What to expect from WTO MC13

January 30, 2024

The World Trade Organization (WTO) is preparing to hold its 13th Ministerial Conference (MC) next month in the United Arab Emirates. These gatherings of the WTO’s highest decision-making body bring together its 164 members and are meant to take place every other year. Every MC represents an important opportunity for trade ministers to take stock of progress within the organization and to chart a path for the future.

While the potential agenda for trade ministers to consider is wide, there are only three weeks left for wrapping up details. Given the increasing stress on the global trading system, MC13 might have presented a critical opportunity for engagement. However, the dysfunction of the WTO is likely to be reflected in a weak agenda, limited deliverables, and little clarity on the way forward.