants to build a plant ... Read more »

Chinese APT 27 hackers targeting companies, says Germany

© Provided by dw.com The group has allegedly targeted embassies in the past German intelligence on Wednesday said the hacker group APT 27 has started targeting German companies in sectors ... Read more »

Sen. Warnock reports $9.8M raised to Herschel Walker's $5.4M

SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock‘s campaign said Wednesday that he raised a hefty $9.8 million in the last quarter of 2021, nearly double the fundraising haul reported ... Read more »

Germany to crack down on Covid protesters in yellow star badges

Police in Berlin have been authorised to crack down on protesters wearing badges resembling the yellow “Judenstern” (Jews’ star) and other symbols associated with the Nazi era at demonstrations against ... Read more »

Chris Eubank Jr to embrace ‘bad guy' persona in Liam Williams' home city: ‘When the crowd boos me, I fight better'

Eubank Jr and Williams will settle their personal animosity next Saturday on February 5 in Cardiff, live on Sky Sports. Eubank Jr said: "I look down on him because of the things he has said and the way he conducts himself." Read more »

Travis Kelce was the engineer behind Chiefs' legendary 13-second drive

The apparent mastermind behind the Chiefs’ magical 13-second drive to tie the Bills in regulation on Sunday? Travis Kelce. NFL Films and “Inside the NFL” had the Chiefs’ tight end ... Read more »

Giants ‘are not trading for Deshaun Watson': John Mara

That should do it for the Deshaun Watson to the Giants rumors. Owner John Mara ruled out trading for the Texans quarterback on Wednesday, citing both the sexual assault allegations ... Read more »

Inside rise in porn star deaths from Alicia Rio to Dakota Skye as XXX-rated actors plagued with threats and suicides

THE death of legendary porn star Alicia Rio at the age of 55 marks the latest tragedy to strike the industry. Rio, who appeared in hundreds of adult film titles ... Read more »

'Real-life Eliza Doolittle' Pat Wood dies aged 94

A woman who was dubbed a real life Eliza Doolittle after growing up in a council flat before being taken in by a wealthy family during World War II has died ... Read more »

Car passengers will be impacted in new Highway Code rules as changes brought into force

New changes to the Highway Code will be affecting drivers from this coming weekend. The government updates and changes the code in order to keep drivers safe and deter any ... Read more »

Bentley details £2.5bn electric car model blitz: FIVE new EVs from 2025

© Provided by Motoring Research Bentley Beyond 100 update Bentley will launch a new electric car every year from 2025. The plan is part of a £2.5 billion sustainable investment ... Read more »

Cecilia Vega announces exciting news that makes one special viewer's day

Cecilia Vega gave fans a reason to be emotional as she gave one of Good Morning America’s fans an incredible bit of news. MORE: Get to know GMA’s main host stand-in ... Read more »

New Mexico Democrats seek sweeping voting access changes

© Provided by Associated Press FILE – New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham speaks at a news conference in Santa Fe, N.M., on July 29, 2021. New Mexico’s governor signed ... Read more »

South Dakota governor's chief of staff says participation in sports by transgender athletes 'sort of like terrorism'

Senate Bill 46, a bill that would prevent transgender girls and women from competing on the sports teams that match their gender, passed the House State Affairs committee Wednesday morning. ... Read more »

2022 NBA trade deadline: Lakers, 76ers among five most interesting teams to watch ahead of Feb. 10

© Provided by CBS Sports We’re just a little over two weeks away from the 2022 NBA trade deadline, and there’s been no shortage of rumors to keep us occupied ... Read more »

Conservative MPs await results of election review — but don't expect to see it all

OTTAWA — Conservative MPs meeting for a two-day retreat say they don’t expect to be shown the entire review into the party’s election loss. © Provided by The Canadian Press ... Read more »

NBA Prospect Watch: Hoyas' Mohammed mix of power, potential

Aminu Mohammed is one of the Big East’s top individual talents. He just so happens to play for the team at the bottom of the conference. © Provided by The ... Read more »

Where Johnny Davis stands in ESPN's latest NBA mock draft

© Mandatory Credit: Mary Langenfeld-USA TODAY Sports Jan 13, 2022; Madison, Wisconsin, USA; Wisconsin Badgers guard Johnny Davis (1) works the ball against Ohio State Buckeyes guard Eugene Brown III ... Read more »

Fantasy Basketball category boosters: Bismack Biyombo highlights trio of strong Week 15 targets

© Provided by CBS Sports Dec 21, 2019; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Charlotte Hornets guard Devonte’ Graham (4) and forward center Bismack Biyombo (8) before the game against the Utah ... Read more »

James Harden denies reports he's frustrated and wants out of Brooklyn

© Provided by Fansided Brooklyn Nets star James Harden addresses the reports that he’s frustrated and wants out of Brooklyn: “If you don’t hear from me, then it’s reports.” James ... Read more »

Rockets first-round pick Usman Garuba out indefinitely due to wrist injury

© Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports Houston Rockets forward Usman Garuba Rockets rookie forward Usman Garuba is dealing with a left wrist injury that is more serious than initially believed, head ... Read more »

Star NPB OF Seiya Suzuki preparing to begin face-to-face negotiations with MLB teams once lockout ends

© Kyodo News Seiya Suzuki Star Nippon Professional Baseball outfielder Seiya Suzuki is set to travel to the United States in preparation for face-to-face negotiations with MLB teams once the ... Read more »

Listen to Episode 16 of the ‘Marchand and Ourand Sports Media Podcast'

Andrew Marchand and John Ourand The New York Post’s Andrew Marchand and SBJ’s John Ourand discuss the news that ESPN may pursue Al Michaels for “Monday Night Football”, even as ... Read more »

Freddie Freeman rumors could have major impact on Anthony Rizzo

© Provided by Fansided Anthony Rizzo is considered a solid backup plan for teams that miss out on Freddie Freeman. With Freeman’s free agency in flux, what does that mean ... Read more »

Pokémon Legends: Arceus leaker claims certain legendary Pokémon, starters are shiny-locked

© Provided by GamePur A handful of Pokémon will reportedly be shiny-locked in Pokémon Legends: Arceus, claimed Pokémon leaker CentroLeaks. The leaker alleged that the game’s starter Pokémon, as well ... Read more »

Apex Legends: Defiance launch trailer coming tomorrow

© Provided by Dot Esports The launch trailer for Apex Legends’ upcoming season, Defiance, will debut tomorrow at 10am CT. At time of writing, there are over 900 people waiting ... Read more »
On free-english-test.com you will find lots of free English exam practice materials to help you improve your English skills: grammar, listening, reading, writing, ielts, toeic